June 6, 2006
More cows, more horses, more farms, more scenic Virginia roads.
I love it.
I slept well last night, in the gazebo near the restaurant. It was a little chilly but not uncomfortable. The light from sunrise first woke me at about six, and then the warm, bright sun shining in my face got me out of the sleeping bag around eight. The morning’s riding was great, with a bright blue clear sky and a pit stop for a Coke while finishing up yesterday’s journal entry.
I passed through Christiansburg and Radford, and crossed over the New River. I could feel the bridge sway beneath me when a garbage truck passed. The sight of that truck inspired me to stop in McDonalds for a tasty snack. I debated for about 30 seconds on whether or not to eat there, but I thought hey, you can’t beat that dollar menu. I had two double cheeseburgers and fries, and was contemplating a third burger, but thought I’d better move along.
At McDonalds in Radford they now offer whole gallon jugs of “sweet tea.” I guess I’m not in Pennsylvania anymore.
After my meal a dark cloud rolled in and rained on me for 10 or 15 minutes. Temperatures have been mild, so it was actually cold enough to pull out my rain jacket. It’s the first time I used it on this trip, and I’m glad I had it with me. Soon enough, the sun came back out and I had the rare pleasure of watching steam rise from the whole world for a little while. Ah, summer.
The riding this afternoon was great – I think the McDonald’s lunch managed to give me a little boost of energy! I passed a little league ballgame, and later going up a hill I met my first fellow TransAmerica rider – Alana. The first thing she said to me was “Isn’t this beautiful?” I immediately asked her to take my picture – I don’t have any shots of myself on the bike. I caught up with her partner Colin a few minutes later, and made him take my picture too.
Tonight the three of us are staying at a town park in Wytheville, VA. I’ll be sleeping on a picnic table under the pavilion. As I sit here and write this, I wonder if I included everything in this entry that I thought of today – probably not. Usually at the end of the day, after I have some food in me, my body automatically kicks into “rest mode.” Everything relaxes and my breathing unconsciously gets slow and deep, as if I’m already sleeping. Last night, I almost fell asleep mid-sentence.
So today I was thinking of all the things I forget to write about – like the bead of sweat on the lower rim of my glasses that stayed there for 20 minutes while climbing Afton Mountain, swinging like a pendulum – the way I entertain myself by blowing air out of my lungs, shooting off the sweat that collects on my blooming mustache – the barn owl that I heard at Rusty’s before falling asleep – my dream that night, which I don’t recall, but it ended with a constant annoying noise, and it faded into being woke at 4:30am by a whippoorwill making its pre-dawn call… the same noise…
How the rhododendrons and mountain laurel were in bloom, and how the hawks were flying on my day on the Blue Ridge Parkway – and how I saw clusters of 10-20 vultures at a time yesterday afternoon, circling on the wind – and I just remembered this morning I startled four white tailed deer, all in different locations. All these are things that I forget to write about at the end of the day, when I’m just wanting to go to bed and writing “Went through this town, had that for lunch, met so-and-so,” etc.
Life is good.
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Google Map route may not be 100% accurate.