Rough River Dam State Park to Utica Fire Station, Kentucky. (48 mi.) Mile 1084More of the same only hotterThis morning when we headed out of the campground with the Helms, we could tell it was going to be even hotter than yesterday. It was 93 degrees in the shade before 11 am, so we decided to stop checking after that.Three of the four of us opted to wear long sleeves in order to avoid sunburn and direct radiant heat. This was OK when cruising along fast enough for ventilation, but overdressed for grinding up the hills, which were placed at the end of the day as usual. This made today much like yesterday, leapfrogging with Peter and Maren from one small, cool country store to the next. The countryside remains rural, with lush, green grass and high humidity.Everyone seemed preoccupied with food today. Peter and Maren wanted a big salad and watermelon, and Mike and I wanted ice cream.
We have been traveling with Germans who have been bicycling many hard miles in 90+ degree heat through regions that prohibit the sale of beer. They have been good sports about it, but today Peter started dreamily describing the beer back home, the size of the cold mugs, the frothy head..... Thinking about a pint of cold, German beer was more than any of us could take, so Mike rode off route 3 miles to pick up a 6-
pack in the next county while the rest of us bought more watermelon and ingredients for a big salad. This added quite a bit of weight to our loads, so we were completely overheated and exhausted when we arrived in Utica looking for accommodations. Utica is very small, without a campground or motel.We had heard there might be somewhere to stay associated with the Fire Station, and when we inquired, we were immediately ushered to the station, given the run of the place, shown where to park the bikes next to the fire engines and EMT rigs, and where to take showers. Here in Utica, many people remember well the thousands of bicyclists that came through and camped here in the Bikecentennial year of 1976. The community has been hospitable to cyclists ever since.
We bought a bag of ice at the nearby mini-
mart, chilled the beer, and made a large salad. This evening we sat around the table and made a toast to good friends and tail winds. Peter summed it up by saying, "This is what adventure is all about. I feel good!"