Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Day 13 brought us to Berea, KY. The hills are lessening in how long they last, but the grade at times brings on the under-the-breath cussing. Coming into the ride, I hadn't had the opportunity to do a lot of hill climbing as I am a flatlander. The hills around central Illinois are mere bumps and cannot truly be called hills. Here, the hills are definitely hills, monstrous, gnarly, quad-thrashing hills. I've always been a hill lover, and even after Hayters Gap and the ride to Breaks Interstate Park with its seemingly never-ending hills, at times having to pull upwards of a 10% grade, I still love hills. The challenge they offer is not just physical; the psychological is there as well. If anything can make a person stronger mentally, it is definitely the hills. The 50 miles today were an easy going 50. I decided to just cruise along, use the ride as a kind of recovery ride. Since the distance was shorter than it has been the last few days, and the day is absolutely gorgeous, why not slow down and really see the countryside? So that's what we did. We stood on top of a hay roll and took goofy pictures. We stopped midway down a 2 mile stretch of a 6% grade to take pictures of the hills that rolled gently into one another. We chatted about the pink house that none of us stopped to take a picture of and were kicking ourselves for not doing so. Little pink houses . . .. I'm still hesitant to stop and take pictures. Still feel the need to "get 'er done." Need to work on that mindset. My little spot after arriving in Berea.