So this is about my ride (only 56 miles today!) to Wytheville, VA, seeing some beautiful scenery, and a successful reunion with the Dutch couple. I slept well in the hostel last night. The windows were open and there was a slight cool breeze coming through the room. For me that is almost perfect sleeping conditions. I especially love cool air in the room — in fact, I crank up the cool air when I’m in a hotel room and pull over the covers. For some reason, I sleep well that way. It was a beautiful day today…sunny, cool, and no humidity. I was next to the Appalachian Trail and I’m sure the hikers loved this weather. I did some writing, packed up, and took off late in the morning.
I took some GoPro footage as I descended down a few mountains, which was a much different experience/landscape than the Rocky mountains. Here, I was at 3,000-4,000ft, still a good workout going up and down the various grades. The Whitetop Laurel River runs adjacent to the right of the TransAm trail…a nice, pleasant, flowing sound next to the road. Even though I had stretched myself by biking 116 miles yesterday, I was moving at a good pace today. I figured I’d arrive into Wytheville at about 6pm.
Several times I took stops at local gas stations to relax and drink some water. I had just run out of Core Power, and was really looking forward to the next shipment, due to arrive in Washington, DC in a few days at our Warm Showers host’s house. At the gas stations today — more than any other time in my trip — a steady flow of people stopped to ask me where I was going, where I began, and how many miles I averaged each day. I almost felt like I was at press conference. They were friendly folks, and — unlike yesterday — no one screamed “faggot!” or flipped me off — while I was riding my bike. In fact, there were a few people who put their hands out the window, either waving or giving a thumbs up. That was a more positive experience. 🙂
I arrived into Wytheville and went to the motel that Terry had found for us. Wytheville is definitely big enough that you could very well miss meeting up with fellow bicyclists as a meet up point. But as I biked into the motel parking lot, and went up to Terry’s car, I heard some screaming in the behind me. It was Peter and Ilsa, the Dutchies! One final reunion was taking place tonight. We had a few beers and talked about our respective riding experiences since the last time we saw each other in Sebree, KY, ten days prior. We grabbed some Sonic across the street (pushing Ilsa in an abandoned shopping cart, right up to the Sonic microphone to order take out). Freaking hilarious. Then we brought our food back to the hotel and ate outside. At one point, we heard some cops yell, “Open the door!” then one of them ran back twenty feet, and ran full out into the door, breaking it open and nabbing some dude. I guess you can observe some weird things when you travel.
After a great evening with the Dutchies, Terry and I went to our room and called it a night. Tomorrow, we’re going to Washington, D.C.