Sometimes it is hard to motivate after a rest day, and I thought getting going would be especially difficult given how hard we had been pushing.
Despite fretful sleep, we woke early. After stuffing ourselves on the complimentary breakfast at the hotel (which, surprisingly, was better
than many as far as free breakfasts go), we were out and ready to roll by 8:30 am. As I gingerly set myself down on the bike seat, I was pleased to discover the seat felt pretty good, and as we pedaled out of town, the legs also felt fresh. I guess, the rest day (plus two solid rest nights) worked their magic.
It could also be that the day was gorgeous — sunny, but cool with a gentle NE tailwind. And the Trace was equally gorgeous — smooth black pavement, small rolling hills, and little traffic.
Plus, we had the easiest day yet–just 71 miles to the campground straight along the Trace. No need to hunt and forage for food; we had done that yesterday. So instead, we pedaled along chatting idly about life, work, and how cool this trip is. Oh, and in doing so, we realized we had forgotten to take care of some house/work related issues, so we used a sunny spot to do some “office work” and make some calls for about a half an hour. I guess real life creeps in every so often, even when you are on vacation.
As we were finishing up this “work”, we met a couple, Rick and Joanie, from Alaska who were driving a small rv around the South–starting in Texas and ending up in New Orleans, where they would store the RV and heD back to face Anchorage’s winter. In classic small world (Kevin Bacon 6 degrees) fashion, Mike and Rick soon discovered that a common colleague/friend connection. My mom, Jo, is the master of this — she once ran into our neighbors in the restroom at the Continental Divide. And legend has it that a college friend recognized her voice during a darkened cave tour. Whenever it happens, it always amazes me that with billions of people, billions upon billions of connections exist just under the surface. All we need to do is scratch lightly upon the surface of a stranger’s life to reveal them.
Given the short day, we also took the opportunity to stop at various points of interest, including a section of the Old Trace called the sunken trace.
Despite these stops, we pulled into Jeff Busby campground around 3:30 pm. With the sun still high in the sky, we almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Luckily, the campground was filled with friendly people. A Canuck from Montreal came by and admired the bike (apparently he had bought a tandem at one time and it wasn’t a hit with the wife). The camphost is a gregarious Aussie, named Ian, and there’s two other bikers in camp: a solo biker on a loop from Huntsville, AL to Natchez, MS, and the solo dude on his hoopdy again. This campground is one of the most pleasant we’ve been in so far. I guess we deserve a little easy riding. But don’t worry, we aren’t going through too soft. Tomorrow will be longer (although Mike informs me that the tailwinds should be even stronger)!
Till then, we are fat and happy and safely tucked away in the green tent, ready to sleep at the late late hour of 8:03 pm.