Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 136 ~ Jamestown Settlement ~ America's First Permanent English Settlement, 1607

A Re-creation of a Powhatan Indian Village

Inside a Powhatan home we found was a smoky place to be.

Gregory tries out a nice comfy bed of many layers of deer skins.

Grinding Corn with a pestle like the Powhatan Indians

Dried Corn

Checking out a Deer Skin... The Powhatan Indians use oyster shells to scrape the hair from the hide.

Gregory and I find a comfortable deer skin bed in one of the recreated Powhatan Indian Homes

Indian Tools...The knife on the left is made from a stone called chert. The California Indians use obsidian to make arrowheads and knives. Only a few obsidian artifacts have been found here. The costumed interpreter that was making tools explained that perhaps the obsidian came to be here through trading.

This is a replica of the Susan Constant ~ The largest of the three ships that brought the first permanent English settlers to Jamestown

Aboard the Susan Constant

Gregory on Guard

Mike points out our location on the map. This is the site of Jamestown Settlement. The river to the north is the York River where we were yesterday. These rivers and the Chesapeake Bay feed into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery followed the trade winds to make the 6,000 mile journey from England to Jamestown. It took them about 4 and a half months, coincidentally about the same amount of time it took us to ride our bicycle across the United States of America!!

Gregory found this armor was quite heavy.

Above Gregory is learning how to use a musket and below he gets some instruction on the fine art of using a dagger.

It was a gray and soggy day when we left the Jamestown Settlement.

Date: December 2, 2009

From: Williamsburg,Virginia

To: Jamestown Settlement and back to Williamsburg

Route: Hwy. 31 (Jamestown Rd.) via rental car

Miles Today: 0 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,680 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cloudy and Cold with Pouring Rain in the Afternoon

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), 1 Virginia, 1 Maryland plate gifted from the McClure Family

Flats: 11

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

When I awoke my eyes still burned with the reminder of the drama of last night and I wasn't quite ready to kiss and make up. Mike curled up to me and apologized for last night but I remained quiet. Usually I'm pretty quick to forgive but for whatever reason I needed some more time. After he showered I encouraged him to go up to breakfast to have some time to himself. He said, "You just want some time away from me." I simply said, "Yes." What is so wrong with that I ask you? We've been together 24-7 for 135 days!! Gregory and I joined him about a half hour later once I'd taken a nice long shower and Gregory watched a few cartoons.

Breakfast was quiet and I can't explain it but I almost cried just watching people getting excited over Ellen's 12 days of Christmas giveaways. I tell you I feel like I'm cracking up a bit. None of us knew quite what we were going to do today since our plan to go to Jamestown Settlement via bike was foiled by the weather forecast of 90 percent chance of rain. I honestly think that even if it was sunny and 70 degrees that it wouldn't have been wise for us to get back on that bike together today.

We all agreed that we'd like to go to Jamestown so Mike decided we should rent a car for the day. It turned out to be just the ticket and we had an amazing time at Jamestown Settlement . Gregory and I have been reading a piece of historical fiction called Surviving Jamestown by Gail Karwoski and we have really been looking forward to visiting this re-creation of America's First Permanent English Colony that was settled in 1607.

The rain held off just long enough that we were able to explore the Powhatan Indian village with its costumed interpreters as well as the replicas of the ships the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed that brought the first colonists (104 men and boys including Captain John Smith) to Jamestown. We also thoroughly enjoyed poking around James Fort and seeing the musket demonstrations. One of the costumed interpreters spent quite a lot of time with Gregory showing him how to hold his rifle and how to load the musket. He then gave him some tips on how to use a dagger and let Gregory handle his personal dagger that he uses in reenactments.

Gregory had a chance to grind corn and lay down on deer skin pelts that the were used by the Powhatan Indians for their beds. He saw demonstrations of tanning hides, tool making and had an opportunity to hold some of the tools made and used by the Indians. At the fort he tried on some armor and got to see how the early colonists lived. We learned that each morning and night the colonists would meet at the church for a short prayer but also to get the news of the day. Often it was a way to see who had lived through the day or the night as the settlement was plagued with much sickness and death. Very few settlers survived that first winter. Even as more settlers arrived over the years the settlement was plagued with drought and a lack of food. They called the winter of 1609-1610 the starving time.

