Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 7 - June 10, 2013 - Charlottesville, VA to Afton, VA

Miles - about 23
Total miles - 239.9

Today started off in a bit of a drizzle, but what would a day of LOAA be without getting rained on?  We devised a plan before leaving today that we were going to skip Adventure Cycling's route through what I imagine were some beautiful and lightly traveled yet impossibly steep roads.  This move kept us on a busy quasi-highway, but I'm guessing it was graded a lot better than the country roads - plus we saved some miles!

We got out of Charlottesville around 8, and the first 18 or so miles went by pretty quickly.  Then we found ourselves at a decision point just before Afton - stay on 250, the heavily traveled road, which we could see went up into a pretty steep hill, or take the actual marked cycling route to Afton, which went down an innocent looking country road.  

We chose the cycling route - partially because the "Cookie Lady's" (June Curry, who had helped cyclists on the trail since the original Transam ride in 1976 and turned part of her house into a hostel for cyclists, but sadly passed away last year) house was on the marked route.  We had been looking forward to visiting that TransAm landmark forever.  About half a mile down the road, it turned steep, then steeper, then impossibly steep!  It was hard just to push the bikes up this thing, I have no clue how anyone cycles up!

We found a post office right next to the Cookie Lady's house, and shipped maybe 1.5 pounds of stuff home that we don't need.  Then checked out some of the notes and stories people have left over the years at June's house.  She touched so many lives - we both teared up a bit about not having the opportunity to meet her ourselves.

Oh, and the hill climbing wasn't over yet, we had to finish the hike back up to meet 250, then make it another couple miles on 250 biking/walking up hills.  We had decided to stay at the only hotel in the area, The Inn at Afton, which we knew was going to be a dump, and it really was.  Plus we had to make it up ANOTHER hill to get there.  Virginia, why does everything have to be at the top of a hill?  :)  On top of all that, none of the pizza places would deliver all the way up there on a Monday night!  Grr.  Instead, we had some backpacking food :)

I think the only other people at this place either lived there, or were Appalachian Trail hikers, it's right on the trail and probably brings in most of their meager business.

It did have a pretty amazing view from the parking lot though:

And here is Shep in the mountains

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