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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 13: Elk Garden Hostel to Breaks Interstate Park - Awesome day all around

Thursday May 29, 1986, 46 miles (74 km) - Total so far: 609 miles (980 km)

Woke up early this morning, I guess I was excited about the ride to Breaks today. Gene and I left early and had breakfast in Rosedale. Gene and I discuss all the BC group members and what kind of shape everyone is in. Pretty much everyone is in pretty good condition and there are few complaints. Sheryl is the one having probably the hardest time, party due to the fact I think she over packed. I've been getting in pretty good shape over the last 12 days and I'm no longer sore each night.

Today is the first sunny day in about a week of riding, I'm happy to see the sun again for a change. The riding is pretty tough today, as it seems there are many steep hard climbs (west of Honaker). Gene and I rolled along at a pretty good clip today despite the terrain. The downhill runs were the best of the trip, fast and long. I blasted down the hills and Gene tried to keep up as best he could.

We stopped for pizza lunch in Haysi and took a break. Lunch was pretty good and on Gene so I was happy. Gene and I talk about a bunch of things, especially me staying on the same itinerary as the BC group. I guess I've become Gene's main confidante and friend on the trip. Gene has traveled all around the world and tells all these crazy stories. From what I know, Gene owns a construction/development company in B.C. Canada and he is divorced. Gene travels all around the globe while someone else runs the business. Not a bad deal if you can get it? Right when we finished lunch we met up with the rest of the BC group, including Fred.

Today is also the first day of coal trucks, and it's a real nightmare already. I'm covered in coal dust and my bike is a mess. I've been reading and hearing about these coal trucks and I'm not too excited about being on the road next to them as they fly buy. These coal truck drivers don't even bother to slow down. When a large truck goes by the turbulence sucks you back into the traffic lane. It is something I quickly get used to and brace for each time it happens.

The days ride ends with a nice uphill into Breaks Interstate Park, which straddles the Virginia, Kentucky state line. We got an awesome camp site pretty close to the Breaks Gorge overlook. I got my tent setup, showered and hit the pool for a refreshing swim.

In the evening the brew crew enjoyed a few beers and watched an amazing sunset over Breaks. It was an awesome day and I'm excited to be going into Kentucky tomorrow (little did I know back then....).

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Sunset over Breaks Gorge

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