I woke around midnight to get out my sleeping bag. It certainly wasn't cold but the dampness made me stir, and I fell instantly back asleep. Seth and I got up at 6 for an early start. The moisture in the air brings out all kinds of smells, and I put my stinky, wet clothes on with disgust. We headed to the convenience store for coffee, and hit the road with Josh at 7:30, George just ahead of us.
The climbs were longer today, 2-3 miles, but I felt strong and happy. The morning was overcast and it was wonderful riding. The downhills in Appalachia are actually a bit scary, with sharp turns and blind corners. It makes me miss the mountains of the west, where we could coast without breaking or pedaling for miles!
We took a break for breakfast sandwiches and Andreas and Doug caught up to us. The sun was out when we left, and we stopped again for lunch after another 15 miles. Our plan tonight was to go to Hindman and stay at a hostel. We called the place and they charge $40 per person! No thank you. We did some figuring and found a shorter route to Damascus, Virginia, that would keep us on larger roads. We decided to ride the TransAm to Hazard, 15 miles away, and go from there.
Josh, Seth, and I arrived first and we stopped at a Papa John's to split a 2-liter of Dr. Pepper. George was just a few minutes behind and we sat inside for an hour and a half debating our options. We are staying in Hazard tonight and getting off of the TransAmerica until Damascus. This will set us up for two 65-ish mile days, 130 miles, to Damascus instead of 176 miles via TransAm. Hopefully the roads will not be too busy. We also should not see as many dogs, so I hope to leave Kentucky with today's final count of 13 incidents!