Smooth sailing: short day to Berea, KY

Friday May 29, 2009, 24 miles (39 km) – Total so far: 811 miles (1,305 km)

After a superb breakfast, we packed up all our stinky stuff and headed out.  This was planned as a short day, so we relaxed.  The cool weather (in the 60s), light west wind, and especially the easy terrain all helped.  We were in cruise mode up the Red Lick Creek valley.  (Bonus points to any reader who can explain what a “lick” is!)  It’s a broad valley, apparently used for grass and hay.  I managed the first 16 miles without dropping down to my small chain ring (lower gears).

Red Lick Creek valley

We hit the town of Big Hill, and were back in suburbia.  I’ve developed a theory that you can tell country people from surburbanites by how they drive.  Country dwellers know they live out of town, and it’s going to take a while to get there.  Suburbanites may have moved out of the city, but they seem to believe you can make X miles in exactly X minutes, regardless of the grade, curves, switchbacks, coal trucks, tractors, children playing, school zones, or (dare I say it?) BICYCLES!  There seems to be a mentality that each country home should have its own interstate built directly to the driveway.  Nasty six miles to the town (not the city limits) of Berea.  Other than the traffic, the road wasn’t bad.  And no coal trucks (although there was one gravel truck…).

Big Hill for which the town was named

My folks had arranged to meet us for the night, so we checked into the motel, did laundry, ate, and relaxed.  After rain the last three days, some laundry detergent was certainly in order.  And it’s always good to see family!

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