We were just settled in for sleep when the youth pastor let us know two more cyclists were going to join us. It was dark outside and my heart bled for Aspen and Masherra as they rolled their Surlys into the basement of the church. These women are animals on their bicycles! They are both teachers keeping a tight schedule so they can finish before their school year begins again. Big miles and camping…they are heroes in my book! Next thing I knew they were heading out again in the early morning.
As I mentioned before, we have to be strategic now when it comes to lodging. We could work hard in the mountains to go 70 miles, or do a short 20, then 50 the next day…you know what we picked! It was a very hot day and we had two big climbs, but we made it to Hazard early and found wonderful hotel. Yay! Laundry, airconditioning, pizza delivered and books. It feels wonderful! It was a short ride, but a good one.
Hazard is the center of coal mining activity in the area and most of the land in the around Hazard is owned by coal companies. We learned that in the early 20th century land agents took advantage of the mountain people in the area and purchased the rights to the minerals under the ground, taking the money out of the area and leaving little money in the local coffers. It still is a very poor area.
Mike and I both slept great and left early the next morning to beat the heat.