Last night was quite the experience. Three different times during the night I had three different people thinking that my room was there room. I tried to ignore the knocking and the door knob jiggling, especially the one at 5am, but they could not figure it out on their own. Not sure what all was going on at the Gateway Motel, but something was going down.
The day started off with a 4 mile downhill ride into Elkhorn City through the breaks (considered the Grand Canyon of the south). I stopped at “The Rusty Fork” to grab some breakfast after taking a few pictures through the gorge. Now I know that I am from the backwoods area of North Carolina so I don’t have much room to talk. But eastern Kentucky is a whole different world from anything. I have lost count of the number of “hollers” you travel through to get where we are going.
As I was walking out the door a group of cyclists walked in. There were three girls and a guy. The guy, Justin, asked where I was heading tonight and when he realized we were going to the same town he quickly asked if he could join me.
Justin is a 21 year old who just graduated from the University of Delaware and is starting medical school in August. He started in Delaware the same day that I started in Nags Head. He also is heading to San Francisco but is needing to finish a week earlier than we do in order to get back in time to start med school. We rode all day together. Had some good conversations just getting to know each other. He is riding trying to raise money for the food bank in Delaware.
The ride today consisted of 4 decent climbs with a few other small hills. It was another hot day, 94 degrees! I am ready to get out of this humidity! I rode 67.4 miles today into Hindman as another storm it. It was different riding without Cam. Justin didn’t want to take the long breaks that I had come to enjoy with Cam.
This morning as I was packing up and about to head out on the road I happen to notice a guy leaving on a true moped! For those that don’t know what a real moped is it is an old version of the modern day motorized scooter except you actually pedal it a short distance in order to start it. The plus side of this is if you run at of gas somewhere you still have a really heavy bike. Well, meet Mika. Mika is riding this moped from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. When I asked why he said one day someone stole it and then returned it a week later wrapped in tinfoil. So he felt he owed it to the bike to do something awesome. By the way, he has to push it up every hill!
I am staying at the Knott County Historical Society Bed & Breakfast tonight. There are 7 other cyclists staying here as well, some traveling east, some west. It has been great chatting about what to look out for on the trail and telling stories of what has happened thus far. And the guy who runs it has fine tuned it into a well oiled machine to accommodate cyclists. Pretty sweet.
Try to ride another 66 miles in the mountains tomorrow to Boonesville. Looks like it is a lot of up and down climbing.