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Wonderful day of riding today. I woke up around 6 as my host, Larry left to go pick antiques. He told me to lock up his hostel when I left 🤷I had a subway sandwich from the night before for breakfast (unrefrigerated because I was too lazy). 
I left around 7 and got back on the Virginia Creeper trail. As it had been yesterday it was stunningly gorgeous. I rode upstream of a river for 11 miles. The grade was gentle since this used to be a railroad track and they can’t be too steep or the engines can’t club them

I crossed trestle bridges

The vegetation was thick tree cover and Virginia vines.

After some miles I came to a wide open field and got a look at the hills around me

The sun only started to break through after a few hours but it was gorgeous when it did

Eventually the dream came to an end and I emerged back onto the road. Somehow the road was almost as beautiful as the trail

I rode a few miles to the small town of Konnarock and stopped for donuts and soda. The clerk told me a westbound rider had just stopped through. I must have missed them since I was on the trail. Bummer
After town the road sloped up again gently but it wasn’t too bad. The scenery continued to be amazing. It’s so wet here that there’s rain under the trees from dew, but it’s dry everywhere else (well not dry, it’s pretty humid). I went quickly up the climb, even though it was 10+ miles and came over the top, crossing the Appalachian trail. With that, I’d crossed the second to last high climb of the route. All that’s left is the Blue Ridge Parkway which is supposed to be tough but I’ll cross that hill when I get to it. I got rewarded for my climb with a 4 mile long descent. It was so long I had time to get a video.
The descent finished a few miles in the town of Troutdale and I pedaled toward it. There was nothing in town and I climbed another small hill then descended down to Sugar Grove. Traffic was respectful, except for two huge lifted black pickups. One of them drove behind me for a bit respectfully waiting for a safe point to pass, which I appreciated. The one behind him honked which I guess made the first truck impatient and he passed me quickly spewing black smoke everywhere. I waved at him. I reached Sugar Grove and stopped at a dollar general. I saw the two black lifted pickups in the parking lot. I took my mace that I carry for dogs in to the store with me in case one of these people, who’ve already proven themselves rude, tried to start something. They just refused to look at me in the store and said nothing, maybe they were ashamed of their actions but I doubt it. I got a soda and ice cream then got back on the road. The sugar rush propelled me quickly to the next town, Rural Retreat where I stopped for subway. It wasn’t that rural. I looked at the map and I only had 10 miles to go so I took my time and enjoyed the air conditioning. I got back on the road and turned onto US Route 11. This was a busy road paralleling interstate 81, but it was wide with long sightlines and mellow gradients. I had a really good time moving quickly along it. The scenery was more open than I’ve seen recently.

I pulled into my stopping point for the day, Wytheville, around 3 and got checked in at Red Roof Inn. I went to the room and did nothing for several hours. Then, I went to the town community center and went for a soak in the hot tub and got some reading time. The janitor was super funny and friendly. Then I went and got some Chinese food where the staff were very concerned about me successfully getting the food home on the back of the bike. I managed and enjoyed the food at home watching TV.
My mom and I talked on the phone about some of my siblings meeting me in Yorktown. That’s when it kind of hit me that I’m only like 1.5 weeks from the end of this entire trip I’m kind of blown away by that. I’m gonna get some sleep for a moment is day tomorrow, on to the final map! Night!

Distance: 60ish


  • Subway footlong
  • Fig bar
  • Donut
  • Soda
  • Ice cream sandwich
  • Sour patch kids
  • Subway footlong
  • Cookies
  • Soda
  • General Tso’s
  • Chicken fried rice
  • Fried banana
  • Sweet tea
  • Egg roll
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