I had planned all week to reach Bardstown – about 100 miles from Berea – on Saturday, and then have a rest day. I had stuck to my plan all week, no problem, but I was severly tempted when I woke up this morning to take an early brake! I eventually got out of bed, and was on the road by 07.45. With today’s stage came a new map – I’m now on map 3/12.
It was a lot cooler today, which made the cycling easier. Despite the fall in temperature, however, this morning was a nightmare. My maps are a combination of road and OS maps, and so heavily rely on roads being marked – todays route involved a lot of short streches on different roads, leading out into the countryside. Mid-morning, the roadsigns became non-existant, which made navigation almost impossible – I only realized that I was going wrong when I found the distances displayed by my cycle computer didn’t tally with my maps! While lost I came across a church with the slogan ‘Lost? Free GPS inside: God’s plan of salvation’ which in hindsight is quite funny, but at the time did nothing to improve my mood. I managed to get back on track, via some tiny lanes, some rediculously steep hills and a pack of about 10 dogs that followed me for several slow miles. The hills on my route correction were by far the toughest grades so far – but a chasing pack of dogs provided good motivation.
Once I was back on track, and back on slightly bigger roads, I made good time and towards Harrodsburg – today’s half way point. The scenery today was beautiful – it was rural with rolling hills and lots of cattle. It turns out that dogs are not the only animals that the people in this area leave to their own devices – it was not unusual during today’s ride to see cows in the road.
I stopped for lunch at a tiny village shop in the middle of nowhere, and got talking to the woman who runs it. I told her about my trip, and she told me about a Dutchman travelling the same route as me who had stopped at her shop. He had started on the west coast, reached the east coast, and then turned around and headed back the way he had come!
It was great cycling this afternoon: the terrain had flattened out a bit, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I have reached the famous ‘blugrass region’ of Kentucky now – some people claim that it has a blue hue all year round, others say it’s only blue at some times of year – i’m going to reserve judgement until i’ve seen more. I decided to go off route, and stick to slightly bigger roads this afternoon in order to avoid another navigational catastrophe. This paid off, and I reached Bardstown by 18.00 – having had a good days ride, but feeling in need of a rest.