The Appalachian Mountains have been very tough. For the last week and a half there have been no flat roads; we are either going up or down. And steep gradients over ten percent are common.
There are three other riders with blogs, but like me they are not posting much either. Instead it’s been about survival for all of us…too exhausted for blogging.
Our layover day in Damascus at “Woodchuck Hostel” was a chance to glimpse a special subculture.
This was a twenty-something hiker nerd flophouse, one of dozens in this town that exists solely as a hiker center. We happened to hit town the same weekend as the annual “Trail Days” festival, the largest gathering of hikers in the world.
We crossed into Kentucky where the new growth on the trees was springing to life with a beautiful lime green. Sunlight infused the forest from top to bottom making it seem like it had its own internal light. And the wild honeysuckle wafted in the air as we traversed valley after valley.
We stayed at the Freeda Harris Baptist Center our first night in Kentucky.
It’s a real adjustment to have my metabolism revved up to about four thousand calories a day for days on end. It’s all about trying to help the body recover at the end of each day to be able to go out again the next morning. We are all gradually getting stronger. The chance to experience America from the backroads and small towns…at ten miles an hour…on a bike…is what we came for. So far the trip has delivered on this promise. The time we’ve had in coal country has been eye-opening. More to come.