Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 14 - June 17, 2013 - Radford, VA to Wytheville, VA

Mileage - about 43
Total mileage - 452.2
Wildlife spotted - Deer, wild turkeys, cows, goats, barn kittens, road kill snakes and possum

Today began with a lovely (mostly downhill) ride from our hotel in Radford.  We coasted past a couple of fellow cyclists on the route checking out their maps and waved, knowing we'd probably cross paths later in the day.  We crossed the New River, then immediately turned onto a road that ran along the river for many miles.  We spotted the most adorable baby deer crossing the road along the way, it stopped to look at us for a bit, then followed its mom up the hill on the other side.

We passed through the quaint town of Newbern, which had marked most of their original structures along with the year they were built, starting in the early 1800s.  I thought we hit the jackpot when we went right by a post office, since we found about 10lbs of extra crap to send home to lighten our load, but it didn't open for a couple more hours, bummer!

We were about halfway to the next town, Draper, when we had paused to put on sunscreen (see, mom, we remember most of the time!), and we saw the other two cyclists we spotted earlier making their way up the hill!  They stopped to chat, and we talked gear, bikes, training strategy (or lack thereof!), and more for a good while, decided to all grab lunch together in Draper, and all kept pedaling up the hill.  

About 100 feet down the road, we all spot a cyclist approaching from the other direction, and stop to chat with him.  He's headed from San Francisco to the East Coast, and started about 8 weeks ago!  And this is his 3rd time riding across the US (he's British), but first time riding the TransAm, and says its the absolute best route across the US he has tried so far.  

We continue on, only to find as we get to Draper that the one restaurant is closed on Mondays, as is the small store in town.  We all stop at a park to snacking what we have with us, find that the other riders are Mary and Joe, just out of college, from New York and Connecticut respectively.  They take off first, as they have decided to do about 14 more miles than we will for the day, and we discuss meeting up in Damascus, where they are planning a day off.

We head out again, get rained on a bit during a sustained climb, and then meet some bovine friends at the top of the hill.  These cows were super curious about us, pushing each other out of the way to get a better view.  I crossed the road on my bike to get closer to them, and caused a minor stampede, but they came back when they realized I wasn't a threat.  They even followed us a bit down the fence line as we pedaled away.

Then we run into a major headwind.  We cheated a bit on the TransAm route, opting for our old friend Highway 11, which is basically a frontage to I-81.  We rolled into Wytheville around 5 I think, braving a busy highway off-ramp intersection full of truck stops and semi trucks to get to our hotel.

On our way, we also saw the "Wytheville Smallest Church", apparently one of the smallest churches in America.  It was in the middle of nowhere, near a Pepsi bottling plant.

No comments:

Post a Comment