Yesterday was not too difficult of a day. The most difficult part, Hayter’s Gap, was 1,500 feet of elevation gain. We landed in a nice town park in Council, VA, under a pavilion. The rain started falling about 15 minutes before I got to the park. Luckily it was only a light drizzle, and made me no more wet than my sweat was already. I smoked everyone else by about an hour to the pavilion. My official Road Names are Dougie Fresh, and Fresh Legs. I was told that apparently Dougie Fresh was a rapper, and they call me Fresh Legs because I am so fast! The handle for our entire troupe is: “The Biking Fam”. Not sure how that one got started… Good day, Francis. See pix below
Luckily, we had a rest day on 6/15. I was ready for one, and everyone else, even moreso! Damascus is a small town in rural VA. However it is unique in the fact that the AT (Appalachian Trail), TransAmerica Bike Trail, and VA Creeper trail all run through the town. As a result, there are not two but three bike / outdoor gear stores, along with several nice restaurants; and also a bonafide coffee (meaning real espresso) beverage shop: rejoice! This place also served food. It was so good, I went back for lunch!
Ahh, pictured above is a lovely cappuccino and French toast!
Besides all of the wonderful food, Damascus also provided an excellent opportunity to purchase some items. I got a nice big sun hat, and a speedometer, which proved to be difficult to install. In fact, I had to have my Chinese touring companion Ping help me through it, even though he does not speak any English, apparently he is a retired engineer, and he knew what he was doing! Damascus was a wonderful town for a rest day to rejuvenate the legs. I would absolutely reccomend it for a weekend get-away, and I know that personally I would love to visit it again.
Good evening, Francis
Last evening, our biking troupe stayed at the Wytheville town park pavilion. A small update on the contents of the company: from the beginning, I have been travelling with Danny Beck, a Philadelphia resident. He is attempting the entire TransAmerica trail. He started in Yorktown, VA, and is biking all the way to Astoria, Oregon! We have also met up with a father - daughter team on a tandem bicycle. They started in Charlottesville, VA, and are going to St. Louis, as am I. Most recently, we have met up with a Chinese couple, also completing the entire route. From what I understand, I believe that they are meeting their daughter for graduation in California. As an added impediment, they do not speak any English. I am absoulutely astounded that they are journeying across the USA, and without a grasp of the English language no less! Anyway, this morning, we woke up early to the crisp 50 degree Apalachian air, and packed up our stuff. Breakfast unfortunately was not up to expectations, just a crumby diner. Most of today was spent climbing a big hill, luckily it was a very gradual climb, and the scenery was absolutely stunning. We went through Jefferson National Forest and Mt. Rogers state park for the duration of the day. I noticed that there is some great rock features here. I wonder if it is sandstone like it is in West Virginia. See the pictures below, peace!
Unfortunately, I was unable to update the blog yesterday, due to connectivity issues. I am just going to put up pictures for yesterday.