Hello Kentucky

Day 13 – Breaks, VA to Hindman, KY – 67 miles
Day 14 – Hindman to Booneville, KY – 62 miles

As we entered into Kentucky the shoulders on the roads were nonexistent, the first few small towns we road through looked worse then some 3rd world countries, and the numbers of dogs that chased us multiplied by 10x.   We were warned that the coal truckers would run us off the road and instead of anyone saying “have a nice trip” it was all “good luck”.  When we rolled into our first overnight spot in Hindman, KY the folks at the historical society informed us it would be $20 for camping and showers (pretty good deal), then we were told that is per person (very bad deal) and we were told there would be no other options in town and that their vagrancy laws were very strict.  Kentucky wasn’t looking too good.

But then again when you find the folks that only talk negative keep on moving and you will find the right folks.  The coal truck drivers couldn’t be better, they typically move a whole lane over when they can or wait for a safe clear time to pass.  In Hindman feeling pressured to take the “only” room in town we decided to cruise through town and found Steven the youth minister at the First Baptist Church who welcomed us in with open arms at no charge; Thank You.

The second day in Kentucky is turning out to be as nice as the first as the First Presbyterian Church in Booneville, KY has a big sign welcoming us in and they have some nice flat soft grass with showers and facilities ready for us.  Kentucky is working out pretty nicely.

Abe Welcome to Kentucky

Kentucky says they are the energy providers to the USA

With as many coal trucks as we have seen, I believe it

Little guy shared half our family meal size lunch

A few friends can appreciate the towns name

Abe hanging out

Mark jamming out some Kum-Ba-Ya on the guitar

Laurie and Husband from Utah heading to DC

We thought about dropping in on the Duke boys, but they were out of the way

Daisey and Sam from Berea, KY heading to Rhode Island

Always a good sign to see


13 thoughts on “Hello Kentucky

  1. Are you getting my posts?

    What an interesting two days. In the one picture they are tearing up a mountain, does not look good.

  2. Hey there – pretty neat 🙂 Glad you found a place away from those negative folks…I just watched a documentary about the people of coal mining…pretty hard work…seem like good people in general though…Hope you are great! Is time going by fast????

  3. Whoo hoo! I finally found the pic you told us (Sam and Daisy) about. Glad to see you are having a blast on your trip. We made it, kind of. I got hospitalized in the last 2 days of our trip, western CT. A bummer, but so rewarding to finally make our destination.
    Good luck on the rest of it!

  4. This year there was an unusual amount of stealth campers in downtown Hindman, probably due to the economy or just a fluke of cyclists wanting everything free and to let others foot their bills. Cyclists camping on what little flat land there is in Hindman under bridge overpasses, in dark shady or hidden areas – who have no bathroom facilities after certain early hours – have been known to defecate and urinate in areas where our children play and our adults work. The vagrancy law is enforced mainly for cleanliness, and to prevent our homeless from living on the streets of Hindman. ACA SAG leader this year said it was well worth the stay at the historical society, and way beyond the cost for each individual cyclist, and that perhaps the Society should be cut back on some of its many amenities. Where else could you get supper and breakfast (more food than you could ever eat), lodging, laundry, internet access, security and privacy, and where every whim, want or wish is satisfied? I agree with “when you find the folks that only talk negative keep on moving and you will find the right folks.” When you called the Society we gave you a list of what the $20 included (which was a great deal more camping and showers. We provided queen size mattresses in a 22x9x7 tent and a 22x14X12 greenhouse. Indoor protection from storms. When you told us we were too expensive – that sounded a litle negative and I kindly gave you a warning just in case your plans were to stealth camp, that our city officials constantly patrol the area. They don’t arrest them, they just tell them to move out of the city limits, and warn them to be careful in this area because stealth camping is frowned upon in Appalachia – as most of the land is private property, not a national forest.
    It is these cyclists that make it rough on the good cyclists like you. They don’t contribute to any of the local economies across the country, and even go door to door knocking on people’s doors asking to spend the night in their yards. Churches will take cyclists for a period of time as I’ve observed these past 20 years – but then it becomes too expensive for their small budgets, sometimes their pews and the sanctuary or rec rooms begin to smell like a gymnasium as many cyclists will set on fabrics etc while waiting for their showers. Taking care of cyclists can be a full time job – at least we’ve had cyclists a month and a half at a time without one day’s break – can be confining for a church to have to always have someone there to entertain or man the doors, etc. Wished you’d been able to have afforded the $40 – we’d probably had a great time. Maybe if you do the trail again you can stop by and see us even if you can’t afford to stay. Take care.

