Day 09 (Camp Bethel, VA to Christiansburg)

Lovely countryside filled with horses, cows, farms, and hills, hills, hills. If the hills are alive for me right now it's with shifting gears. When we do our rest day in Damascus, Virginia I will need to get them looked at because the transitions aren't as smooth as I like.

This is a country with broad economic scales. We get a stereotypical Appalachian Homes, ramshackle forms, and then Equestrian Centers, gorgeous houses with views of the valley.

POSTED - NO TRESPASSING are almost everywhere.


Stumbled upon this ruin of a silo, with a tree growing from the top, reminding my of the medieval tower in Lucca, Italy.


So many things to love about this little "welcome mat" before a long winding road up to a farm. The banners of two dogs, the flag, the iron wheel....where does one start and how do we know when to quit?

Parched. Really parched. We thought there would be a place for water in a town called Catawba but there wasn't. Of course for some reason I couldn't get the name Catawba to stick in my mind so I kept calling it, Caddywampus, Cowpie, Caddyshack, and Catadabadoo.

We reached it and there was no water and so we ride on and I'm getting parched. Saw this barn, with two quilt designs on it. Just lovely. Apparently Barn Quilts are a thing, and there are Trails set up to see them and the lovely countryside.

Except to me, right now, it's water, and hills. Eventually we went by a house where I saw a man get out of his truck, and I pulled up and asked if hem minded to let us use his hose to fill up our water bottles. Barry had just pulled up. He went into his house and came out with four cold plastic bottles of water.

We talked about the road ahead. It's mostly down, he tells us, until you get through a tunnel railroad overpass, and there's a Convenience store but then it's all up hill. "Until you get to the Ford Dealership.

Barry and I cycled on and got to the gas station / convenience store. By this time they have become an oasis. Lou was there, along with Bob from Minnesota. Bob, a wirey gray haired man is going east to west but on his own and hauling all his gear. He routinely passes us on hills.

We get a few milestones to look forward to during this trip.  Miles traveled 407 so far.  Weeks 1.  States. Just 1. Maps Completed today 1. 



We also had an unwelcome milestone. We lose Don tomorrow.  At 74 he was one of my heroes.  Unfortunately he had a prior biopsy site get infected and has been told no more bike riding.

It is a heartbreaking development for him because this was a dream for him.    Don just enthusiastically embraced this trip.  I recall him frantically waiting for some to get a picture of him at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We have hopes that his condition will improve and he can return in a recumbent bike but he says that his wife has her thoughts and I know what that means.  Wives tolerate this sort of adventuring machismo only so far and there is a Doctor at that line.