Today’s blog is different in at least two significant ways; one is that there is a guest editor (Paul evidently only does Mon to Fri) and another in that it will also be a lot shorter (due to our first rain which meant we didn’t get to see much for about thirty miles)
After the remains of last night’s pizza for breakfast (it’s becoming the norm) and returning the pizza slice to the restaurant (we inadvertantly stole it in the doggie box) we left Mineral with the threat of rain ahead. Last night’s fair was looking less exciting now, having lost its magic in the daylight. We didn’t get much further than the Pets Unlimited and Concrete World stores on the edge of town when the pristine, and unfortunately matching, brightly coloured waterproofs came out.
The nature of the landscape had changed with the weather … no longer a densely wooded logging landscape but now one broken by open pastures and rolling hills … but still with occasional tracts of devastation. Houses were less frequent and less grand than nearer the coast with more deserted and derelict buildings. Nature doesn’t take long to reclaim its own.
At some points on the smaller roads we could have been cycling in the English countryside, (and not just because it was raining), but on a much larger scale (hey, it is America after all). And like England, there’s never a cafe when you need one … even the one marked on our map at the inappropriately named Palmyra had closed … so spotting a sign proclaiming “Music all Day, Come Rain or Shine” a few soggy miles later, we headed off down a gravel track hoping for at least some caffeine but actually finding a delightful little Bluegrass festival playing real Piedmont music.
We both love live music but Paul was almost beside himself with glee and was soon on several of his ever-present electronic gadgets, snapping, GoPro-ing, texting and emailing stuff. Another first (and probably last) for yours truly … funnel cake … a bit like a very sweet deep fried doily. Its only saving grace was that I was eating it to a version of one of my favourite
Patsy Cline songs … “(I can’t help it if) I’m Still in Love with You”. Several bands but no coffee later I convinced Paul that Charlottesville (our destination for the night) may also be worth a look, preferably in daylight.
By now those rolling hills were turning more into a rollercoaster and we were slowing down accordingly, often in our granny gears in the last twenty miles and both secretly concerned that these were just pimples compared to what lay a couple of days ahead (the Blue Ridge mountains of the Appalacians).
We got to Charlottesville just as it shut up shop and then due to a slight inability on my behalf to read English the planned campsite wasn’t just down the road, but was in fact best part of 10 hilly miles away. Not going to happen. Ended up blowing what seemed like a wad on a cheap hotel out in Nowheresville and then having to leg it across a six lane highway to a Subway to get some food! Desperate men take desperate measures.
Just in case you were wondering …. we both have sore bottoms.
Today’s mileage: 61.15
Mileage since First Landing: 269.13
Here’s today’s Garmin report: