Day 2

Sunday, 27 May 2007
  Culpeper, VA to Waynesboro, VA
81.4 miles, 7h52m, 10.3 mph
Elapsed Time: 10h26m, Max speed: 40.7mph
Total Climbing: 5148ft, Max elevation: 1899ft
Total mileage: 172.0

Copyright 2002 DeLorme. Topo USA. Data copyright of content owner.

We woke up about 7am and hit the breakfast buffet hard. I ate two plates of bacon and eggs and a bunch of other stuff. Later, I was glad I did. We didn't find lunch until about 2:30.

One problem with riding through rural areas is that sometimes you can't find an open store (especially on Sunday in the South). Another problem is that you get attacked by dogs. Another reason is that sometimes the roads are made of dirt. Sometimes it's hot, and sometimes it rains.

Guess which thing didn't happen?  It didn't rain.

We weren't far out of Culpeper when the road we were on turned to dirt. Then we were attacked by a pack of non-wild dogs. I didn't want to use my precious pepper spray unless I absolutely must, so we outran them. Kevin barked at one of them and the dog seemed confused and slowed down. So we got away.

I figured this must be one of those bridges of Madison County,
so I took a picture.

At the end of the dirt road there was a little bit of a commotion. There were three police cars in the middle of nowhere. Some guy had driven his pickup straight off a curve and his trailer had folded up on top of the truck. It took three cops to make fun of the guy. It looked like everybody was standing around laughing.

Not something you see every day.

About 18 miles into the ride we came across the Aroda Store. Although they were technically closed, the nice people sold us some drinks. They told us to come back some other time for fried chicken.

Some time later we came across this calf who got out of the pasture and was eating grass along the road. As we climbed the hill, he kept looking back and running on. He couldn't get back into the pasture. Finally he turned and faced us down. I thought he was going to charge us. I wonder if pepper spray would work on a cow? We'll never know because he just let us go by.

Driving cattle up the road.

We were really getting thirsty after thirty-some miles without finding a store. We were also getting hungry. Did I mention it was really hot?

Speaking of hot. There is a store in the small crossroads town of Free Union! Woo-hoo! But the store had closed at 1pm and we reached it at 1:20. D'oh!  But there was a soda machine! Woo-hoo! But it only took coins and we didn't have any. D'oh! There was this very attractive woman just down the road doing some gardening. Amazingly, she got up and started walking toward us as we sat in from of the store looking dejected. After a few seconds it became apparent that she was not heading toward us--just past us. So I asked her if she knew where we could get some water and she led us to a spigot in her front yard. People are so nice. Especially when they're hot...I mean especially when it's hot.

Eventually we reached the crossroads at White Hall and the store was open. The woman made us bologna sandwiches and I bought way more fluids than I could drink and carry. There was no way I was going to run out of drinks again.

The fine store in White Hall.

The roads were pretty good most of the day. Traffic was usually light, but some roads that didn't seem to go anywhere had surprisingly heavy traffic. All the drivers were courteous and they almost always waited for safe opportunities to pass.

Shortly after the store in White Hall, we happened upon one of those pick your own strawberry places. We bought a quart of strawberries and devoured them. We also had strawberry milk shakes, which were really awesome.

All that was left after that was the gigantic climb up to Rockfish Gap. Rather than relive the experience, I'd rather just say it was hard. On the way up we passed the home of the famous "Cookie Lady." Her guest house was closed because her arthritis is acting up. We filled up from the hose labeled "Water for cyclists" and continued on to the top.

The Cookie Lady's guest house for touring cyclists.

Finally at the top.

We met Linda at the top of the Gap. (She drove all the way out today just to help us. Isn't she great?). We dropped our bags and dove down the other side into Waynesboro. Eventually we reached to motel and hit a nearby restaurant. The waitress had never seen anyone finish the meal that Kevin slurped up. I ate my meal and most of Linda's. And then some pie.


"Blue Ridge Tour 2007" Copyright © 2007 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.