Pipestem to Middlesboro

Our second riding day dawned cool and cloudy. Oh boy!

And we had about 250 miles to ride…

We didn’t hit much rain. In most places the rain had passed through just a short time before us. So, while we weren’t being rained on, the roads were wet. And we were still riding through coal country.

Before I elaborate, check out this picture. We were stopped for road construction. The type and quality of this road is pretty indicative of what we experienced for most of our ride. NICE. But that’s not why I took the picture. I snapped this particular shot so I’d remember to ask Hubby what was up with the weird water tower thing you see here. Sometimes, water would trickle out of the top, then it would gush. Trickle, gush, trickle, gush. Why would a water tower do that?

Weird Water Tower Thing

We sat there for about 10 minutes. It was boring. So I also took this picture of Hubby while we waited.

Hubby says hello.

As for riding through coal country on wet roads… have you ever driven in places like Western MD and PA where they use cinders on the icy roads instead of salt? City slickers who complain about salt making their cars dirty have nothing on folks who drive through places that use cinders. That stuff is DIRTY. It is, after all, the non-combustible material that remains after coal has been thoroughly burned.

Driving through coal country on wet roads is like driving through roads covered with cinders. Dirty. Check out how my windshield looked after only about two hours!

Yes, that was another construction stop. There weren’t too many of them as it might seem from the pictures I’ve taken during those stops. Those just happen to be good photo ops.

We're about to enter Kentucky.

Speaking of good photo ops… that Hubby of mine is pretty good. Even though all my picture taking does drive him crazy at times, he still knows when to stop for some shots. Like in front of this “Welcome to Kentucky” sign.

Uh oh.

The sky had been alternating between blue and ominous all day. At lunchtime, it was mostly blue. So we stripped off all the rain gear. A couple of hours later, as we crossed some pretty high mountains on US-119 south of Whitesburg, KY, we were rethinking that decision. But our road could have been leading away from the storms, right?

Is that blue sky?

Yes, we could have been heading for an area with blue skies.

Cool road!

The angle of that above shot is not contrived. The read really was that steep. You could hear trucks (big-ass coal trucks, remember?) laboring to climb the mountain.

Me alongside the cool road.

I really was hoping we’d miss the rain. I mean, there were quite a few patches of clear sky.

Look at all those mountains!

As you’ve probably guessed, we did get rained on a bit more. But that was the last rain of the trip. Woo hoo!

We were happy to make it to Middlesboro safely and looked forward to the next day which is when we planned to visit the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Here’s an interactive map of the day’s route if you’re interested.

2 Replies to “Pipestem to Middlesboro”

    1. LOL! Shybiker, that’s the sweatshirt I had to buy to keep me warm. I’m glad you approve. I particularly like it with my blue track pants with white stripes. It’s very patriotic.

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