Kentucky has not been a highlight of this trip so far. We’d been warned about the big dogs off leash who bark and chase cyclists down the streets (and up hills, in some cases). We even met a cyclist whose panniers had been ripped open by an aggressive dog. After experiencing it first hand, it’s as bad or worse than we’ve heard, it seems, with our hearts pounding after each close call and quick escape from the K9s, which we fend off with a close-range blast from Greg’s very loud air horn. It’s been an effective and non-violent way to deal with them, but we’ve heard of the sometimes tragic consequences for the dogs who run into the busy, winding roads full of pedal-to-the-metal pickup drivers. Petunia gets anxious when she hears the angry barking of the dogs before we see them, never sure whether they’ll be chained up and sadly running the same 10-foot route over and over until it’s a worn sand pit, or running at us full speed, baring its teeth at our hyper-spinning legs.
Two nights ago we camped at a small campground in Buckhorn. Greg made a nice fire and we ate sizable portions of chili and pasta that Jamie cooked up.
Jamie woke up stiff and sore from the previous day’s unrelenting and steep climbs in 90+ degree heat, but we didn’t stay to get much rest because an army of good-behavior prisoners wielding weed whackers and other landscapers came out to clean up the park at 9 AM.
On the bright side, some of the ride has been pretty, although the landscape is not what I would’ve pictured if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. The roads are all cliffside and everyone lives on a hill or in a valley. The lush greenery in conjunction with Greg’s tribal printed bandana made him look like a contestant on Survivor when we pulled over to let Petunia run in a baseball field.
Despite feeling unwell in the heat, we made a modest 30 mile trek to Booneville, where we camped out behind a cyclist-friendly church with another outdoor shower. We met two other cyclists, recent college grads from DC, who are heading south to complete the southern tier, to our surprise (“it’s going to be SO HOT” we both exclaimed).
Onward to Beria today!