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  • Writer's pictureAmulya Aluru

Day 12: Who let the dogs (and other animals) out??

Friday, June 14th, 2024

Breaks Interstate Park -> Hazard, KY

77.9 Miles. 4255 Ft Elevation gain

Our first welcome into Kentucky after exiting Breaks Interstate Park was a beautiful rock formation along the road.

One of many beautiful rock formations we passed.

Our second welcome was a dog chasing Jess and I off the road. We had been warned by previous Spokes teams to beware of angry dogs that rival cars in the terror they induce. Frantically, we had purchased air horns to protect ourselves. But alas, we only ordered four for a team of eight cyclists and in our distribution, Jess and I did not end up with air horns (spoiler alert: no one on the team ever sounded their horn, but people came close). 

Anyway, we turned a corner 3 miles into the ride and were immediately met with menacing barks. I was too frazzled to get a photo, so you’ll have to visualize our experience. A medium-sized white dog started running at us. Jess swerved her bike and rode into the bushes on the side of the road. The dog set its sights on me, when I let out a high-pitched shriek that stunned it long enough for me to join Jess. As we recuperated, a nice lady in a car stopped next to the dog to protect us while we put Jess’s chain back on her bike, which had fallen off in her encounter with the bushes, and quickly made our exit.

Thinking I was safe from animal encounters, I cruised along a downhill for a couple miles when I saw a small, yellow, furry thing running at me from the side of the road. I watched, too fast to stop, as it ricocheted off my front gears to my pedal, and then hit the ground. I was going too fast to stop, so I continued, hoping that I didn’t just severely injure what Sophia later described as Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

To cancel out the life I may have just hurt, Rebecca and I tried to help a turtle cross the road around mile 20. I went to pick it up by the shell and it immediately swerved its head around to bite me.

The turtle that just didn’t want our help crossing the road.

After multiple unsuccessful attempts at helping the turtle, we wished it luck and continued with our journey. Before our lunch meeting point, I treated myself to a bussin blueberry biscuit from Hardee’s that made me slightly nauseous but was completely worth it.

The aforementioned blueberry biscuit I ate in under 2 minutes.

We had lunch at the Hemphill Community Center, where some of our members learned about the history of coal mining in the region and how it has subsided recently.

A beautiful mural of coal miners at the Hemphill Community Center.

Our next reward was 30 miles later at a dairy bar where we had some yummy milkshakes and ice cream.

Selfie taken after demolishing some tasty ice cream. Mandatory 0.5x photo of the blog!

After a slightly scary few miles on KY-15, we made it to our host for the night, a Bed & Breakfast in Hazard! We ate some amazing pizza (thank you Sherry for ordering) and prepared for our learning festival the next day.


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1 Comment

Jun 19

yay 0.5x

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