September 26, Day 86 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
The cycling today was excellent. Weather again was exquisite, topping out in the mid-80s with not a cloud in the sky and little humidity. We were treated to several steep climbs that raised us onto ridges, where we could look for long distances at the rolling terrain, sometimes covered with trees and other times with fields. The views were well worth the climbs. Once on the ridges, it seemed we swerved and rolled for miles to keep atop the ridge, and keep the lovely perspective that offered many a panoramic view.
Some of the roads we encountered today were narrow enough to pass as one-way streets. One in particular came with an incredibly steep descent, with curves placed near the base of the decline, and a steep climb to match on the other side. We were thankful that we met no cars that could have made a perilous ride even more so.
We were still in “tobacco road,” and it was again evident today with fields in various stages of harvesting, and more sheds than we’ve seen yet. Many of the sheds we cycled by were filled with plants hanging to dry and cure. The unmistakable odor created an internal struggle. Having lost two close relatives to smoking related illnesses, I feel conflicted with this feature of the Kentucky landscape. It’s an undeniable facet of an area that is physically appealing and filled with friendly and supportive people.