I think that reading the story and seeing the recreated settlement really made this part of history come to life for Gregory. He is really eager to finish the story and find out what happens to our main character, the young Samuel Collier, who was the real life page to Captain John Smith.

At around 4:30P.M. when we left Jamestown Settlement Museum (that was indoors and quite cozy) we stepped out into the pouring rain on our way to our rental car and I said, "I really wish we were hopping on our bike right now to ride the 7 miles back to the motel…" "Ya right Mom," Gregory chimed in.

We took advantage of having the car and stopped to get books at the used bookstore, grab some dinner and explore a couple of shops. The rain continued to come down in buckets and on our drive home we had someone pull out right in front of us. I literally screamed out loud and Mike had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting this guy. My heart was racing for a good long while after that incident. I'm so thankful that I don't have to report that after riding almost 3,700 miles on a bicycle that we were creamed in a car accident the day after finishing our journey!

Day 135 ~ Victory at Yorktown ~ WE DID IT!

Gregory gives the thumbs up because today he knows that we will complete our cross country bicycle adventure when we arrive in Yorktown!

At Yorktown Battlefield we were honored to sign the 76 Bike Route Registry and receive our official pins. I recorded 133 days here but after checking my records and finding a slight error I would have to correct that to read 135 days with approximately 3,700 miles ridden. Yippee!

Yorktown Battlefield

Gregory is proud to announce..."WE DID IT!"

Thumbs Up For Team Triple ~ Here we are posing at the Yorktown Victory Monument just a few hundred yards from the Battlefield and the official end of our TransAmerica 76 Bike Route

V is for Victory at Yorktown

Checking out an oyster shell. The Powhatan Indians used these to scrap the hair from deer hides.

7•20•09 to 12•1•09 tripleontour

Riding along the York River as we make our way back to Williamsburg

Date: December 1, 2009

From: Williamsburg,Virginia

To: Yorktown, Virginia and back to Williamsburg

Route: Colonial Parkway and End of the TransAmerica 76 Bicycle Route!!

Miles Today: 30 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,680 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Sunny and Low 60s (Frost in the morning and cooler in the evening)

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), 1 Virginia, 1 Maryland plate gifted from the McClure Family

Flats: 11

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

First I have to say WOW! We did it! What a wondrous feeling of accomplishment. It has not been a day without its ups and downs though. You know what it is like to be working towards something for so long and to have this idea in your head how the culmination of this event will occur? Of course I had grand ideas that everything about the day would be perfect and we would have this fantastic celebration with everything in a neat little box.

We did have that celebration but it seemed a bit more toned down than I imagined. First, we pulled into Yorktown and our first stop was the Yorktown Battlefield rather than the Yorktown Victory Monument that is the official end of the TransAmerica 76 Route. So, before we actually threw our arms up in the air and said, "Hurray. We did it!" we had the tour of the Yorktown Battlefield and museum run by the National Park Service. We did get to sign the log book at the museum and received our official 76 Bike Route pins and that was pretty terrific. While we toured the museum and even out front we talked with several people about our accomplishment. All the while I couldn't relax and I felt anxious and eager to ride the few extra yards to the monument that was just around the corner. Gregory too sat against a wall anxiously awaiting our departure while we politely talked to folks about our journey. We've often said that meeting people has been one of the best parts of the journey but today we were eager to finish!

In the morning the 13-mile ride down to Yorktown via the Colonial Parkway was lovely. It was a sunny day and though cool it was comfortable. By the time we reached our final destination, the Yorktown Victory Monument, we were sitting on the steps basking in full sun with temperatures in the low 60s. To me that felt wondrous, just sitting on the steps of that monument with my guys and not only basking in the warmth of the glorious sun on this December 1st morning but also basking in the accomplishment of what we just achieved as a family.

