#235: East TN bike ride – Bristol to Cumberland Gap

I just got back from 3 weeks in KY. (and TN, GA, VA, etc.)  I took a folding bike with me on  the train/bus, and biked from Bristol, on the VA/TN line, to Middlesboro, KY, where my family picked me up.  It was 107 miles, took me a day and a half.  I recorded things that seemed interesting along the way.

2m: Catastrophic flooding in Eastern KY the past week.  I’m not personally closely connected to people most impacted, but the region is my homeland, and I feel it.

4m: Jean Ritchie, from near Hazard, KY, sings “Movin on Down the River”

7m:  It’s very hot, and I’ve noticed in my travels that air conditioning is becoming more and more normalized, crushing my soul.  But check this out, public and gov’t buildings in Spain will be cooled to no more than 81 degrees F in summer, and heated to no more than 66 degrees F in winter, to address climate change and dependence on Russian gas/oil.    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/world/europe/spain-air-conditioning-limits.html

Also in air conditioning news  – Did you know that the U.S. uses almost as much energy for cooling as the 1.2 billion people of Africa use for everything all year?    https://time.com/6199353/air-conditioning-will-not-save-us/

8m: bike trip clips start:  Kingsport, TN, concert on the library lawn.  And the library also has a seed library!

10m:  TN music pathways historical marker: Leslie Riddle, African-American influencer of the Carter Family’s songs.

RIding Kingsport to Bean Station; night in the cemetery overlooking Cherokee Lake;   Too many cars and too much pavement!  and gas station cashiers who don’t understand.

26m: historical markers atop Clinch Mountain: Grainger Co “Valley of Independence” has pictures and stories of important people. 41 of 42 of 42 people honored are white men; there is one woman (white) who appears in a drawing/advertisement.

36m: heading through the bike path tunnel into Cumberland Gap

44m: in KY!  IMHO, land should be forested, for what will we sacrifice forests?  to grow food? or to mow lawns for some bizarre aesthetic?   Life on the farm: how about a copperhead right outside your bedroom door?  snapping turtles are always fun too.

Well, they say “Nature bats last.”





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *