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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

July 1, 2007      Miles 43      Total miles 3543      Ended at: Hazard, Kentucky

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The other day when I was outside of Hodgenville and stopped by Abraham Lincoln's childhood home, I was a little disappointed that the log cabin wasn't actually the one he lived in. Honest Abe was born just outside of Hodgenville in a different cabin. I was talking to an old man about all that one day and he said, "Oh, Lincoln was born in about four different places in Kentucky." He was referring to the fact that everybody wants to claim some fame around here. My friend, Ron, went to see the cabin in which Lincoln was born. It is inside another building. When they tried to reconstruct the cabin in the building, it wouldn't fit. They whittled off a considerable amount off each log to make the cabin lower so it would fit.
This is rugged country but still the homes are well kept. I mentioned earlier that nearly every country home has a very nice vegetable garden. This one was very pretty but the picture does not do it justice.


Todays ride was somewhat more difficult than yesterday. There were more hills and they were steep. Most of them were 10%. I expect when the roads were built they had a 10% grade limit on them. The hills are also longer but there is always relief on the downhill ride. Also, the roads I was on today were very nice and smooth. The thing I don't like is the fact there are no shoulders. Since it is Sunday, there were no coal trucks on the road. I will have to deal with them starting tomorrow. My brother, David, and I were discussing coal trucks on the phone last night. He said they can only go up a certain grade. I talked to three men this morning and they said those coal trucks can go up any road in Kentucky. I am hoping the grade is no more than 10%. Strip mining is an ugly way to obtain coal but it is a very efficient way. I saw a whole mountainside missing today because of strip mining coal. I couldn't get a good shot of it because it was so far away but I am sure I will get plenty of better opportunities.
Again, you see a church next to a cemetary. The big church is in Buckhorn. They were having a service in it when I took this picture. The windows were open and I could hear the pastor. The log church was built one hundred years ago this year.


Yesterday, I had twelve dogs which came out into the road and chased me. Today, there were none. I don't count the ones which stand on the side of the road and bark. Today, as I was climbing up a very steep hill, I saw this man going down. I then saw him coming back up and he passed me and pulled over by that white dumpster looking thing. When I approached these two houses, there were three very protective Rotweiller's barking like crazy and trying to get to me but they were all three on chains. When I approached this man, Gary Smith, he said he got worried about me when he saw me coming up the hill because one of the Rotweiller's had broken its chain several times and he wanted to make sure I was okay and didn't have trouble with the dogs. This is just another example of the kindness others have shown me. They are not his dogs but he lives near here.


I have been asked to address how I handle the calls of nature. Well, just like everybody else, when you gotta go .. you gotta go. When I was out west it was not a problem. There were times when I wouldn't see a car or a house for 15 minutes or more and there were plenty of opportune moments. That isn't the case here in the east where traffic can be very hectic. This is one of those times when being born with that Y chromosome is very handy.


I took this picture for two reasons. One is, my oldest son is named Perry and I was reminded of him when I saw the sign. Secondly, the mile markers start at 0 at each county line, which is different than most states I have been in.
My riding distances through the Appalachian Mountains will be determined by how tired I am at the end of each day but also by what towns lie ahead. You can see by these two photos what nearly all the areas look like. There just is no way to try and pitch a tent in this type growth or on the very steep hillsides. Most likely I will stay in Pippa Passes tomorrow because there are no places to stay for about 60 miles after that. Pippa Passes is only 30 or 35 miles from here.