Day 20, to Mammoth Cave NP: Hello, Central Time! - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

May 19, 2022

Day 20, to Mammoth Cave NP: Hello, Central Time!

Day 20 stats

NEW MILESTONE: Biked into a new time zone! Hello, Central Time! This is the first time I've ever had to change clocks because of how far I've ridden. That feels pretty cool!

The Daily Progress: 50.77 miles

Elevation gain: 2,005 feet

Lodging expenses: $25 — Mammoth Cave Campground

Food expenses: $25.50 — breakfast at McDonald's, lunch at Farmwald's Dutch Bakery & Deli, ice cream at Cave City Coffee & Creamery (mint chocolate chip and cold brew coffee)

Miscellaneous expenses: $9.75 for laundry, a shower, a sticker and a postcard

Day 20 highlights and hotlights

It felt great to reach a new time zone. I realized it when I stopped to chat with Dave and Cathy, cyclists heading east and north on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. 

Phew, today was a scorcher in places few trees and lots of asphalt and concrete. Luckily, there weren't any long stretches with conditions like that. But I need to start embracing the siesta schedule. Get more mileage earlier in the morning and take a long siesta in the mid-afternoon. Or maybe just aim to reach my destination by 2 p.m. and then call it a day. Oof, that sounds a little too much like my normal workday. But if I can do a day's cycling between, say, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. … that might be a smart goal. Maybe I'll try that on Saturday, which is expected to have thunderstorms in the late afternoon.

The ice cream I got today was excellent. I should probably not have ice cream every day though. No ice cream tomorrow or Saturday.

After leaving the ice cream shop in Cave City, the last eight or nine miles to Mammoth Cave National Park were so smooth and such a welcome relief from the heat. It's amazing what a difference it makes to be surrounded by trees.

Inside the national park, I passed an overlook with a sign that began with this: "As you look out across this valley, you stand at the very western reach of central Appalachia. If you continue west beyond this county, you leave behind a vast region of distinct natural and cultural flavor."

No offense, Appalachia, but I'm excited to be done with you. It's just your hills, really. In fact, just the uphill side of those hills.

I'm camping in Mammoth Cave National Park tonight, which is lovely. Pretty bad reception, though, which is why I'm not even attempting to include photos today. I'm taking a zero day tomorrow to take a tour through the caves. Should be an interesting change of pace!

Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 882 miles (1,419 km)

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