Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 115 ~ WE QUIT! ~ JUST KIDDING...

Our Road Angels Doug and Alice

This sticker on Alice's car let's everyone know she and Doug are "Friends of Coal" though Alice agrees there is a right and a wrong way to mine coal. Doug is retired from the business and Alice's daddy was also a coal miner.

Gregory gives a thumbs up after we agree that the show must go on!

Date: November 11, 2009 Veteran's Day

From: Pound, Virginia

To: Lebanon,Virginia

Route: Hwy. 83 to Hwy. 80 (Rosedale) then Hwy. 19 to Lebanon

Miles Today: 0 miles (approx. 75 miles by car)

TOTAL MILES: 3,284 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cloudy and Cold

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (Gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois, 4 Kentucky (2 Gifted from Beth and Garry Feltus, one gifted from cousin John, one from Hwy. 127)

Flats: 9

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

Thank you to those of you that left encouraging comments after reading yesterday's blog. Lucky for us our "Road Angels" Alice and Doug Hayes came to the rescue today. They arrived at our motel at 7:30 A.M. despite the fact that their own home (as well as about 160 other homes in their area) suffered a power outage. They also cancelled their morning plans so they could drive us all the way to Rosedale (they initially agreed to take us the 27 miles to Haysi). This brought us back to the Trans America route and to our mail stop. Unfortunately, the motel in Rosedale was up for sale and closed and we couldn't reach anyone at the Methodist church that hosted cyclists. Because it was Veteran's Day we couldn't pick up our package and ride on down the road so we were forced to stay 8 more miles down the road in the town of Lebanon. Doug and Alice were so amazingly understanding about the whole thing despite the fact that the situation put them way behind schedule to make Doug's doctor appointment back in Pikeville. We tried to give them gas money but they refused and there are just no words that can express how much their kindness and generosity has meant. They really played a big part in getting our trip back on track. Thank you!

Our Carriage House Motel was yet another older and musty smelling place. It definitely wouldn't have been our choice especially for a place where we had to spend half a day, and a night, but we made due. Right after we rolled the bike in the room I gathered up the dirty laundry and headed down the road to the nearby laundromat. I dislike doing laundry but it was a great way to get some alone time and none of us were over yesterday's incident as of yet. I put the clothes in the washer, went next door to McDonald's for a coffee and then one more door down to Rite Aid where I selected a People magazine for some mindless reading. Back at the laundromat I relaxed to the hum of washers and dryers. I really wasn't looking forward to going back to the musty room and the uncomfortable silence.

Once I returned we all decided we were hungry and could use some fresh air so we walked across the street to the Movie Gallery to rent a couple of movies and then we walked about 4 miles round trip to eat a late lunch at the Bonanza Steakhouse. The brisk air (around 50 degrees) did us good and it was heartwarming to see all of the Veterans getting their free buffet in honor of their service to our country.

Though we were still avoiding the inevitable family meeting regarding our trip, we cuddled up together in front of our iMac to watch Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Escape to Witch Mountain. Gregory and Mike followed that up with the third installment of The Mummy series while I tried to nap. After Gregory and Mike returned from getting a snack at McDonald's we did finally have our family meeting. We all basically agreed that the previous day was horrible and expressed our concerns about the weather and our ability to make it over the upcoming mountains. We focused on the importance of coming together as a team and that we all needed to be in agreement if we were going to push on. Mike read the Field Notes on the Adventure Cycling Map and got us excited about what we still had to come and we realized that if we just made a big push the next two days we'd be over the worst climbing and have a reprieve before we had to think about conquering the killer climb up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We all agreed we didn't want to quit and that if we made our minds up to do it that we would. I went to bed praying for good weather, our stamina and our continued good luck. I think there was still some underlying doubt as to our ability to continue with the same drive and determination we'd had up to this point but we were at least willing to give it a go. It took me a long while to go to sleep and it was a restless night for all of us. Gregory climbed into bed with us in the middle of the night and Mike was up around 1:30 A.M. taking Advil for a toothache. He ended up in Gregory's bed after being crowded out of his own.

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