Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 116 ~ Back In The Saddle Again!

Team Triple "Double" (minus Mommy's picture taking hand) Salute to start off our day. We also had a group hug.

Gregory receives his Lego catalog from Grammy during our mail stop in Rosedale.

Picturesque Posies

Gregory got a kick out of the Texas Longhorns we saw today and below he is doing a good job of calling these cattle to the gate. They got within about 6 feet of him.

It is kind of hard to tell from these shots but we had one steep climb today. This is an uphill shot and below I'm looking over the edge of the road. There is a tiny creek running along down below.

Route 76

Family Photo After Our Big Climb

Team triple salute as we conquer our huge climb of the day and get ready for a 4 mile downhill. It was wet with lots of switchbacks so we had to take it easy but we had some spectacular views and saw 4 deer multiple times as we kept catching them on the switchbacks.

Beautiful view as we crest the rise of a hill. We are turning right and will ride over these mountains tomorrow.

Mike and Gregory both just say no to another picture. This time we are taking a rest out in front of the Damascus High School. We hear this town is really into their football.

Gregory shows us the 24" wheel Specialized he'd like as his next bike. The 20" Gary Fisher that is in the rafters at Grammy and Papa's house is sure to be too small when we finish our travels.

The Appalachian Trail (AT for short) runs right out in front of Adventure Damascus Mountain Biking. Note: The brick walkway is the AT. See below why Damascus considers itself "Trail Town U.S.A."

John over at Mt. Rogers Outfitters gives Gregory a necklace. He made the "chain" while the AT association makes the wooden medallions. This one has a white blaze like they use to mark the trees on the Appalachian Trail.

Dinner at Quincey's Pizza was divine. I had Cajun Pasta with Grilled Salmon and Mike had the Creole dish below.

Date: November 12, 2009

From: Lebanon, Virginia

To: Damascus,Virginia

Route: Hwy. 19 to Hwy. 80 to CR803, CR709, SR91

Miles Today: 45 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,329 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cloudy and Cold (43 degrees at 7:30 A.M. ~ Brrrrr…)

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (Gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois, 4 Kentucky (2 Gifted from Beth and Garry Feltus, one gifted from cousin John, one from Hwy. 127)

Flats: 9

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

Today was a rousing success. I was so incredibly proud of our teamwork and determination. It felt colder this morning than ever before and we could see our breath as we exhaled. We were off to breakfast by 7:30 A.M. and on the road by 8:30 A.M. It was a bit frustrating to have to ride the 8 miles back to Rosedale to pick up our mail and then have to backtrack 2 miles yet again before we could rejoin our TransAm route but we were really pulling together like a well-oiled machine. I know Gregory was motivated to get our mail because in the package from Grammy was his Lego catalog! I too was happy to have my blood pressure medication and other prescriptions and supplements. It wouldn't do for me to be climbing these hills with high blood pressure!

At the post office we met a kindly older lady who told us about the Methodist Church that puts up cyclists. When we told her we'd called yesterday but had only gotten a machine, she apologized and explained that they leave the kitchen door on the church open for cyclists! Ugh. All we would have had to do was find the church and check the door and we wouldn't have had to delay Doug and Alice and we wouldn't have had to ride another 8 miles out of the way. But, we can't look back now with regret. We must look onward and be thankful that we were so close to all of the services Lebanon had to offer.

We took time at the Valero Fas Mart to warm up, use the facilities and let Gregory peruse his catalog before heading out. The morning went incredibly well despite the fact that we had one huge whopper of a climb with a lot of sharp switchbacks. I was huffing and puffing something awful and Mike made several stops just so I could catch my breath. My patience for Gregory's many adjustments (fixing the balaclava after he got it so twisted from itching his head that he couldn't see through the eye hole; adjusting his shorts, tights and fleece pants so they didn't rub on his waist; switching out gloves, etc.) was wearing thin and Mike had to step in while I stepped away from the bike for a meditative stare up at the hawk soaring in the sky…breathe Dorrie, just breathe… My mood improved greatly when the sun decided to peek out from behind the clouds even if it was ever so brief.

Lunch was at the first place we saw as we came into Meadowview, The Little Diner. We cringed a bit when we saw the owner smoking at the counter but thinking it was the only thing in town and finding that they did have a non-smoking section we decided to give it a try. I must say I was really surprised by my delicious lunch special of chicken and dumplings. I haven't had chicken and dumplings since I was a girl and it was just as good as I remember my mom making. Buck, a retired plumber (believe it or not), was our waiter and was a kick. Not only did we get great service but he kind of took a shine to Gregory and kept asking him about our trip. He even snuck him a Snickers candy bar. I paid my compliments to the chef, owner Chris Patterson, and Buck came outside to see us off.

The last 13 miles to Damascus had a few good rollers but we made good time and got in around 3:30 P.M. We even had a lengthy stop where Gregory tried to coax several cows over to the fence. They came within about 6 feet of the gate but didn't quite know what to make of this masked creature.

Damascus calls itself "Trail Town U.S.A" because not only does the TransAmerica Trail run through the town but also the Appalachian Trail (a hiking trail from Maine to Georgia) and the Virginia Creeper Trail (a 33.4 mile Rails to Trails that connects Abingdon, Virginia, with the Virginia-North Carolina border) and the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail. At lunch we'd talked to Paul at Adventure Damascus Mountain Biking and he informed us that the hostel for AT hikers and Adventure Cyclists had no heat and was closed for the season. His other recommendation called The Dancing Bear proved to be closed for the season as well but owner Diane referred us to Debbie at The Apple Tree B & B where we are extremely comfortable. I'd actually given Debbie our website over the phone at lunch so she got a chance to see us and our bike before we showed up at her door. She had us all set in a room with a queen bed and a twin she made up especially for Gregory.

After stowing the bike in Diane's garage and getting some nice hot showers we made our way down the street to Quincey's Pizza for dinner. You are probably thinking the same thing I was, "Pizza. Not pizza again…." Quincey's was highly recommended and didn't disappoint. As you saw from my pictures I had Cajun pasta with grilled salmon and the salmon was cooked to perfection. Mike had a Creole dish with shrimp and sausage that he said was delicious. Mike also sampled a local Charlottesville, Virginia winter ale called "The Gift." I had a sip and it was pretty tasty. I had to marvel at the fact that we were all sitting there together, happily enjoying a delicious meal and each other's company after a grueling day of climbing. What a way to bounce back Team Triple!!!


  1. YAY! I knew you guys would bounce back! You are amazing :-)!! ~ Blue

  2. Thanks Blue! We're hanging in there. Hugs! Dorrie