Bike America 2K4 Diary - June 21-23, 2004
Baylor University sophomores Chad Anderson and Drew Mitchell are spending more than half their summer bicycling 3,700 miles across the United States to raise funds and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas.
Their journey, called Bike America 2K4, will take the business majors through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia. By the time they complete their trip July 1, the students hope to have raised $37,840 - or $10 a mile - for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, where Anderson serves as a Big Brother. For more information or to donate, go to Bike America 2K4.
As they pedal across America, Anderson and Mitchell are filing a diary from the road so fellow Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni can keep up with their progress. Alums along the way are providing support and lodging for the students. (See their route here.)
Monday, June 21, 2004 - Irvine, Booneville, Hazard, KY
Well, today we woke up outside the front yard, ate some tuna and crackers for breakfast and then headed out. We didn't get on the road until about 8:30 a.m. We started to do some bigger climbs today as we got into the Appalachians. Beautiful weather today, but it got hot quick. We biked about 25 miles and ran into a retired couple from Sacramento going across to Oregon. They were very nice.
We made it to Booneville, Ky., at about noon, where we stopped in at the little restaurant and got double bacon cheeseburgers donated. We then biked down to the library where we spent a good two hours, sending in journal entries and pictures. No one here speaks English though. Just the country, hickish, talk of the country. We then biked up to the gas station which had a little restaurant inside it and we got cornbread and chicken donated.
We then biked on, 75 miles on the day because our layover in Booneville, making it to Hazard. We had stopped twice at two Dairy Bars on the way getting shakes donated, because it was stinkin' hot out today. When we got into Hazard, Ky., we tried to get a hotel but all three were booked for the night, so about 9:30 p.m. we headed down to the Wendy's and got a meal donated. At 10:30 p.m. now, we are up the hill a ways, camping underneath an awning where the centipedes are crawlin' next to us. No tent tonight and it should be interesting. Night.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - Hazard, Hindman, Elkhorn City, KY
We woke up early today in Hazard, Ky., after a long night beneath the awning at the business. At about 5 a.m., cars started pulling in the driveway and I was able to fall asleep, but at 5:45 a.m., I woke up with a jump as someone tapped on my shoulder. I looked up to see a security guard was there, telling us we should probably move before more people came. We got up and threw our stuff together and biked down the road to the "Huddle House" where we got huge omelets and biscuits and gravy donated. A huge rain hit but luckily we were inside and it passed by the time we finished.
After waking up at 5:45 a.m., we got on the road and headed out by 7:30 a.m.. We stopped in Hindman, Ky., at the nice library and updated some stuff then headed over to the Dairy Queen and ate, then to the Subway and got some sandwiches to go. We then biked on, making it to Melvin, Ky., where we stopped in at a little place and got a 16" pizza donated with milkshakes.
We then biked on, sunny and humid out today as the grades got steeper and climbing a little harder. Some difficult climbs, that people we passed said were unbearable, but Chad and I climbed with ease, but probably because we were trained and ready for them by this point. We biked through some pretty nice areas today and ate at another Dairy Bar where we got shakes donated. These Dairy Bars are nice to have every few miles.
We made it 86 miles and into Elkhorn City, Ky., by 6:30 p.m., where we stopped in a nice restaurant and got sweet tea, double bacon cheeseburgers, and fries donated. While in there, a girl walked up to us, in normal clothes, and had in her hand a map just like ours. She was going from Yorktown, Va., to San Francisco and doing it by herself. She had her mom with her the past few days and was on day 11 of her trip. She was doing it to raise money for cancer. She was a very awesome girl, and Chad and I chatted with her for awhile while she wore her orange Virginia Tech hat. She was a cute girl, and Chad and I said we wouldn't mind turning back and riding with her the rest of the way back to San Francisco. Her name was Angela Carr, and Chad and I have a lot of respect for her and what she was doing, but it was fun giving her advice as she gave us some on the Appalachians.
