Hank – Earworm alert! I forgot to tell you that my daughter said we should be singing this song in West Virginia. Ready?
Almost heaven, West Virginia… Go ahead and take it from there.
Before leaving the Lowe Hotel I met Zak McLamb, the bass player for Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, a gospel/bluegrass band. They played at the concert last night and I also heard them practicing upstairs. Zak thought our adventure was so cool and was very impressed with us. When he learned I like bluegrass music he gave me a copy of the band’s latest CD. I offered to pay but he insisted. That was kind of him.
Today we defied conventional wisdom and took US Highway 35 most of the way to Teays Valley, WV. Rather than follow quieter roads that ran alongside the Kanawha River, we went with heavy traffic and quite likely more elevation gain. We worked up a big sweat on some long climbs. Then the road went from four lanes and wide shoulders to two lanes and a narrow shoulder with rumble strip taking up most of that for 14 miles. So that was intense.
When it went back to four lanes we had the option to follow another quiet road that ran along the river. Again, we chose poorly and stuck with the main highway. We ended up with a lot more elevation gain, too. What a relief it was to finish up for the day. We hadn’t eaten a decent meal all day so we took care of that before checking into the hotel at Panera. Fortunately, the place was slow so there were no other patrons to offend with our body funk.
After that we checked in and showered. I feel so much better now. We’re relaxing the rest of the evening and watching the St Louis Blues-Boston Bruins game. St Louis can win the Stanley Cup tonight.
Kathy – Hilly West Virginia made us work for our 38 miles today. Temps were in the low 80s with lots of humidity and an occasional bit of light rain. The rain felt good to cool us down. We climbed the beginning and end of our day with total elevation at 2,187 feet (via Fitbit). The middle of our ride today was just small rollers which was a welcome relief. However we had a limited shoulder for 14 miles. During this time the head and side winds were blowing like crazy as cars and trucks got very close to us while passing doing 50-70 mph. The trucks blew us about with each passing. It was very stressful getting through these 14 miles. My hands were cramping from holding on to the bike so much to keep it upright and avoid going into (or blown into) traffic on our very narrow shoulder that we could ride on. By the way, shame on the West Virginia transportation department for putting the rumble strips right smack in the middle of our shoulder area. This makes it very hard to ride away from traffic. Rumble strips are best when placed right near the solid white line, this gives us right side shoulder space to ride in away from traffic. Obviously they don’t ride bikes. 🙄🤪🙄🤪🙄
Our views today were mainly beautiful lush and green countrysides. I could look at these views all day long, but I had to monitor traffic, debris, and dead animals on the side of the road more than I would have liked to today. We were kinda\ of tired today after all the climbing with 85 & 95 pound bikes in the warm temps. Happy to arrive safely at our destination.
We were also pretty hungry after five hours of cycling and nothing much in our guts. So we stopped by a Panera restaurant as soon as we arrived in town. The hotel was a half mile away but we were too hungry to check in and clean up first. Lucky for us they didn’t kick us out because we were smelling up the place with our sweaty bodies. I enjoyed a fresh salad and a little soup whereas Hank had a healthy sandwich. After our meal we rolled on over to our hotel in Teays Valley, West Virginia. We both felt much better after getting cleaned up. We worked hard today, and are happy to be done today. Tomorrow we ride into Charleston, West Virginia!
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