04/24/2010 — Reunited

April 26, 2010

I woke up early, ate a light breakfast, and headed down towards Hayters Gap. The ride downhill was pretty intense and long, which I enjoyed quite a bit as there was almost no traffic. Although it was about 10 miles from Meadowview, it was all downhill and I was at the base of Clinch Mountain. Dawson warned me the night before of how serious the climb would be the night before – so I already knew I was in for quite a workout. I stripped down to bike shorts and a jersey (I had been wearing my rain gear in the morning) and headed up the mountain.

It wasn’t incredibly steep, but definitely steep enough to make your legs feel it quite a bit – and it just seemed to go on and on. My legs were feeling pretty strong, and I was excited to know where Dawson was and that I’d find him soon – so my motivation and morale was high throughout the whole climb. The ride down the other side was really quite enjoyable as well – and I took some really pretty shots of the landscape from the backside of it.

After crossing the mountain it wasn’t long before I pulled up to the Elk Garden United Methodist Church which has the Biker Hostel that Dawson stayed overnight at. This turned out to be a really nice place, with a full kitchen stocked with food for traveling cyclists. I gave Daws a hug, filled up my water bottles, and headed down the street to the Rosedale Elementary School where I was told I could pick up WIFI. Dawson loaded his bike in the meantime and met me over there, and I loaded up a couple days worth of blogs / pictures for your viewing pleasure.

After Dawson’s extremely long ride yesterday, and me being about 21 miles and a mountain ahead of him we both knew that we’d be somewhat limited by our legs today.
We headed out on State Route 80 towards Kentucky and rode for a while, watching the rain clouds grow and shrink around us. We knew that there was another set of climbs to do ahead of us, and neither were quite sure if we had enough in us to cross those today.

We were clearing climbing in elevation, and went through some small spurts of light rain, but were generally still making pretty good headway. However, when 4 PM rolled around and we saw Big A Mountain in front us, we both thought that we’d need to find a place to camp. We knew there were no campgrounds until the other side, and that there were no motels either – so we figured we were just looking for a discreet place to set up camp out of site. This place never presented itself. We just kept climbing into the mountains, all the while still thinking we would stop for the night – but still nothing but clearly marked farmland or people’s lawns.

We arrived in Council, Virginia close to 6 PM, which had a recreational park maked on the map as a camping area. We headed inside but couldn’t find a camp office or anything – but after asking a man who we saw in the park, we were informed that we could stay in the pavilion. The man told us that cyclists stay under there regularly, and that he would know because his brother does maintainence at the park. This was about all of the convincing that we needed, so we rode on in to set up “camp”.

We decided that we weren’t going to set up tents since we were already sheltered from the rain – so we both blew up our sleeping pads and laid our sleeping bags on the top of picnic tables – our bunks for the night.

It’s dark now, and the rain is coming down hard. Dawson is asleep already, and I will be going over to sleep as well in a few moments.

Tomorrow we have an easy thirty mile ride to Breaks Interstate Park – right on the Virginia & Kentucky state line. We’re planning on getting a motel in town when we arrive, possibly enjoying a pizza, and definitely a hot shower – and then heading into Kentucky the next morning with full stomachs, feeling clean and fresh, and ready for the next chapter of our adventure together.

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2 Responses to “04/24/2010 — Reunited”

  1. Megan said

    Reunited and it feels spoon good!
    That hostel was cool with a full kitchen! Too bad you didn’t get to stay there!
    You totally camped whispering pines style on top of picnic tables in the pavilion!
    Miss’s you!

  2. Megan said

    Please photograph Dawson kissing the Kentucky sign!

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