Starting Location: Hindman, KY
Ending Location: Haysi, VA
Lowest Elevation: 722
Highest Elevation: 1837
Today was a very tough day. I got a real taste of the Apalachians, climbing over 6500 feet in one day with a distance of 80 miles. I tried to get a very early start since I knew the day was going to be very hard.
The first part of the day wasn't too bad. I was able to make it more than 35 miles before I felt like I needed something more to eat, but by that time I was really hungry. I stopped for some mexican food and was out very quickly and on my way again. I rode slowly for the first 20 minutes or so after eating as I think I ate too fast.
I had some really tough climbs to overcome before Lookout, and it was incredibly hot out too. Luckily on one of my climbs, a nice man stopped me to give me an ice cold Gatorade and some words of encouragement to get me up the mountain.
I accidentally missed one of my turns on the trail today and went uphill for about 2 miles before realizing that I was off trail and turned back. I also had my first bad dog encounters today - my panniers were bitten at on two seperate occasions. The dogs backed down eventually with enough yelling and stopping the bike.
I crossed over into Virginia near the end of my ride and had another 10+ miles to go to get to Haysi. The last stretch was a bit of a struggle after a day of climbing through the Appalachians. When I got into town I found out that the motel I planned to stay at was straight up another hill out of town for a couple of miles. I guess I should have expected it considering it was called the Hilltop Motel.
When I got to the motel it wasn't exactly what I expected. They were no longer a motel - they are now renting rooms for longer term. All the rooms were taken up except of one that was being remodeled. I told them that I wasnt picky and could. take the room. Unfortunately the shower was being remodled so it was unusable, but at least I had an air conditioned space and a (gross) mattress to sleep on!