As I struggled to set up a timed shot on the camera we had the good fortune of meeting Liz, her son Daniel and their Irish terrier Bella. Liz happily took many pictures for us and Gregory had a great time running around the steps at the base of the monument with Bella and Daniel. We spent almost 2 hours there just visiting and sharing about our trip, ideas for our future, her experience in Germany and what life was like here in Yorktown. By the time we were all ready to head out, Liz had offered us a ride the 75 miles back to Mechanicsville on Thursday. I am once again ever so thankful for our good fortune and the blessing of people who have reached out to us on our journey.

I knew that 75 miles back uphill to Mechanicsville from Williamsburg would be both a struggle mentally and physically for me. My knees are still giving me trouble, the saddle sore hasn't improved (we had to make a special stop for blister bandages before we could ride today), my low back has been hurting and now I've developed some sort of hives on my hands. I asked the pharmacist about it and he said it could be poison ivy, poison oak, sumac or bed bug bites! Good grief Charlie Brown! What next. I guess I didn't realize just how hard I've been trying to hold it together until I absolutely lost it this evening back at the room. It was a full on blubber fest and I have the puffy eyes to show for it.

It all started when we'd returned from our day in Yorktown and pulled up to the motel on the bicycle. Gregory was in tears. His hands were cold and he needed to go to the bathroom yet he wouldn't communicate that to me on the bicycle, even though I had directly asked him if he needed to stop and put on his balaclava. (I had no idea it was his hands that were cold.) I could hear him making little shivering sounds on the back of the bike yet he insisted he wasn't making noises of any such sort and that he didn't want to stop. (Later I found out he didn't want to go to the bathroom on the side of the road because it was too cold. He just wanted to hurry and get to the motel…) When the crying started, I first showed concern for his cold hands yet while I was trying to get him to stand still so I could put my warmer gloves on him he kept walking away from me in the direction of the room. (I didn't realize at this point that he needed to go to the bathroom.) Somehow the whole thing just spiraled out of control. Mike and I were frustrated that Gregory had let things get to this point and that now he was in tears and walking away from us while we were trying to get him to stand still and listen to us. So much for that victory day scenario I'd cooked up in my head! Meanwhile we were making quite a scene at the shuttle bus loading area.

I let Mike take the bike up to the room and walked Gregory right into the lobby and sat him down by the fire to both warm up and cool down. I went to make him hot chocolate in the adjoining breakfast area and when I got back he was still crying and said, "Can I go to the bathroom now?" "I had no idea you had to go to the bathroom! Of course, go to the bathroom," I said. Ugh!! I wanted to shout but I instead made myself a cup of tea and waited. When he returned he wanted nothing to do with me and sat on a couch in the corner with his fleece over his head. He finally took a couple of sips of his chocolate (under his fleece without looking at the big old mean mommy sitting across from him) and he asked if we could return to the room a couple of times. We sat there for a good half hour before I agreed to release him to his quarters.

After hot showers and resting on the beds in silence for a good hour or so, Mike wanted to make a move to get some dinner. I honestly could have cared less about food, I was so upset at this point. Yet, I got ready. Before we were to leave the room Mike made a plea for us to get past all of this. That is when I lost it. "I'm just upset because here we are supposed to be celebrating and instead Gregory is crying over cold hands that could have been prevented if there would have been some communication. Meanwhile, I've somehow managed to hold it together myself despite the fact that I have a saddle sore, blown out knees, low back pain and I'm just exhausted! I just wanted us to have a good day, and it was a good day, but I'm just sad that it had to end this way." I ran to the only place I could be alone, the bathroom, and I stood over the sink sobbing my eyes out while the boys sat on the other side of the wall listening to me wail. (Later I could reflect back and see that this break down was probably coming whether or not I'd let the incident with Gregory take me there. I'd just hit the wall long ago and reaching the end of our bike route was just the ticket to let my tough exterior fall away.) After I came out of the bathroom and continued my cathartic crying on the motel bed, my little boy came over and curled up next to me. I said, "I'm sorry I got upset with you. I know you were just cold." (Later I thought that maybe he too was having a bit of that end of the journey release as well. He awoke today saying he didn't feel well. He was probably having a bit of anxiety himself.)

