Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Morehead KY to Huntington, WV May 4

May 4......84.94 miles in 6:57....I got a late start after going to mass in Morehead, and things running long because they had Confirmation at mass. I rolled out of the Walmart lot at noon, and proceeded to climb 200 ft in a mile and a half to get over the hill and into the town of Morehead. So much for an easy warm up. I hooked up with US 60 in town, and rode right past Morehead State University. I was interested because a high school track teammate had gone there to run track. It's a nice campus nestled into some very hilly terrain. US 60 played to form, by leaving me shoulderless before I even got out of Morehead. Fortunately, being Sunday, traffic was very light for the duration of the trip and there were no problems. The trip was pretty flat in places, as 60 generally followed streams and creeks upstream or downstream, with at least a half dozen significant climbs and descents as it crossed over from one side of a hill to another. This part of Kentucky, as we get further east is Appalachia as I know it, with the terrain and the mix of poverty and prosperity closely mimicking areas of West Virginia that I am familiar with. The hills and hollows necessitated that I climb over 2700 ft today, and combined with 4000 ft of climbing yesterday, my legs are tired, and I was happy to finish the ride along the relative flatness of the Ohio River Valley.
I went through two decent sized towns in Kentucky, Olive Hill and Grayson, that allowed some businesses to be mixed in with the homes, nice and/or impoverished, that stretched all along US 60. I paralleled I-64, which Pam traveled, and crossed under or over it four or five times. As I neared the eastern terminus of Kentucky, I came to the pretty big town of Ashland. US 60 turned south and followed the Ohio River, which runs northwest to southeast here, before actually running east to Huntington, WV. So, I rode in a southerly direction to Catlettsburg, KY, where I fully expected to cross the Ohio  River. Catlettsburg had a flood wall that ran for several miles along the Ohio, painted with the areas history in many areas. I finally did cross a bridge into West Virginia, but it wasn't over the Ohio, which confused the hell out of me. I wasn't sure, but the river was only about fifty yards wide and flowing a natural color, not a quarter mile wide and flowing high and muddy like I expected. I pondered how that could be as I rode, and didn't figure it out till I got home and looked at a map. It turns out that I never crossed the Ohio, but it was the Big Sandy River flowing out of Kentucky. The Ohio does not make the border between West Virginia and Kentucky, ever. It only forms a boundary between Ohio and West Virginia, and Ohio and Kentucky. I was south of the river the entire time, until I rode north in West Virginia through the towns of Ceredo and Kenova towards Huntington. An interesting note: Ceredo Kenova high school is known as the Wonders. On the old football stadium, their motto was: Ceredo Kenova-- where The Wonders never cease!! I thought that was quite original. The high school actually may not exist any more, as I think it was swallowed up by consolidation. 
From there, 60 traversed right through the center of Huntington, which is a very long, narrow town that runs along the Ohio. Marshall University is right in town, but I didn't have time to check it out, as I was racing darkness because of my late start. I did see the football stadium, a lot of campus that was right on 60, and the Pike House. It was absolutely the worst fraternity house I've ever seen. Animal House all the way. I've seen some beautiful Pike Houses at campus all over the south, and I thought ours at WVU was a dive. This place set new standards in 'dive'. The fire truck was broken down on the front lawn, and probably hasn't moved since I was in college. Wow. 
Once I got north of Huntington, I headed north on WV 2, which is as narrow and shoulderless as any road I've been on anywhere. The campground Pam found was at a skydive school and airport ( one grass strip) that accompanied it. It was actually pretty nice, situated between the railroad tracks and the Ohio River. WV 2 is a different story however. Tomorrow, with weekday traffic, it could be ugly. Stay tuned.

Morehead State Athletic Center

Morehead State Football Stadium nestled in the hills

The "old" mixed with some of the "new" on US 60

More of the "old" on sections of US 60

Site of a bluegrass festival and concerts on US 60

Remains of a car in one of the many stream beds

Olive Hill, KY - a mural of the town's history painted on the retaining wall

Close up view

These signs showed up for a while, marking part of the Mycicle Bycicle Tour de Kentucky!!!

Flood wall in Catlettsburg, KY.  We saw others in most of the towns along the river

The Big Sandy River between Kentucky and West Virginia

Our 27th state!

I've seen and taken pictures of many big trucks across the country, but none were bigger that this  WV Badass in Kenova (KENtucky, Ohio, West VA)

Entering Huntington, WV

The Marshall University Pike house

Entrance to campus

Marshall's football stadium

The East End bridge going across the Ohio River in Huntington

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