Friday, 21 May 2010

The Road to Damascus

After leaving the comfee confines of Mason and Leanna's house we headed across Blacksburg to get on the Hucklberry trail. This route is a nice paved cycle route through to Christiansburg from where we picked up Route 76, the Trans Am.



Most of the day was spent shadowing the interstate highways and as the scenery wasn't as good as it had been we kept spinning the pedals and covered some 68.5 miles finishing the day in Wytheville VA.

I reported in at the Police Station and they gave us permission to camp in the town park. By this time another cyclist, Bruce from Dallas had joined us and we went and had pizzas and then set our tents up under the band stand in the park.

I slept like a baby after the long day and woke up stiff as a board, but after a few miles back out on the trail my muscles had loosened up and the three of us were heading off on the road to Damascus.

The day that followed was probably my favourite so far, crossing through rolling hills and dairy farms some bits were very much like Devon. But once we headed out of Suger Grove and entered The Jefferson National Forest Park we started to climb through roads bordered with tall conifers and broad leaf trees and dense undergrowth of Rhododendron. Babbling creeks ran under the road and butterflies the size of your palm fluttered past. The tree canopy spread a mottled light over the road calming the intense rays of the sun, but this didn't stop me getting burn't arms and legs.



Our hours of climbing were rewarded with a huge down hill of about 8 miles into Damascus; tucked behind the bars with a cool breeze coming of the tumbling waters of Laurel Creek I was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

We've ended up at a church hostel called The Place, it's full of Appalachian Trail hikers, an interesting bunch of folk who all have a handle (nick name) that they give themselves when walking the trail. We decided to camp in the garden and have our own cyclists commune instead!!

The day finished with a roll from the Subway in town and the boss lady telling me how great my English accent was; she laughed her head off when I said tomatoes but said she preferred it to her southern drawl!

A few new photos uploaded http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalicat/sets/72157623720628744/show/