Riding and riding and riding
We woke up on a slant, but Tara said we didn’t go to bed on the slant so we’re not sure what happened. We had some minor flooding with the torrential downpour when we went to bed and then we had an exciting battle with a raccoon in the middle of the night. He was determined to get into the limited food we had, so we took our packs off the bikes and brought them into the tent vestibule. We started our day with road closures, some road closures which lead to some serious re-round going around the closures which took a lot of time but it was doable. Why don’t we turn around when there’s a road closure? We still haven’t learned that they apply to us on bicycles! It was an adventure. And really challenging to get them up the hill. And our success reinforced again that road closure signs don’t apply to us, as we survived it! Big up hills, big down hills. We met some retired men who are doing the trans America to Oregon and they’re from Alabama. They’re doing it on big dirt bikes and they were headed up the closed road as we were coming down the closed road. We tried to warn them. Great snacks at the Byrd outfitters complex then back on the road as to try to make it to Oark. pulled into the Byrd BYRD campground recreation center got lunch. Delicious (?omg!) lunch of three slices of American cheese wrapped around a meat stick. All rolled into a tortilla. That’s what you eat when you don’t have a stove on the trail. Tara, what did you have for lunch? I had a slab of jerky American cheese, muddy buddies, and Powerade and ice cream. Since we’re talking about food, What did you have for dinner? I had a can of Hormel chili cold, and I’m not sure how its sitting. Me? I had a can of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli slopped into a tortilla with two or three more slabs of that processed orange American cheese. After warnings of rain by the shop owner we headed to Oark and got some information about where to camp. Tara said this is where Mork, from Mork and Mindy was from, but we didn’t see him. The woman behind the deli offered to drive us wherever we wanted to if we needed to camp locally because of the weather. We decided to risk it and head to what we read on our navigator was an informal campground about 20 more miles away. Got caught in the rain, but it was not too bad. Made it to the campground after it stopped raining so we could set the tent up in the dry weather. We used Tara’s photos of poison ivy to make sure we weren’t sitting up in poison ivy. Terra retreated into the tent to avoid accumulating more than 100 black fly bites before the end of the trip. We texted Susie, an awesome woman we met at the girls gravel festival, who offered to come pick us up tomorrow. We sent our estimated location so we have a plan for tomorrow. We rode a total of 52.4 miles with 5600+ feet of climbing. It was a slow slogging day on the dirt roads and the washouts. It was hot again, but not as hot as yesterday.
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