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

Day 14: Breaks Interstate Park to Pippa Passes Hostel - Damn trucks, heat and humidity

Saturday May 31, 1986, 70 miles (113 km) - Total so far: 749 miles (1,205 km)

The morning was pretty cool and I heard the day would be hot and humid so I took advantage. Gene and I headed out pretty early and headed to Elkhorn City for some food. The day started with a nice 3-4 mile downhill into Kentucky. Welcome to Kentucky, land of coal trucks and dogs I've been told.

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Ahhh, That's Kentucky!

At breakfast we discussed taking the alternate route, or sticking to the main trail. Some how we decided not to take the shorter alternate today and I wish we did. After a few miles in Kentucky I'm already sick of these coal trucks All these coal trucks have crazy names like "Coal Devil", and "Big Momma", drive like crazy too. The black soot is getting all my gear (and me) dirty.

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The Breaks section

As we ride into Kentucky, the weather just got hotter and hotter and it felt like I was riding in a furnace. The weather was hot, sunny, and humid with no clouds anywhere in sight. The ride was very hard today with some of the toughest mountain passes of the trip so far. The heat, trucks and traffic made this one of the worst cycling days. Road conditions here in Eastern Kentucky are bad news, rough and narrow. So far Kentucky is pretty dirty and depressing.

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Kentucky Roads....... kinda like Detroit.

Photo courtesy and copyright by Gordon Hamachi

The day ended at the AYH Hostel at Pippa Passes, which is very nice. The hostel was great with nice beds, showers and a kitchen.

This evening we all sat around a talked bout different things. I'm starting to get to know Diane a little better. Diane is from Iowa and is pretty short, as in 5'2' or so. Her bike looks funny, being so small with all the gear on it. She is a pretty good rider and has few complaints about the physical challenges of the daily rides. I think she is about 10-11 years older than me, and I *think* she is a nurse....? (Diane, correct me if I'm wrong here). Diane is very easy going, upbeat and is part of the nightly beer group. Diane seems to be riding with Clay most days.

It is funny how everyone has a different riding styles and schedules. Gene and I are up early, ride fast, Fred seems to take his time and arrive in camp really late, with everyone else somewhere in-between.

Tomorrow the plan is Booneville, with heat and humidity once again.


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