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  • Mariela Perez-Cabarcas

Day 19: Fathers, feasts, and the friends we made along the way

63.79 miles. 1663 ft elevation gain. Lexington -> Liberty.

As Franklin mentioned, we have been trying to shift our schedule forward for some days now, and this was the day we finally did it. We were on the road a full hour ahead of when we had been leaving for the past two weeks (just in time for the time change that would come in a day or two).

We stopped for lunch in a lovely park with water features (which of course some of us ran around in) and some picnic tables on which we feasted on some barbacoa burritos (thanks to Robert for picking up something up for lunch besides our usual sardines, which we were beginning to grow tired of). We also took this time to call our fathers, since it was father's day after all. I video chatted with my dad who was very excited to show me my sleeping baby brother (pictured below).

The after-lunch ride brought us to Liberty, Kentucky, to the Cravens' home (a distant relative of Tom (Cravens) who arranged our learning festival in Hazard and found us a place to stay in Liberty on very short notice. Thanks again, Tom!). Don and Cindy welcomed us gals into their home (the guys stayed at Lewis' and Ellen's home just a couple miles down the road) and wooden ducks and a very excited Scottish Terrier named Günther greeted us at the door.

Don and Cindy treated us to a feast for dinner, featuring venison sausages (which many of us had not tried before), sloppy joes (featuring beef from the cows on the Cravens' farm), baked potatoes, and so much more. To top that all off, another Cravens' relative dropped off a beautiful homemade cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.

Our dinner conversations helped us to learn more about each other. Don, a former high school administrator, in the spirit of father's day, prompted us all to tell everyone about our fathers (and mothers too). We went around the table and told the stories of our parents and the important lessons they taught us. We even learned that it was Robert's mom's birthday so we spontaneously gave her a call and sang her happy birthday all the way from the middle of Kentucky.

After we had filled our bellies and souls, Lucas and Bonnie (son and daughter-in-law of Don and Cindy) took us on a tour of the cow fields! We didn't quite all fit in the mud buggy, so Maxwell followed behind us on his bike. We made a pit stop to catch grasshoppers and search for geodes in the creek.

The night ended back at the Cravens' house around the fire pit, where we cracked open the geodes we found and learned about fast and slow time. Liberty is about 15 miles from the border between the EDT and CDT time zones, so the former is colloquially known as fast time, and the latter as slow time. We learned that there is much mental math to be done when you live in fast time and work in slow time just to make it to work on time. The night ended there as we mentally prepared for our longest ride yet (90 whole miles!!) that would take us into slow time the next day.

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