Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 17: Blake takes us for a wild tour of the backcountry

So Jen introduced you to our host, Blake, briefly in the last post, but honestly this guy was just the man. We decided to stay in Lebanon (pronounced LEBnin, two syllables) for a rest day and it turned out Blake had some errands to run out in the country so we hopped in his old truck and the 3 of us were off. Wow it's felt like I was riding on a magic carpet, fully equipped with the best "air" (hah) suspension compared to my saddle yet in reality this truck was an old weathered ride. The air conditioned air coming from the car vent felt incredible compared to the fan of 100 degree air I have been getting riding my bike in the dead of summer in the sweltering Kentucky landscape. Alright, enough about the truck, where we went was much more "cool". Blake took us to his piece of backcountry land and showed us everything. There was a barn with some awesome old bikes. His wife built the barn by herself which was crazy. But the crown jewel of this place was this cabin and man made lake. Wow this place was sweet. No electricity or running water which made it really great for getting away. It would take too long to write about the decorations and old stuff Which he showed us so I'm gonna describe Blake instead. Blake was a retired hippie. (Also a disabledVietnam vet ((agent orange related prostate cancer lead to removal)) retired large Insurance company mid level manager, a mechanic, handyman, bike guy, list goes on ((( age 67, no kids))) Simple as that. A true hippie who explored the world in a very spiritual way. He studied jewish mysticism for a while which was cool, the first mention of anything Jewish in 770 miles. He had stories which he shared with us which just blew my mind. This man was extremely knowledgeable, and the fact that he went out of his way to show us around and introduce us to some of his friends as opposed to just us sitting around all day made me genuinely happy. Not only is this trip about the pedaling, it also is about the people.

The cabin, Blake and jen

The man made lake that Blake and his wife Mary ann made with funds from a state farm car insurance payout!! Car was never fixed!

The handmade barn, climbing down from the attic where the vintage bikes were kept


  1. What an interesting man! Blake has found a good life despite some tough experiences. You guys are luck to have met him.