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Route through Kentucky almost complete despite some harrowing roads

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

After Thursday’s sojourn to the Lincoln sites, I was pretty sure that I had a plan in place to rejoin the normal route. What worried me was how wide and safe the roads might be.
I left Springfield, Mo. at about 6:30 a.m. and headed out on Highway 150 East. This was the same road that I went to Springfield on, and I hoped that the trip from Springfield to Danville would be a lot better.
For 15 miles, there was a good shoulder and very little traffic, but the shoulder ran out near a town called Perryville. Traffic picked up and it looked touchy again.
But I got the best news. On the other side of town, there was the Jane Todd Goodall Trail, which was an even better wide shoulder that took me all the way to Danville. Then bike lanes took me through the town, before I turned onto Highway 52 toward Lancaster.
That was a tight curvy road, but as I passed through Lancaster the road started to look like an interstate. Bottom line, I made it to Berea, Ky. and completed map 10. The route turned out to be safe and sound and easier than I thought,
After a short tour of some of the history of the town, I knew there was a connection to Salisbury.
Daniel Boone explored the Wilderness Trail in 1775 from the Salisbury area to this part of Kentucky. His name is all over town and there are monuments dedicated to him in the historic district.
Now back on the trail, with map 10 done, I wanted to get started on map 11. This will be my last map before turning toward home.
Map 11 leaves Berea and heads out into the hills quickly. Immediately I headed for a town called Big Hill. I remember a 10K that I ran in Hendersonville that had an arrow on the road pointing toward ‘the hill.’
This was similar because there had to be a mountain that stood out as significant. “The Big Hill’”left the valley and headed straight up, and my goal was to climb it.
Early in the trip, I couldn’t have climbed this mountain.
The grade was significant, but I made it to the top. Then several more climbs followed until I could get a slight downhill to McKee, Ky.
That is my home for the night after 85 miles.
So far, total mileage covered on the whole trip is 3,520 miles. As planned, I want to head toward Damascus, Va. then work a good route back to Rowan. Once all is said and done, the Pacific to Atlantic Transamerica Tour should total about 4,200 miles.
Time for some ice cream.

David Freeze lives in Rowan County.

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