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Journal Entry #9

Monday 6 August 2001

We left Bardstown with regrets as we were unable to take any of the distillery tours that were in town. Bardstown is famous for the many fine liquors that are made there such as Jim Bean, Jamison, and Jack Daniels. With much regret we decided that it would not be best to fill our bodies and water bottles with the products above. Now granted it would make the biking experience much more interesting, but probably not safer.

Because we enjoyed the previous shortcuts that we took, when Chris said that he found a shortcut that would keep us off the main Hwy and be shorter than the route by 5 miles, we took it... Problem: Missing turn and ending up 3 miles out of town on main Hwy. It ended up putting us at the same mileage as if we had biked the route, but our lives came closer to being taken as the "nice" Kentucky drivers buzzed by us.

When we got to Chavies for the night Steve and Chris worked their MoJo to get us a church stay. We had the basement of the church to ourselves and was very nice and cool. It was great to be able to have lights and a dry, cool environment after being in the hot, muggy day. We even found a hose to shower under so life was very good. Dan played guitar and cooked eggs in the morning so for a brief second it was hard to remember that we where living off our bikes for two months.

As we headed into the cool morning Appalachia fog we quickly remembered that we were biking as the coal trucks came buzzing by us, nearly taking us and the oncoming traffic out every time. We got honked at by many people, but I am not sure if it is because they didn't like us being there or if it was Steve's sign that read "Honk! If you like our SPANDEX!" I am guessing that they honked cause they didn't like us being there.

While in Chavies I talked to my Mom and Nicole who both asked me if it had rained anymore. It rained the next day shortly after we started. Thankfully it stopped long enough to allow us to dry out and make biking almost enjoyable before it started dumping on us again. We ended the day in Dorton where I met a man named Rodney who volunteered his 30ft car port for us to sleep under. It was the best thing we could have asked for. We showered under the hose in the rain. Had a dry area to sleep and a bathroom to use. He and his wife kept a potentially miserable night from occurring.

As we all slowly came back from our comatose state the next morning we were very happy to see it still raining outside. Needless to say we didn't leave the carport quickly. After the morning fog lifted and the rain stopped the potential for a nice day appeared...Until Paul decided he wanted to wash and clean his chain. Shortly afterwards, it started raining again. Then several hills and many hours later it turned into a nice day while we entered Virginia. (We like Virginia much safer and nicer people -- basically fewer hill billies). It continued to get nicer out until it turned into a beautiful day. Then as we went around a corner on the way down a hill the downpour started. It was raining so hard that it hurt. (And it wasn't hail this time!) The rain continued as we biked to Rosedale where we stayed at a Methodist Church that doubles as a hostel. Once again a dry area kept the night from being miserable.

We got up early on Sunday to clean up our mess before church started but as we were about done I found a bulletin that stated the service was at 10:00. We finished cleaning about 8:00. Oh well, sleep is overrated. We then headed out and took a 20+ mile shortcut to avoid Damascus (Hwy 11 from Marion to Wytheville) Not only did it drop the miles but we also missed many big hills--shortcuts are good!!

Last night we stayed in Wytheville. When we got there we headed to the town pool to attempt to get a shower. After talking to some people they said they would let us shower even though they were having a private party. After the person I was talking to realized we were bikers he introduced himself as Trent, mayor of the city. Man it is strange how things work out. When I asked the best place to eat he volunteered the leftover food from the church picnic that they were having. Man, free shower, lodging, swimming, and food--I don't get treated that well at home!

Currently I am at the Radford Library while I wait for my wheel to get fixed from an off-roading incident...I am going to spare the details, but basically I slid off the road with my rear tire as I avoided a car that was in my lane as I went around a corner bombing down a hill. That caused my rim to crack so it is being replaced.

Everyone else stayed in Wytheville to wait for the bike shop there to open as Paul had to fix a bulge in his tire with duct tape yesterday (watch for upcoming photo -- is is FUNNY) We will catch up and head past Christianburg today...last map.

We will finish Saturday and the excitement is brewing. We are so close now we can almost smell the salt water... The mixed feeling are beyond words. The only way to explain it is to do it. Until next time...

Ride on...

Jason, Steve, Paul, Dan, Chris, John

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