Still alive, despite the best attempts by the dogs and the coal trucks. To be fair, the truck drivers do generally give a very wide berth, but its still hair-raising when the 60 tonne wagons hurtle past at 55mph a few feet away. I haven't bought the pepper spray yet as there hasn't been anywhere to buy it from. There are a fair few garages, grocery stores a few cafe type places but as for anything else, there's not much. Found a Dairy Queen yesterday. Sadly it was another fast food burger joint. And if I had had to do a blind food-testing on what I was eating I wouldn't have known what it was. It wasn't hideous, just unidentifiable.
Stayed in a very dismal looking motel last night, as the camp sites have dried up and I haven't yet tried the knocking on either church or random strangers doors. Two lads I met yesterday, Matt and Zack going east, had only done that and had been pretty successful. Apparently the further west you get the more hospitable the locals. One thing about the hotels and motels is they let me take my bike in the room. Perhaps it reflects the standard of premise I'm staying at. Although as hideous as the motel looked, it had a bath!!! A bath!!!!! Bliss. It wasn't particularly big but it was good and I managed to wash my very minging gear too. Thee's no way this clothing is going to last to Oregon without disintegrating. It's wet with sweat for about 10 hours a day before it gets a rinse through, dries on the back of the bike for the next day, then the cycle goes on again. And it's rank now. I dread to think what I'll be like in 2,3, 6 weeks time.
I think I might have run out of hills...at last! Well, until the Rockies, but they aren't as bad as the Appalacians I'm told. I'd be very unhappy if I was cycling east and had Virginia at the end of my trip, when I'd just cycled 3700 miles then I had to go up and down these endless hills. At least they are out of the way for me. Famous last words.
I can't say I've noticed much difference between Virginia and Kentucky, apart for the reducing hills. It's still very green and forested, less money around I think. Lots of cars just rusting into the ground. The gene pool might be slightly smaller here.
I still haven't got my mobile working properly. I need to be next to a landline so the equivalent to Orange can phone me back then conduct some tests on my phone. Sounds easy. It's just getting next to a phone that works at the same time as my mobile having reception. Ha. Not happened yet. And this is the side of the country with good reception.
Tonights stop will hopefully be Berea, which is artistic according to Matt and Zack from yesterday. I might have to have the morning off tomorrow so I can get my clothes washed in a real washing machine and actually look around one of these towns as opposed to just eating the crappy food and zooming off.
Still not seen a bear. Not even a dead one. Lots of dead raccoons, possums (I think - or are they Australian?), a few more snakes, deer...seem to have run out of groundhogs. Perhaps they are just faster runners in Kentucky. And not one advert for Kentucky Bourbon (yes Janet, the drink not the biscuit...lol).