50.30 miles (Total: 774.14) Average Speed: 11.3mph Max Speed: 38mph
Everyone seems to rise from their tents around 7am and Terry instantly gets the tea going. After breakfast we get packed up and I am the last one to use the portaloo before we head off, needless to say I get an eyefull of everyone elses efforts that morning. Nice.
The roll out of Booneville is gradual, this was going to be the last real day in the Appalachian mountains before it flattens out. People have also marked our destination Berea as the turning point for Kentucky as a state. Apparently its night and day compared to the feral dog, coal truck, trash filled eastern Kentucky. The scenery improves as we strain our way over the last few climbs of this part of the trip and arrive in Mckee for a lunch stop.
We pass by the fast food chains in search of Opals, a home cooking place recommened by a women we asked. Everyone except Cooper goes for the Philly Hoagie (a philly cheesesteak basically). We are still in a dry county and after asking around town soon realise we would be going another night without a celebratory drink. Its hard to get my head around cycling for 3 days now through places that don’t have any alcohol, not a single bar, not a can or bottle to be seen in any store, zilch, zero, nada.
On the way to Berea Joe gets a flat, the shoulders on the roads have been terrible and filled with rubble and junk. He pumps it up for to last him through to Berea. We arrive an negotiate our way through town to find the motels towards the intersection. I push for the Super 8 because of its pool and breakfast, a price of $55 split between 4 guys is not a bad deal. For supper we head over the road to a nice Mexican restaurant, I get the Burrito Mariachi and devour it along with the rice and refried beans in seconds. Its a great night and looking around the table its amazing to see how each of us has came together and bonded so quickly into a tight cycling family. We know Cooper will be leaving us at the end of Kentucky as he takes a break for a wedding before continuing the trip and he admitted his dissapointment of the impending departure. Like me starting the trip solo he expected to meet and ride with people along the trail but didn’t anticipate forming such strong friendships.