    • Hi Knothist, thanks for giving us more of the details around Hindman and the Historical Society. I believe you may have me confused with another rider that passed through, but here is actual extended story of our stay in Hindman and why we will never forget the time; very memorable.

      From Breaks to Hindman was a challenging day and when we pulled into Hindman around 3pm we called the # on the ACA maps for the Historical Society. The man we talked to informed us that unfortunately the Historical Society wasn’t taking in any cyclist at the time (can’t remember the reason) but the person on the phone’s cousin, Charlie, was allowing cyclist to stay at his house for a fee of $20 per person in the yard and $30 per person in the house which for $30 included a shower. There was definitely a certain amount of pressure tactics on the phone that made it sound as if we had no other option unless we wanted to ride more mileage to Hazard and stay in a hotel. As we sat around the library waiting for our 3rd rider to come in a gentleman on an ATV showed up introducing himself as Charlie, he explained the same about the cost and said he lived just across from the library up the hill. He continued with more stories on why we must stay at his place and using pressure tactics concerning safety, police, migrant laws, and the unpredictable lighting storms in the hills. We were still considering staying with him but really needed to wait on our friend to arrive, though our gut instincts were telling us something was not right and we wanted to seek out more options.

      My riding buddy who was there with me decided to ride into Hindman proper and checkout what he could find, as he passed the Hindman Student Ministry Building he ran into Steve the youth pastor and explained our situation above. Steve let us know that he welcomes cyclist all the time and that we were more then welcome to stay the night at the whopping cost of $0 with showers. I am sure the majority of cross-country cyclist are cheap and may not always come off well, but we do have to consider a budget when leaving our jobs and bring in no income over 2-3 months in a recession. We typically spent $20-40 per person a day in towns that we pass through with almost all of that on food, we ordered $30’s in pizza that night and had it delivered as the power was out on Main st and the diners were closed. We splurge from time to time on a $40-$60 hotel room, but typically plan it out a week ahead and use it as a treat (we happened to stay the night before in Breaks at a motel).

      Here is the memorable part of the story; we heard from other cyclist on the road who did take Charlie up on his offer that he throws in an extra surprise. According to people who have stayed with him he apparently he has a “theme” room which is a scene out of Pulp Fiction; four post bed, chains, and other novelty’s. I didn’t see it with my own eyes so I don’t know what it was like, but a few cyclist on the road confirmed it. We enjoyed our accommodations at the Student Ministry and the folks of Hindman hospitality couldn’t of been better.

      • Are you the one who sent this email to ACA – which we just received this week by reference from one of our veteran cyclists whose doing the TransAm again next year?

        “In Hindman, KY I recommend updating the camping from the historical society to the 1st Baptist Youth Ministry.
        “The Historic Society no longer takes people and instead refers cyclists to a random guy named Charlie who charges $20-$30 per person…”

        If you were please email us at knothist@tgtel.com

      • I did tweet ACA the following – TransAmerica Touring (@worktoride) has shared a Tweet with you:

        “worktoride: @acaroutes on #acatransam in Hindman, VA recommend updating the camping from historic society to free at 1st baptist youth ministry”

        You can reach me anytime at the blog email address cycle@work2ride.com

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