Day 4: Lookout to Hindman, KY - Stealth Camping Not Advised

You can be told different strategies and theories on how to deal with a problem in your life. Yet, in the moment, decisions are made based on instinct and fear. How would you handle your first dog attack?

 Donna and Doug wringing out a wet towel from our hostel accommodations

Donna and Doug wringing out a wet towel from our hostel accommodations

The Daily Summary
60 miles
Date Written: 05/27/2017

Like Smokey the Bear setting the level of fire danger for the day, the group’s vulnerability status felt CRITICAL. We have been warned by cyclist after cyclist about the vicious dogs that wait in Kentucky.

The Route
The morning began with several hill climbs and then a giant descent down the highway. Loosely spaced construction cones separated us from brand new pavement. I took my bike to the center of the highway to enjoy the smooth ride.

You take a left to begin climbing through the valley and T (Taylor, fyi) disappeared. I refilled both water bottles. She still did not show up.

Tips for the road: To flag down a driver take both of your arms and wave them over your head. This is “alert” verse “hello:”

“Yeah, she is with someone else fixing her bike it looked like. Not too far back.”

Annalisa came around the corner and shared the news that T had another flat. Four in four days. How consistent.

 The lookout is one reason to ride

The lookout is one reason to ride

The First Dog Attack

And then the moment happened…

I got ahead of Annalisa and T and rounded the corner of the hill. The dog stood on the porch, set forty feet behind the bend, and locked eyes. The race is on.

You are foolish to think a dog is slower than you. Have you seen a dog race? Me neither. But they are fast.

The grey hound takes off in a full sprint and runs to my right. I swerve right, too.

It loops around back and is growling at my left heel; a car could be barreling towards me in the other lane and I would not notice.

We swerve to the right.

Swerve left.

Swerve right.

Sweat, sweat, sweat. I survive.

Hayter’s Gap no longer seems that bad.

Doug and Donna catch us resting at the peak of one of the longer climbs. These two are steady riders.

We have lunch in a questionably abandoned doctor’s office that appears to have a beaver logo. Who knows. The highlight of this meal is eating an entire jar of sweet pickles with T.

The Knott Historical Society

This chapter probably deserves several pages or a few entries. Let’s begin by saying that meeting people like David are why we are on this cycling adventure across America.

To get up to this retreat away from rural Kentucky begins with a challenge. Here are the rules:

  1. You must climb up the driveway and reach the house
  2. You may take a rest at the green fence

Winners get a free beer and their name in a special guest book. Intrigued? Head to Hindman, Kentucky for your chance to win.

None of us made it farther than 10 yards up the hill.

David’s House is like a scene from Twin Peaks

We push our bikes up to the front porch and wonder if this is the right location. I walk up the few steps and lean the rim of my helmet against the glass pane door. There are over twenty towels stacked up in the living room so it certainly seems like this place accommodates people.

The other objects that I take away from the momentary glimpse are stacks of storage containers to the right, mood lighting that a teenage stoner may find entrancing, a couch with a startling cat pillow, and I hear music videos playing.

A few knocks at the door. Let’s give him a call.

A description of David

An older gentleman emerges from his home with a hand held phone that has a broken off antennae – like from the early 2000s. Long slacks and a fedora compliment David's skinny frame, while he takes long breaths from the slender tube of a cigarette holder that may appear in old French films.

After the cultural adjustment, I realize that David is one of those lost souls stuck in a past era who simply loves being around people.

 From left to right: David, Erik,  T , Annalisa, Donna, Doug Front: Scavenger + Edgar the cat

From left to right: David, Erik, T, Annalisa, Donna, Doug
Front: Scavenger + Edgar the cat

A Few Words of Advice

David’s house is a welcome escape from the rural surroundings of eastern Kentucky. The accommodations themselves were lacking. He set up a little tent village that was not water proof from the storm. We dried this out and were blessed with no showers for the night.

He welcomes you to take a shower. However, the water does have a sulfur smell. Anyone with cat allergies may also have an issue going inside his house.

He does offer laundry service and that is a welcome service for any cyclist.

For the $25 or $30 he chargers per person, you may consider trying to locate a hotel and splitting the cost.

We all said that stealth camping would not be recommended for the area.

Overall, get past the initial shock value and you will find David and his accommodations welcome for the area. For us city folk, you have to suck it up a little bit for one night.

Blood Sugar Review

If you wake up on target then the rest of the day seems to be smooth.

Amanda, from the Warrior Project, peeled back the GrifGrip tape around the CGM. She then watched me pop off the transmitter to read the numbers conveniently located on the bottom. This is needed to pair the iPhone using the Dexcom app.

So going forward we should have CGM data readily available in these graphs.

You can see the evening damage done by an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet. Annalisa and I encouraged each other to avoid the rice and stick to refried beans and vegetables.

Once again, a quicker acting insulin option seems to be necessary for these huge meals.