Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 12 - June 15, 2013 - Troutville, VA to Christiansburg, VA

Mileage - about 48
Total mileage - 388.4

Do you remember that post I wrote a while ago about how the first 10 or 15 miles of our day tend to go by pretty quickly? Yeah...forget that. 

We packed up all of our gear from camping and tried to get our tent to dry a little in the morning sun. Meanwhile, a small dog had wandered into the park and we managed to get him to come over to us. His tag informed us that his name was Jack, and that he had also managed to get beyond the invisible fence at his home. I tried calling the phone number on the tag, but got no answer, so I entered in the address also listed on Jack's tag, made a make-shift leash out of some rope we had and led him home. It was so nice to have a little encounter with a dog along our journey, as Erica and I both miss our two dogs, Louie and Rudy, so much!

We finally get going and of course, run into more really horrific hills. I'm a bit anxious for us to get to Adventure Cycling's Headquarters in Montana, just so I can ask them why they must put us through such cruel and unusual punishment. It was really quite a difficult morning, where we started to question if we would be able to make it to our destination by the end of the day. Maybe this is just one of those things that happens in your head while you're cycling in the middle of nowhere...when all the scenery starts to look the same and you're not sure you are getting anywhere. We finally reached our mid-day destination, a small gas station in the Catawba valley. As it was high noon, the sun was beating on us and the heat was definitely not helping our mental game. We picked up some sandwiches and drinks at the gas station and sat underneath their awning to help cool us down. 

We got back on the road and I made a mental note about how much further we had to go...27.6 miles.  I was hoping to be able to watch the miles go by on the computer on my bike, then tell Erica how far we had gone at 10, 15, 20 miles...just something to hopefully encourage us to keep going. It worked for a long time and the second half of our day was getting better. We had another dog encounter with a dog that sort of ran out onto the road as Erica passed. As I watched this happen in front of me, I was  silently praying that I wouldn't have to use my Halt pepper spray if the dog decided to attack. He looked quite confused by us for a minute, just looked at me, then at Erica, back to me. We both got off our bikes and kept talking to him in calm voices, telling the dog that he was a good dog. Finally, Erica just walked over to him and he started wagging his tail and walked right up to her and she gave him some good dog pats and he seemed to love it. In fact, I think he wanted us to hang out with him. We tried to give him some of our water, but he didn't take it. Finally, we had to usher him back into some shade on the side of the road and say goodbye to our new friend. Not too long after this, we saw a large turtle on the side of the road and we spent quite a few minutes protecting him from oncoming cars and finally convinced him to move on over to a safe spot. 

Finally, we are getting close to Christiansburg, so we stopped in at a gas station for some Gatorades and to figure out where we should stay. After booking the hotel, the map application for the iPhone told us that our hotel was only a small 3.8 miles away. I think it was lying. The next 2 hours we pushed our bikes up some of the most ridiculous hills (because remember, everything in Virginia we need to get to is up a giant hill) and even considered "thumbing" a ride or asking someone in a local home to take us to the hotel. It was the longest 3.8 miles ever. But we made it. We ended the evening with showers, phone calls to home (it was my mom's birthday), pizza, and fell asleep to a Friends marathon on TV Land. It was a rough day, but we made it and that's all that matters. We did make it through our first map and were actually quite glad to be done with it! On to the next!

1 comment:

  1. I'm still amazed at you guys. The riding over all those hills and.....that you still have the energy to blog. There will be salted caramel moonshine for all at the end in Seattle.