Today we started off just fine. We’re getting good at this, finally. Ok, “good” is too strong of a word, but we both see a glimmer of hope that we can and will do this, and that is a great feeling!We woke up early and did the usual; tent breakdown, stuff away our sleeping bags, fire up the camp stove to make coffee and oatmeal, and then hit the road.
Don’t get me wrong, we are still dealing with the chronic miseries that are the Kentucky hills. These are hills of an alternate universe. I’m not exaggerating, they are tough like they have a secret form of gravity unknown to the rest of the entire planet. But, the good news is that it is getting easier simply because I’ve gotten used to the fact that I’m going to go 4.5 miles per hour up these hills, and that the way it is. I’ve gotten out of road bike racer mentality, and evolved into bike tourist mentality.
On the Terrifying Dog Chase front-the dogs have gotten smaller, cuter, and lazier. Fortunately, it is becoming less and less of an issue, as we make our way west.
And, on the the highlights of the day! First one on my list is my free beer! We pulled into this little country general store about two miles out from where we thought we might camp for the night. We ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, and then I promptly blurted out, “is there anywhere I can buy beer around here?” to which I received a deadpan look, and the woman sadly said, “honey, your in a dry county.” Bummer, I thought.
But, like an angel from heaven, when she brought out our sandwich, she also brought two frosty cold mugs of perfect delicious beer. It brought tears to my eyes. Greedily, I thought, Brooke has never drank a beer in her life, so more for me! Not so. Brooke actually chugged that beer, and loved it. Now, that is a transformation if there ever was one.
The lady also asked us if we’ve ever had fried green tomatoes. We hadn’t. She fried us up some, and they were amazing. Semi beer buzzed, and full of greasy food, we took off for our campground.In typical Melissa and Brooke fashion, we felt lost and decided to pull in to a little corner store and ask for directions. The man we asked, (Dave) actually invited us back to his place to stay. He said he was also hosting seven young guys from Eastern Kentucky University who were cycling West to East. We declined at first, but luckily he passed us on the road again, and practically insisted we come to his place. So, we did.
Dave hooked us up. First, he has a beautiful summer home on a lake. We immediately changed into our bathing suits and dove in to the water. When we got out, we were offered showers, which as a self contained bike tourists, a warm shower is something you never decline. I’m guessing we were offered the shower for Dave and his wife, Sherry’s, comfort just as much as our own. We weren’t smelling too great at that point.
When the other cyclist arrived, they told us all about their trip, and what parts were hardest for them. These guys are doing their bike tour to raise money for Alzheimer's disease, and they were pretty amazing. They have a SAG wagon, which makes doing this trip much easier. They are cruising along at 80-miles a day. And, as if all of this wasn’t perfect enough, his wife offered to let us do our laundry. Dave cooked dinner, we ate tons, and we slept in his living room.