there’s dogs in them there mountains

Just wanted to give a quick update on my progress while I’ve got a cell phone signal and I’m stopped for lunch here outside of Hazard, KY. The Appalachians are slowing me down a bit: only did a little over 70 miles yesterday before pulling in to camp at the state park in Buckhorn. Will probably only get about 50 to 60 miles in today. Planning to stop at Hindman or Pippa Passes for camping.

That’s another part of it, strategizing for a place to camp before hitting the next big climb. Looks like the camping options increase once I hit Virginia. Some hostels even. I’ll also be higher up altitude-wise with a little less up-and-down, so cell coverage may be more consistent as well.

I’m learning to scale the mountains. I think I’m better off not trying to muscle over them. I just slide down into the granny gears right as I start the climb and spin away. You can’t out muscle a mountain.

If you were the sort of kid who really enjoyed going down slides or sleding, you would really enjoy biking the Appalachians. The downhills are an amazing experience. And then you get back to work, heading for the next one.

But watch out for the dogs. It seems that everyone in the Appalachians owns at least one dog, and they don’t much believe in leashes or fences. None of them have taken a swipe at my legs yet.

Just keep a sharp eye, speak in a soothing voice, and pedal hard. Keep the mace handy, in case it comes to that.
I’d best be gettin’ on,
D Rex

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