Posted by: localmotive2011 | June 11, 2011

Egg biscuits

We finished the second chain of the Appalachians and rolled into Wythville, VA last week. In Washington County we witnessed the destruction from the tornadoes that hit the South recently.

Trees down from a tornado in Washington County, VA

Outside the library we saw another Surly bike all loaded up, and we knew we had to find the owner. We immediately picked out the spandex and helmet and met Justin from Delaware. Turns out he got his bike from Garrison’s as well! He is biking to San Francisco to raise money for the Food Bank of Delaware, you can follow his adventures here.

The four of us travelled together for a few days and Damascus, VA was one of our first stops. This town is where the AT and the TransAmerica Trail meet so the whole place was just filled with travelers. We stayed at a well-known hostel for AT hikers and TransAm cyclists known as the “The Place” and had a wonderful time sitting out on the porch eating dinner and showering for the first time in… well, awhile.

Damascus, VA hostel

With our bar of Dr. Bronner’s seriously depleted and a meal of Indian curry in our stomachs, we passed out and awoke early to conquer Hayder’s (Our pronunciation: “Hater’s”) Gap. After a four mile uphill characterized by sharp corners and coal trucks that weren’t too keen to share the road, we were glad to find a welcoming church on the other side that provided us with water, cookies, and a pavilion to nap in.

With a thunderstorm approaching, we decided to move on to the town of Honaker to find a place to stay for the night. Unfortunately, the town was not accustomed to hosting bikers and we found ourselves under an overhang outside a laundromat after being kicked off of church property by the police. Thankfully Justin spoke with a nice woman from town who offered to drive us to the next town over (a big hill away) so that we could camp legally in a local park. We learned that her husband was a coal miner, one of the only well paying jobs in the area. At the park we hit a stroke of luck when we found a playground PIRATE SHIP! We decided to sleep in the hold (an obvious choice).

Best camping site ever

Ahoy!

The next morning we left Virginia behind after crossing over the Kentucky border near Elkhorn City.

Virginia- Kentucky border

At the Rusty Fork Cafe we said goodbye to Justin who rode off with Team Wooha. Good luck on the rest of your trip Justin! While eating a delicious brunch of egg biscuits (a L0calmotive favorite) we were approached by a local woman who told us all about the area and provided us with some contacts for places to stay. We then headed to Lookout, KY where we stayed at the Freeda Harris Baptist Center. So far Kentucky is still hilly, filled with yapping dogs (people keep suggesting pepper spray), and afternoon storms.

Later we rode to Hindman, KY along a stretch of main roads that highlighted Kentucky’s coal industry. We saw a mountaintop removal site and several active coal processing operations. It is clear that this area of the country is economically dependent on coal. On the bright side, Kentucky also seems to have an abundance of backyard vegetable gardens and the growing vegetables are tempting as we ride by. We also stopped by a fruit stand on the side of the road and found a bin of ripe perfect peaches that sent juice cascading down our chins. Overall, we are finally hitting our rhythm as a team and the hills, though persistent, are no longer as daunting. We are looking forward to the next few days, pictures to come soon!

From the HIlls of Kentucky,

Katie, Kerstin, and Lauren

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Responses

  1. you girls are amazing!!

  2. Katie, Kerstin and Lauren, sorry I didn’t get to spend more time with you and finding out about your trip. Yesterday was a busy day for me and I have three little ones waiting for me at home. Enjoy your trip and keep safe. God Bless, Mark Fryer, Wilderness Trace Family YMCA

    • Mark, thank you so much for letting us stay in the YMCA at such short notice! We had a wonderful time!

  3. I saw the tornado stuff in Wythville on my way to camp. I hope you guys are doing well and having fun 🙂

    • We visited our first Girl Scout camp today and thought of you! Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

  4. Enjoyed reading your adventures. Hope you try to do it again some day.
    David R. Smith, Pres.
    Knott Historical Society, Inc.

    • Thanks a lot David! We had such a great time at your bed and breakfast!


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