Hey everybody it’s stopfrackingaround.com back again. Something great has happened! I’m now in KENTUCKY!!! It feels funny somehow. I’m sitting in a restaurant called the Rusty Fork as I write this. It’s a real old timer’s place, but they have blazing fast Wifi here. Crazy, it must be because of all the bikers that come through. Anyhow, I’m entering Kentucky with mixed feelings. Relief at finally getting out of Virginia which felt like it went on forever and ever, and fear of the dogs that I know I will be encountering here.
All eastbounders I’ve met so far have told me about the dogs of Kentucky. “Watch out” “Keep your water bottle handy” “Just scream at them at the top of your voice” are some of the tips I’ve gotten. Apparently Kentucky is infamous for its dogs because they don’t have a leash law here. You can just let your dog run around as it wants. Not the case in Virginia. And I was even chased by some dogs there.
Other than that, the trip is really shaping up I feel. I’m fighting through this knee thing. Raised the seat, re-arranged the cleats on my shoes, running lower gears, eating advil, taking it easy is all helping. Still some pain but not at all bad. I spent last night camping out back at a cute little gas station in a place called Davenport, VA. I had planned on going a little bit further but the guy who ran the gas station offered me to camp out there so I did.
I got to the gas station at about 7 pm, so I had a lot of hours to kill before bedtime. First, I got some beer and beef jerky from Earl in the gas station. Then, I sat down with my maps and started calculating what I’ve got to do a day to make it in time for my flight home to Stockholm on the 23rd of August. It came out to roughly 74 miles a day, every day, for the next 5 weeks or so. It feels doable, I just have to get way better at getting out of bed and on the road around 7 am or so, before it gets hot. Of course, when I take a rest-day, I have to spread those 74 miles out on the rest of the days, so in reality it’s probably closer to 85 miles maybe. I always love a challenge!!!
After that, I spent some time going through all my stuff and deciding on what’s staying and what’s flying back to Sweden. After speaking to a hiker in Damascus (who basically laughed at how much luxury-stuff I have with me), I’ve decided to lighten my load. Cooking stove, extra chain, two of my three extra tubes, three pairs of socks, four pairs of underwear = gone. Fleece jacket, nice shirt, swedish iPhone, book, one map = sent back to sweden. I think the bike is roughly 10 pounds lighter now which does wonder in the hills (at least mentally).
This was my hang-out all night yesterday:
Suuuuuper sick Harley Davidson that rolled through:
Got a kinda early start today, nothing very interesting to report. Just business as usual: pedal, look at the scenery, stop, drink water, look at the elevation map of what’s coming up, start worrying about a crazy climb 10 miles ahead, get to climb, start imagining how amazing it must be at the top, see a crest, think it’s the top, find out it isn’t, keep pedaling, and then, THEN I actually got to the top. And it WAS beautiful. Today I got one of the best views I’ve gotten the whole trip!! It was at something called Breaks Interstate Park (between Virginia and Kentucky). This is what it looked like:
And then I got an absolutely breath-taking downhill where I thought my panniers were going to scrape the ground in the corners (probably wasn’t even close). That’s it that’s all peeps!