I woke early as usual with my usual shivers. My attempts at laying proved useless and I cleared up my camp with groggy eyes. It’s he sun wasn’t quite up and when I turned my phone on I saw it was slightly before 6 am. The coldness didn’t bother me because my feet were attracting all the attention as they hurt with every step I took. The pain areas on the bottom were discolored and I was slightly alarmed. There was nothing I could do about them except keep pedaling and hope the problem would work itself out. It wasn’t long before I reached Suffolk, VA and stopped at the first gas station I found to refill my now empty water reserves. The man behind the counter said they didn’t have a faucet in the store but there was a spigot I could use on the side of the building. Twisting the knob I discovered the water came not from the spigot but rather gushed out from all around where it was connected to the building. I opted against the leaky faucet, not caring to know what that water was touching on the other side of the filthy gas station wall. Up the road I found a McDonald’s, stopped and ordered breakfast and was able to fill my water. I also inquired about an outlet to charge my phone and was greeted with an expressionless look from the cashier who was only able to mutter, “uhhh…”. I desperately needed to have my phone power harmed as it was going to act as my navigator soon so I tried my request again with the manager and the only outlet in the entire store was on the ceiling which provided power to a light near the bathroom door. This worked for me and I pulled a chair under the outlet, plugged my phone in and set it on the light fixture while I ate my breakfast, studied my route and worked on the blog.
After loitering around while waiting for my phone to juice up I hit the road and started my morning ride. As horrible as the previous day was today was the exact opposite. Biking through Virginia was perhaps some of the best cycling I’d encountered all trip. The quiet country roads gently wound and rolled through gorgeous forests and traffic was almost non-existent. The sun was shining and the cloudless skies provided no threat of rain. It was so scenic I was inspired to sacrifice sacred battery life to snap some pictures (the reason the blog has been missing photos as of late). Despite the pains in my feet I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I sped down curving hills on roads just big enough to allow two-way traffic. I stopped to rest in a town called Bacons Castle and was disappointed to find that it wasn’t as delicious as the name led me to believe. Instead I ate a spicy pickled sausage and was able to plug my phone in for a few minutes. After the rest I carried on and made it just in time for the ferry across the James river. On the ferry I patched my tube that went flat on behalf of the Great Dismal Swamp. The ferry spit me out in historic Jamestown and I was taken aback by the loveliness of the whole area. There was a multiuser trail that took me out of Jamestown towards Charles City and it proved to be some of the prettiest riding I’d done all trip. The trail worked itself away from the road and it was such an idyllic scene of nature I thought I was dreaming. At one point I even came across a doe and her baby fawn simply standing on the side of the road. As I neared them I expected them to flee into the forest but was amazed as they watched me rapidly approach them. As I got yet even closer and they held their ground I suddenly became afraid that the mother (who’d been eying me intently was going to explode in a wild fit and perform some sort of When Animals Attack head-butt, trample combo leaving me bloodied from a good stampeding with her cloven hooves. Instead she didn’t move at all and as I rode by the Abu fawn with its beautiful white Bambi-spots pranced along side me for a few yards before darting off into the woods. Birds were chirping and butterflies floated peacefully in the air.
Once the trail ended I continued along a scenic road which took me by several historic plantations including Sherwood Plantation, former home of ex-president John Tyler. After 80 miles on the day I reached Charles City and called my uncle to tell him I was 20 miles away. He offered to pick me up and the pains in my feet convinced me it was a good idea and I accepted. After hanging up the skies darkened and it began to downpour. I had zero regrets with agreeing to be picked up. He arrived shortly thereafter and we drove back to his house slowly as we were caught in another rainstorm. It was great to see my aunt and uncle once again as it had been years since I’d been down there to visit them. They took me out to dinner at an ale house with a stunning selection of beers, nearly 300 choices. My uncle noted that the beer list was about 6 pages long and the wine list had a half a page dedicated to it. I was impressed that they had some beers for sale at nearly 40$. I did not try any of those. I’d decided to spend an extra day since I had a place to stay and my feet could use the healing time. Washington, DC was only 100 miles away and I had decided back somewhere on the gulf coast that I would most likely take a bus back from there as I’d already ridden between NYC and DC. Ending the ride in the nations Capitol seemed fitting as this ride has been something of a rediscovery of America. I bought a bus ticket for late Saturday afternoon as my uncle agreed to drive me upstate so I could make the bus in time. It then dawned on me that my journey was spiraling to a rapid end, an endeavor I’d started two and a half months ago was at its conclusion. When we got home from dinner it was past my sunset bedtime and I quickly fell asleep, enjoying a real bed.
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