More climbing, some great weather and my last time zone change

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

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, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at

Tuesday night, I was the only person staying in the fire house in Utica, Ky. Had the whole place to myself, my pizza and my ice cream. There was a huge thunderstorm with magnificent lightning that went on for hours. Best thing is that I got eight hours of great sleep. The people that I saw today probably appreciated my clean clothes, too.

The result of the weather was a huge change in conditions. I got up this morning to a cool breeze with low humidity and much lower temperatures. The route today was more challenging than yesterday, but the great weather offset that quite a bit. The high today was in the mid 80s.

My first major stop was in Whitesville, Ky. I needed to stock up on yogurt, bananas, cookies and a bad habit that I have picked up. That bad habit is Reese’s Cups. The goal for my food intake now is to provide energy, and all these things do it, especially the Reese’s Cups. The ladies in the store were a bunch of fun.

On to Fordsville, stopping for food again, just before the real climbing. Repeated large hills on Highway 110 provided a major challenge heading into Falls of Rough. I enjoyed talking to Bruce at the convenience store parking area about why the bike trail comes through the area and the habits of the locals.

Lots of road changes and plenty of turns came later, and towns like McDaniels and Madrid. Now, the day is complete and my update is almost submitted. I have enjoyed talking to Matthias from Berlin, the other cyclist here at tonight’s hostel near Sonora, Ky.

This afternoon, at 4:23 p.m., I rejoined the Eastern time zone for the first time since June 10.

Total mileage today was 73. As always, I hope to increase that for tomorrow. About 165 miles remain on map 10, but Kentucky spills over into map 11. It should take four to five more days to leave Kentucky and head into Virginia. I will give a mileage update at the end of map 10.

I am planning now on the best way to return to Rowan from near Damascus, Va.

I saw plenty of tobacco today, and it remains as Kentucky’s top cash crop, followed closely by corn and wheat.

David Freeze lives in Rowan County.

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