Sunday, 16 May 2010

In The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia......



The daring duo have made it to the Blue Ridge Mountains; another 50 mile day but at a far slower speed as the mountain roads are so steep. We decided a bit late in the day to head up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway thinking we'd have enough time to get to the tiny settlement of Love. We soon realised that we had bitten off a bit to much as dusk started to descend and visibility dropped.

To top that we asked a family in a car how far it was to Love, the driver said you've still got a few miles to go and by the way I'm an off duty sheriff and last week in the exact spot where your standing two people got shot by a gunman and one died, so you'd better get off the mountain quickly.

We pedalled like mad, downing bananas and energy sweets to keep the legs spinning eventually arriving in a holiday cabin park in Love. No one was about so we pitched the tents got a brew on and some chilli and crashed out, totally exhausted from our mountain riding.

We are starting to get more and more dog attacks and Kentucky doesn't have lease laws so things will get scary when we get there. With this in mind I've invested in some pepper spray, so beware mutts!

Highlights of the day included traversing the foothills and cycling onto the ridge line of the Appalachians, amazing houses, long white picket fences, lovely people winding their car windows down as they overtake and asking all about your journey and wishing you a safe and pleasant journey, visiting the PYO peach, cherry and strawberry orchard and drinking huge fresh strawberry smoothies then finding out after a chit chat that the boss lived in Tiverton for 5 years, chatting with other couples at the PYO who were in awe at our loaded bikes and our journey, chatting with Harley riders on the Ridgeway who were convinced my rear hub had a motor in it! Taking a photo of the mile long freight train as we waited at the crossing and the driver waving and giving us a honk on the klaxon, chatting with the owner of the country store and buying hot dogs for lunch. Visiting the Cookie Ladies bike museum ..........

The books that inspired me to do this journey always mention how travelling by bike brings you closer to the people of the country your travelling through and you get treated differently than a normal tourist. From the first 5 days of this journey I can tell you that every word of that is true!

Thanks to everyone for there comments on the Blog and Facebook, as well as the generous donations, sorry I can't reply to everyone, but they are very much appreciated.

Stu xxx