May 5, 2001

5/5/01 Harrington Lake, KY

42.2 miles

This morning, after some good waffles at the Pantry Restaurant, we headed back to "old town" Berea to do some exploring.

There are a ton of craft shops in town. We stopped a the Log House Craft Gallery that sells crafts made by the students at Berea College. The 1500 students pay no tuition, but work 10-15 hours/week on campus in its many work programs, including ceramics, weaving, woodworking, and iron works. The gallery itself was a timber frame building originally built for the weaver's looms. Good simple crafts and products!

As we rode out of town, I thought I was in Kansas. The road before us was straight and seemed to stretch on for miles. When we rode through farm land, it was hot, but relatively flat. But when we cut across streams, the terrain was hilly, but usually shaded.

How much farther in this heat?

Pat at Miller's Grocery told us a few stories about past cyclists while we filled our bodies with much-needed fluids. Everyone in the store was hoping for rain, but said it was pretty unpredictable.

We stopped again at a convenience store near Bryantsville. The teenage girl behind the counter couldn't believe we biked from Berea, let alone from Yorktown, VA. "I can't even ride around the block!" she said. It was kind of sad that she thought that was perfectly acceptable.

Traffic seemed at its worst as we rode through town, probably weekend lake traffic. Because we were headed for a campground on Harrington Lake, we thought our last miles would be downhill. Our mistake! Even though today was relatively short, the heat was definitely sapping our strength. I was glad when we rode up to the office at the Chimney Rock RV Park.

Harold and Kathy Williams had just taken over the Park and were still trying to adjust to seeing cyclists end up here. The lucky thing for us was that they were throwing a Kentucky Derby party with tons of food and a big-screen TV to watch the 127th running of the Derby. Needless to say, Mike and I ate, ate, and ate some more. I took a walk down to the lake just to make my stomach feel a little better. During the race, I ate a little bit more!

"Run for the Roses!"

The whole place seems like a big family picnic. Mike and I were minor celebrities because of our bike trips. But we were encouraged to join in as much as possible.

As the mosquitoes try to find a way into my tent tonight, I'll go to sleep with the Derby party going strong with country music karaoke. Looking at an e