Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 10 KY Horse Park, to Carter, Kentucky

On the last morning of the ride, I woke before sunrise and was on the bike by 0730. The sun came up over the pristine fields and fences of the of this grand public farm as I rode around the park looking for a restaurant to eat breakfast. I was informed the restaurant was under renovation and my next best/closest option was a Mcdonalds. Getting there was a detour that would take some time and add about 3 miles to the longest ride I had ever attempted. Fortunately, if I could have chosen any 3 mile stretch of road to add to my trip, it would have been something very close to this one. Riding out of the bluegrass was a lovely experience. Riding into Flemingsburg was less so. The road was crowded with trucks. The wind was blowing hard against me. It was overcast and I actually got cold for a short time, which I could feel was robbing me of energy. I stopped in Flemingsburg to reconsider my options. I was 60 miles into the ride by 2 PM and too far North to consider camping again in any of the campgrounds to the South. I called Amanda to see of there was any route that was more forgiving than the one I had chosen off of a 2 dimensional road map of Kentucky. I was tired and frustrated and committed to a route I was not confident I could complete. I drank some coffee for warmth and artificial energy. Then I left Flemingsburg before I could agonize myself into a hole I couldn’t climb out from prior to the sun going down. The signage was bad so I almost immediately took a wrong turn and realized it after climbing a substantial hill. I got back on track with the help of a carpenter who knew a county road heading east. Not far out of Flemingsburg I went over a little mountain pass and on the other side the sun came out and the wind abated. There were orchards along the ridge and some of my favorite wildflowers lining the road. After a long descent I arrived in Lewis County and was greeted with about 15 miles of picturesque flat road through the county neighboring my destination. People on the side of the road looked at me like they had never seen a guy on a bike. I assume this was because they knew the reality of getting to this place meant one would have to ride over some very demanding terrain. I hopped on a road heading a bit south and east and found myself back in the hills. I might not have had the stamina except that the scenery was so beautiful it was energizing to see what was at the top of each climb. After a couple more hours of pedaling I arrived in Carter, KY. I had ridden 106 miles. My brother met me on the road with the much needed beer and sandwich I had telepathically requested earlier in the ride. I rode in my brother's truck with the windows down back to his house. I took a bath and tried not to fall down while attempting to use my legs. The trip across Kentucky was complete. My first 100 mile ride was logged. I slept like a rock in a familiar bed for close to 12 hours. In all the trip was difficult but mostly awe inspiring. I have a renewed sense of place, and my life will be richer because of it. I am extremely thankful to all who supported me before and during the trip. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone to do any version this trip or join me next year for what will hopefully become the second annual Tour du Kentucky. Aba di aba di aba di, That's all folks!

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