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Making good time in Kentucky

Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun

Today, I had two songs playing in my head over and over. “Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin,” plays regularly, especially the closer I get to home. The other one that has crept into my head is “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster. It is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I will get to see Bardstown, where Foster made that song famous. I should get there late tomorrow or early Thursday.

My night in the Methodist Church hostel went really well. I knew it would, because sleeping in those churches is very easy for me. A wife or girlfriend would say that I have fallen asleep too much in church anyway.

I had several major climbs as I left Marion, Ky., this morning. But after a while, I started making pretty good time. The towns of Clay and Dixon were surrounded by lots of good farmland, and the corn looked great.

Late in the morning, I got my first ice cream and good conversation at Sebring, and a free Kentucky map in Beech Grove. Lots of nice people in both places. One guy came out of the hardware store in Beech Grove and hollered, “Hey, where you headed?” We talked a little as I peddled on out of sight.

My final destination for tonight is Utica, Ky. It is a small town with a population of 400. However, the fire department makes their building available for cyclists to sleep, shower, wash clothes, etc. I washed all my dirty clothes and had a shower by mid–afternoon. Even washed my shoes for the first time on the whole trip. They are drying now.

Total mileage for today was 72.

This was one of my “part of a bigger plan” stops. There was nothing for about 50 miles if I didn’t stop here, plus this will hopefully set me up for a good day tomorrow.

This was an unusual day, too, because I never saw another cyclist on the road. I didn’t yesterday, either, but I met those other interesting people to make a good day. I am starting to think that a lot of cyclists avoid the Ozark and Kentucky hills. As I continue across Kentucky and then into western Virginia, the hills will continue to get bigger. Eastern Kentucky is considered the gateway to the Appalachians. I am headed into coal country, too.

That is it for today, so it is time for ice cream.

David Freeze lives in Rowan County.

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