July 18, Day 47: Buckhorn to Hindman (46.5 miles)

The primitive campsites had a lot of shade and were next to a stream you could only hear. We slept through the alarm and didn’t get out until 9:30. We decided to have a short day and go to Hindman instead of Breaks in Virginia.

We stopped in a little area called Chavies for a snack (I am now all about Southern Belle chocolate whole milk)

Highway 15 and later 80 — THE worse roads of the the trip. Coal trucks, debris in the shoulder, and later crazy rumble strips… in the shoulder.

At the top of a hill near Daniel Boone Parkway we stopped to call the cyclist-only place we were going to stay at in Hindman. As we were standing there this guy does a U-turn to talk to us. It turns out he has been seeing cyclists for years and always wanted to talk to some, wondering what the hell they were doing. “I see some guys on bikes looking kinda rough and I wonder what their story is.” So funny. We had a lovely cultural exchange and Matt even recommended him an opera piece he might enjoy. Nice meeting you, Ray! (While I was on the phone, David asked if we were talking to a mountain person, haha).

Anyway, continuing on the shitty 80. Dodge Neons and whatnot whizzing by. We then realized we only had 23 miles to Hindman, not 43. Oops, well, that made today shorter than we had thought.

Finally turned onto the 550, a small curvy road. Ahhhhh

After being chased by some little dogs that ran down a cliff, Matt got a flat.

Coming into Hindman.

Once in town we stopped in at the Appalachian Artisan Center to ask for directions. We’re glad we did.

Debbie makes beautiful walking sticks.

Mike weaving a new seat on an old chair. He also makes spoons out of reclaimed old wood.

Richard’s bowls.

Richard gave us a demo and made this wine stopper for us. Well, he made it for us then awkwardly decided to keep it for himself.

And then he started working on this bench.

Our destination of the day was right around the corner (and up a long ~40% grade driveway). Knott County Historical Society, founded by David Smith. He has been putting up cyclists in the home his great-grandfather built since 1996.

Cyclists are greeted with a glass of Earl Grey iced tea with lemon and mint. Yessss.

And a bunch of cats. He swears only one of them is his.


AND kittens?!

David made us baked potatoes.


We were hungry so we also ordered a large pizza.

One free beer also included in the $25/night.

And a banana split. And you get your laundry done while you’re eating it.


The cats get the leftovers. “The black one is Weenie, short for Halloween cat.” Later, the regulars showed up: a raccoon and a gray fox. We missed the albino possum.

David also provides you with a nightcap of brandy. We also got to taste some real good moonshine that he bought from an Alzheimer patient.

Later we retired to his gigantic pre-set up outdoor tent. Musty, but we were content. Any cyclist doing the TransAm or going through Kentucky should make it a point to stay with David. He is truly a knowledgeable and quirky character worth meeting.

Our favorite quotes:
“Those people at Sebree, they haven’t been putting up cyclist as long as they tell you. They are just trying to get some souls.”
“I just about saturated the cat market here.”
“Mountain people are just so damn unreasonable. You just can’t reason with the irrational!”



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