Tuesday August 18
The Hampton Inn and Suites was a treat. But one that we can’t afford to repeat for at least a couple of days. We enjoyed a quality continental breakfast here. Real milk. Real fruit. Real Yogurt. Even Sausage and biscuits or biscuits and gravy. Three different varieties of coffee. Four different juice varieties. Real Donuts!!!! But you know what? I actually have a better day of riding when I have a breakfast of eggs and potatoes and a couple slices of bacon. When I gorge on too much stuff, all the blood in my body leaves my legs and heads right to the stomach to work on digesting all that stuff that was ingested. But I’ll do the same thing tomorrow morning if the opportunity presents itself! And it should.
We pedaled away from the Hampton at 9:30. A light steady rain was our companion. Once we had rejoined our highway, a Walmart presented itself. Since we had almost camped here last night and had also talked about the next Transformer action figure, we figured it was an Omen. We had to stop. Hey, it was raining. Why not? Donna and Lewis took off to wander the aisles while I stayed with the bikes. I had some light maintenance to perform on the tandem so I took care of this just inside the main door of the Walmart. Then I went over and talked to the Walmart Greeter person to discover whether or not people actually did camp at Walmart. She decided to call a management person to get the official word. In a couple minutes I was talking to the morning manager. She said “NO, you can’t camp inside Walmart!”. I almost burst out laughing. She misunderstood me. Perhaps it was my funny accent! When I clarified the inquiry. Oh sure! The RV’s pull in at night and park down by the highway all the time. When I asked if anyone had ever set up a tent, she didn’t hesitate. “Nope, not once!” But she admitted that if someone had, they wouldn’t have been chased off by anyone at the store. We now have one more thing we just gotta do once on this triip.
Donna and Lewis returned in a few minutes with the next action figure. This one will remain unopened until we reach Virginia. We pedaled away in the lessening rain. It stopped completely within the hour. The highway we were on was one that we were most anxious to get off. Highway 80 was 4 lanes of traffic and plenty of hill action as well. In 8 miles we got our wish and instantly were back to pedaling down the country roads of Kentucky. In fact the rest of the ride was rather pleasant except for the humidity and heat and of course the hills. But the traffic was bearable. Actually todays ride was not one that will go into the books as being hard because we only rode 34 miles. Again, the opportunities for lodging were spaced so that the next logical choice was another 40 miles down the road, and besides we had heard a thing or two about the town of Pippa Passes.
Don’t ask me what that name means or where it came from. But the town has a private college called Alice Lloyd College. Someone who worked at one of the gas stations where we stopped yesterday mentioned how bikers have gotten good treatment and had been allowed to sleep in the dorms. We figured it was worth a try. Donna and Lewis went in to talk to the secretary to the President. Fifteen minutes later she returned bearing the key to the official “Guest House”. This is an old cottage located right in the middle of the campus where parents of students or visiting alumni might spend a night. While we were neither, the appearance of Lewis most likely swayed the secretary as they no longer allow bicyclists to use the cottage as it is loaded with antique stuff and things came up missing after some bikers stayed previously. The policy now is to show bicyclists where they can set up their tents! Good job Lewis! There are 2 bedrooms so he gets his own room. The TV is connected to cable so he’s been watching more goofy TV. The cherry on top came this evening when we walked over to the cafeteria where the students and faculty and staff eat. I was prepared to pay for dorm food and would have paid but the manager who holds the keys to the money box was out of town. The guy who was left in charge told us to eat for free! Boy did I. I could barely walk back to the cottage after cleaning off 2 plates of food, a salad, a hot dog that Lewis didn’t eat, and 2 bowl of ice cream with some brownies. I’ve got to watch out eating like this though. While I’m able to easily take care of these excess calories on the bicycle, once we get back to being sedentary Americans I’ll just put those 30 pounds back on my midsection. But for now lets live for the moment!
It’s now just about time to call it a day. Tomorrow we return for dorm food breakast. Biscuit and gravy is Wednesdays fare. Of course there will be a half dozen kinds of breakfast cereal and oatmeal and juice and coffee and … . I’ll tell you all about it in tomorrow’s entry.