Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 2: Glendale, VA to Mineral, VA (74.5 Miles)

There was an outstanding display of nature last night. A thunderstorm woke me from my uncomfortable slumber and I thanked God for the church. I woke up on and off again until finally succumbing to bodily movement. I packed everything up, paid my respects at the altar, and took off around 5:45 in the morning. It was such a beautiful morning. The sun peeking over treetops and through morning dew could not be recreated through amateur photography.

I made some good mileage in the morning, with the accompaniment of slow-rolling hills (which are always pleasant to ride). On my way towards Ashland, I ran across another cyclist out for a morning ride. Her name alludes me, yet I can't forget her kindness. We rode alongside each other for about a half hour and swapped stories. She helped me with some directions and then darted off with a pleasant well-wishing towards my trip.

After some fun, yet challenging descents/ascents, I rolled into Mineral around 2:30pm. I probably have more energy to go another 25 miles; however, there's no campsites/motels in that general direction. Luckily, I found the local volunteer fire department and they allowed me to use their bathroom & pitch up a tent outside their station. The guy I spoke with was very friendly and already apologized for the sirens that may go off in the middle of the night. I told him I was very grateful for the hospitality and cleaned up as much as possible using their sink.

I've been meeting lots of wonderful people these past 48 hours of riding. Whether it be longer interactions like the aforementioned meetings, or smaller things like people waving and smiling, or a little girl asking: “Where you goin'?” - Oregon. And her father: “How long that gonna take ya?” - 2 months! The father: “Dang!” The daughter: “Cool!”

I'm writing this entry at “Sweet Creations: Sandwich, Pizza, and Ice Cream Shop” in the small town of Mineral (population: 424), and again in an open office document. It's incredibly hard to find WiFi internet out here in the sticks. I'm planning on riding into Charlottesville around lunch time tomorrow and finding a hotel to check into. It'll be 3 days without showering and I'm beginning to smell ripe. I'll hopefully be able to upload this stuff as well. I'll upload the photos I've taken, but the majority of the beautiful images I've seen were not captured on camera. Sadly, there is inertia and momentum.. and when you start to feel the former, the latter suffers. So, most of the beautiful sights I want to share with you all have gone by in flashes, too fast for me to coax the camera out of my handlebar bag. But, it's only been two days and I'm already overdosing on the beauty of this world. I just hope I don't become accustomed to gorgeous sunrises, majestic storm clouds, pastoral landscapes, etc.. Let me not forsake these things!

If all goes according to plan, it will be nice to rest my legs and allow my saddle fatigue to heal up (thank God for Bag Balm). It's so strange – this feeling that just washed over me. I've realized how long and significant these past two days have been to me. It's as if time has slowed down and every passing second has heavy significance. I wonder what two months will feel like...


Ashley May said...

Your little tent looks so innocent and vulnerable.

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