We have today crossed the border from Virginia to Kentucky!!!!
Last night we stayed in Breaks Interstate Park - basically forested hills with a masive canyon running through the middle of it. Stunning views...
However, what a couple of days we have had. In a nut shell; nasty dogs that gnarl at your feet, big coal trucks giving you inches of room, and loads of hills. We are still climbing the Appalachian Mountains.
First, last night get caught in mega-thunder-monsoon-storm, then get back to a floating/collapsed tent and sopping bags.
Second, sodding dogs chasing us every other house (despite ultrasonic sound thing and pepper spray).
Third, 68.5 miles of hills, hills and more hills and then more thunder. This has been the hardest day so far and we have today unfortunately been down 2 riders for various reasons. Mike did his back in last night lifting up a toilet seat (well done Mike!!)and has sensibly taken a ride in the van today to recover. He's hoping to be back on the road again with us tomorrow, Lets hope.
Then there's the traffic... Because they are paid by the the ton of coal delivered, rather than an hourly wage, the truck drivers will often drive as fast as they can, sometimes causing serious accidents.
And around mile 48 me and Rob bumped into Hugh and Phil standing on the side of the road in the middle of a thunder storm. Hugh's bike is unfortunately a write off (he has managed to 'irrepairably break' the frame of his bike). Full carbon not such a good idea after all then Hugh!! So after attempting to call the van from all of our phones and discovering that there was no network in the area, Hugh went to knock on some random woman's door to ask to use the land line. I must highlight to you at this point that Hugh is dressed like an astronaunt and has been for the entire trip-he covers every piece of skin so not to get any sun burn. Very sensible idea but to the horror of the poor woman answering the door. Imagine opening the door in the middle of a thunder storm being confronted by someone whom resembles an astronaunt telling you that his bike is broken???!!!! Hmmm, I'm not sure I would believe him! Thinking that we could do no more other than get back to camp as quickly as possible to send the van we went on our way, leaving poor hugh with his bike on end in the thunder storm. Well, he must have charmed that woman as 10 miles down the road, we hear a hollering coming from a truck, and who is inside but Hugh being driven by a rotund blonde with the bike in the back!!! That brightened up my day!!!
We arrived at a camp ground which is also a B&B around 4pm and after pitching our tent in the rain which is still wet from last nights storm, are now being given fresh towels, hot showers and ice cream by the host after a hard day!!
I hope tomorrow brings more luck x
PS in case you haven't guessed, techie issues with uploading our pictures mean that all the ones on our blog are from the tinternet... !