May 28, 2006
I woke this morning to a beautiful sunrise at the campground. A guy that was curious about my bike strolled up to chat while I was having a breakfast of bagels and peanut butter, and I told him about my trip… a little premature on the second day!
Riding in the morning was pretty uneventful, save for a stop at a Food Lion (I would end up passing 3 more of these stores today). I got a can of tuna and a pound of spaghetti for tonight’s dinner – $1.41 – the only money I spent today.
My favorite section of the day was along a quiet, shady country road immediately after entering Virginia. Soon the sun got high and I took a long break outside of what else but a Walmart, before advancing north into the thickly populated Chesapeake Bay area.
The afternoon was hot and stressful as I picked my way through traffic and commercial roads south of Norfolk. I was constantly checking my road map and sitting at stoplights among the dull roar of engines and exhaust fumes. Hopefully dealing with that sort of riding will be rare after I pick up the TransAmerica route tomorrow. There were some sketchy neighborhoods. I had to do more miles than planned today in order to ride out of urbanity, and save my sanity.
Finally I was back out toward the countryside and looking for ideal camping spots. I came upon a church that had a wedding letting out. They had a big lawn tucked away out back, so I stopped and inquired about tenting. Nobody “official” was in the building, but after a quick phone call I got “sure, no problem” for an answer.
Now I’m in my tent and pretty spent. Even my thumbs are tired from typing on this email device. It’s 8:30pm and I’m going to sleep. Life is good.
These first days were simply a matter of putting in the miles all day long and working out the beginning-of-the-trip jitters. Since I wasn’t yet connected to the Adventure Cycling route I had to do things the old fashioned way – simply following the state road maps. In doing so I found myself in the middle of a lot of traffic and deep in the ghettos of Norfolk Virginia. I just kept my head down and didn’t stop until I was out of there.