The morning started out very nicely. The temperatures were much cooler than the last couple days - probably back into the 60s at the ride start. We started 30 minutes earlier than the past few days and had a beautiful pink and blue sunrise. Today was also our first day back in longer hills. It was really funny because after several days of averaging 15-16 mph my average plummeted to 12 mph. As I was riding along I felt like I had been on the bike for a long time and I would look at my odometer and I had only gone 4 miles. Then I would look down again and think I should have gone at least 12 miles and had only gone 8. That went on for several more miles before I realized that I was back in the hills again. These were really long but only 4-6%, so I was just really slow on them.
Our lunch break was on the grounds of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Pretty fitting for a group of cyclist crossing the US! Susan N bought our tickets for the short tour. Our tour guide had actually been a nurse at the asylum from 1966 until it closed in the 1980s. She then became a tour guide after she retired. Currently, the building is in really bad shape. They are in process of raising money to restore it as it is considered a National Historic Landmark. I think it was one of the first asylums to paint the rooms pastel colors to calm the patients. To raise money, they also have ghost tours that are conducted at night and they throw a pretty big Halloween party. It would be very scary to be in that building at night.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We are all having mixed feelings about the trip right now. In a way we don't want it to be over, but in another, we are ready to see our family and friends. David left this evening for Birmingham. He will stay with Ken and Brooke before going to North Carolina and then to Ashville to meet me on Sunday. I am really excited about seeing him!
Morning sunrise in Parkersburg West Virginia
Barn of the day
Veronica in front of the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - the name does not seem politicially correct, but I guess people did not care about being politically correct back in the day...
A patient room at the asylum - notice the peeling paint
Scott, Ernie, Tom, John, Charles, Ann, Steve, Greg, Rick and Mike waiting for the next tour
Tomorrow we cross into our 11th and last state - Virginia. The ride will be difficult with over 10,000 ft of climbing. I will probably sag forward at the start as I want to do the big climb to the Virginia state line and won't have time to do it without a small push. So far I have ridden over every state line and I intend to continue that trend tomorrow. It will also be my 28th consecutive day of riding. I would really like to see how many days I can continue to ride consecutively - do you think David would let me ride on Tuesday?