August 3, 2018
Booneville – Hindman
108 km (67 miles)
1458 m (4782 feet) elevation
4:57 moving time
6039 km (3753 miles)
We slept reasonably well on a futon mattress which we laid out on the floor in the First Baptist Cycle Hostel. Woke up early to beat the traffic and for much of the day we had the roads mostly for ourselves which was wonderful.
The people in eastern Kentucky have thick southern accent and deep course voices because of cigarette smoking. Tobacco is one of Kentucky’s top 5 agriculture export which might explain their own use of cigarettes. There are cigarette posters everywhere and many cigarette stores which don’t sell anything but cigarettes and cigars. Many diners have a smoking zone which is often the nicer one than the non-smoking one.
The Kentucky people must view us as a pair of aliens because before everybody said hi and wanted to talk but here nobody says hi and we notice many people looking at us and talking when they think we aren’t looking. Sometimes they even stare when they know we are looking 😂.
We have been traveling through among the poorest areas in the US and it is amazing to see how many churches there are. In some tiny towns there are more than one church. It is interesting to think about the relationship between poverty and religion. Does one feed the other. Does one need the other? Since many religious people believe that their destiny has been decided for them, are these people less likely to try to create a decent life for themselves? Maybe these thoughts are too deep for our some little blog.
We finally crossed over into our last state on the TransAm route. Goodbye Kentucky, not sure we will miss you terribly. Hello Virginia! It was wonderful to finally see the sign in the distance and even better to come closer and be able to read the words: ‘Welcome to Virginia – Virginia is for lovers’. We are getting closer to finishing the Appalachians and then we ‘only’ have to tackle Vesuvius and then it is mostly smooth sailing. Vesuvius is not that high but seriously steep with grades up to 24%!
We also hit another milestone today as we have now ridden more than 6000 km during these 50 days!
It us wonderful to wake up every day and read the comments from all you wonderful people. The kind and encouraging words from family, friends, and blog-followers are really fueling our last days of the journey. Thank you all!
Today’s entry will include few photos as our internet connection is very slow.