As we walked outside, a guy came up to us and told us to come over to the weekly story telling time in the city. It was by a caboose and tons of people were there, kids and their parents. We got there just a few minutes too late, but as everyone was leaving, Chad and I were swarmed with the people and kids. They asked us so many questions and were so impressed, we kind of felt like movie stars. After a while talking with all the people, we biked up to the park to see if we couldn't find a nice awning to camp under, since we gained a great amount of love for awnings, since it rains every night and our tent doesn't like to keep us very dry. There were some good spots, but the police officer who was walking around the park trail said we couldn't camp anywhere we wanted to so we decided to high tail it down to a church before it got too late. Chad wanted to take a swim in the park, but it was only for life-saving people so we couldn't. Oh well.
We biked to the First Baptist Church, where we just caught the lady as she was leaving the parking lot of the church. She went home to grab her husband to see if we could camp under the church awning. He came back and led us to this really nice awning. He came back again later, letting us know the police knew we were there and we should be safe for the night. There are supposed to be thunderstorms tonight but hopefully this nice awning covers us nicely. Peace.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - Elkhorn City, KY, Haysi, Council, Meadowview, VA
Well, another day down and a crazy one it was. We woke up today about 8:45 a.m. underneath the awning of the old abandoned church/house and ate the Subway sandwiches we were given the day before for breakfast. It was raining pretty good out and had been since about 3 a.m., but we were dry. We figured we had to bike on though, so we downed the whole bag of bite-size Milky Way bars and were on our way. It was good because we had uphill at first, meaning the rain wasn't hitting us as hard.
We made it up to Breaks Interstate Park and went to the beautiful lookout. It was an amazing view, as the clouds and fog were heavy, looking across the canyon and down into the river. We then biked on, making it into Haysi, Va., where they had a Subway. We stopped in and got two 6" sandwiches donated. We left and biked on, climbing and dropping all day, but it was hard going downhill today because it was raining, and raining hard, all day and the roads were slick. When you get goin' 35 mph down in the rain, it's like shooting a waterhose straight into your eyes, but you gotta keep them open otherwise you can't see and plow into the oncoming traffic. It rained pretty much all day as everything on us was soaking wet. We were also starting to smell like mold.
We made it down into Council, Va., at a beautiful park where we ate some granola bars and other snacks we had left from Chad's uncle. We biked on until we got to Honaker, Va., a busy little city where we stopped in and ate a late lunch of omelets. We then biked on, and stopped at the little library there, but we couldn't access any of our emails or anything so we biked on. Beautiful country out here in the Appalachians. By the way, Chad and I sang "Na na na na......na na na na......hey hey hey.....goodbye" as we left Kentucky and did our traditional state exit on the border.
We were hoping to get to Damascus, Va., but made it to Meadowview about 7:30 p.m. and decided we should probably stop. We found a little Italian restaurant where the girl in there donated a pizza to us. While in there, a man named Eric Allison was waiting to pick up a pizza and was talking with us. We looked muddy and wet and he offered to let us come to his house and shower and clean up. We gladly accepted, now with six days under our belt since the last shower and the same clothes for the last five days.
As we left, the street we had to take was flooded, and a television news crew was out there filming it, and Bill, the town hangout guy, was with us. They filmed us as we crossed the river, and as we went to Eric's house, the water was moving quickly and about 2 feet deep. We took showers and were able to see the dirt fill the shower floor. Our skin afterward felt normal again. While Chad was in there, Eric and I talked as we watched "The Simple Life" and enjoyed talking about the last season and this one. He was an amazing guy and such a blessing to us. We finished up, now about 9:45 p.m., put on our wet socks again and biked back down to the school we passed about a mile earlier and noticed the nice awning on it. It was supposed to rain so we wanted to have good cover from it.
We set up our sleeping bags in the back and are now on our way to sleep. 75 miles on the day and a crazy day it was, a wet one at that. It should be good sleeping though and hopefully someone will come by and wake us up early in the morning. Night.