Well, the absurdity of the evening doesn't end there. We managed to get out the door and on the shuttle bus to take us to Merchant's Square adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg where we would find more dinner options. Once there we went from one over-priced restaurant to the next. I vetoed one restaurant because it had only one couple in it and I knew that had to be a bad sign. "Let's just keep it simple and go back to the sub shop where we ate lunch yesterday." Once there we received terrible service and though it was about 8:20 P.M. (with a 9:00 P.M. close) they were only going to let us order take out. That about put Mike over the edge. When they finally agreed to let us order in, and we took a minute to make our decision, the counter girl walked away. To add insult to injury I told Mike I didn't want anything and though I told him this back at the room he just couldn't accept that I didn't want to eat. Again, his idea of having a celebratory dinner together just went out the window. He walked out of the restaurant and headed towards the shuttle bus. He was just beside himself. Meanwhile, Gregory and I just sat on a bench next to an enormous Christmas tree in a common area for several gift shops. I was fuming because Gregory and I didn't have our bus passes or money and I just sat there hoping Mike wouldn't board that shuttle and would come back. When Mike realized we had no money he did come back and we all ended up back on the shuttle to the motel and in bed by 9:00 P.M. without dinner and not another word said.

On a more positive note, I must say that after we left the Yorktown Victory Monument we did cycle down to the "beach" and we dipped our tires in the York River to once again signify the end of the journey. It isn't the Atlantic Ocean but it is pretty close. The York River feeds into the Chesapeake Bay that feeds into the Atlantic. After that, at around 2:30P.M., we had a delicious lunch of flounder at the Yorktown Pub where a cozy fire was burning in the fireplace and we had views of the York River from our table. There was a wreath in our window and the lampposts on the street were decorated with pine bows and large red felt ribbons and it was picture perfect. We had a toast and I felt completely content at that moment. It then got even better with a bit of playtime on the beach where we wrote "7•20•09 to 12•1•09 tripleontour" and had a passing tourist (that we met earlier in the day at the Yorktown Battlefield) take one last picture of Team Triple on this Victory Day in Yorktown.

Day 134 ~ Colonial Williamsburg

Beautiful Wreaths and Garlands decorated Colonial Williamsburg for the Holidays

Watching the Blacksmiths

The Printing Office

You are now my prisoner!

The Streets of Colonial Williamsburg

Double Click to read about an incident that is important in the history of the American Revolution.

The Powder Room at the Magazine

Thomas and Gregory Thomas at the Magazine where the gun powder and ammunitions are stored. This was one of Gregory's favorite stops. Thomas showed him some different holds for his rifle.

Holding a real 18th century musket at the Gunsmith Shop

The Weaver's House

The Kitchen at the Governor's Palace...Yes, that is all real food!

The Maze in the Gardens at the Governor's Palace

Date: November 30, 2009

From: Williamsburg,Virginia

To: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Route: Shuttle Bus

Miles Today: 0 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,650 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cloudy with Afternoon Showers

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), 1 Virginia, 1 Maryland plate gifted from the McClure Family

Flats: 11

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

Gregory finally got the Kentucky Long Rifle that Mike has been promising since the beginning of the trip. Gregory wanted to buy something similar our very first night in the campground in Baker City, Oregon… He started the day with a new harmonica purchased at the small hotel gift store and walked around the lobby playing it while we waited about a half hour for the Visitors Center to open. I'm sure Mike was wondering what I'd done by buying him that! Once at the Visitors Center he couldn't resist getting the rifle right away though he knew he'd have to carry it all day!

Of course some of Gregory's favorite things today were talking to the gunsmith and also to Thomas, the gentleman at the "Magazine." The Magazine is where the gunpowder and ammunition are stored. It was here that on April 21, 1775 the British secretly removed the colonists gunpowder in an attempt to prevent an open rebellion. Instead the governor who ordered the removal just pushed the Virginians closer to the war.

Thomas was terrific with Gregory and showed him different ways to carry his gun. We had him all to ourselves for quite some time and Mike and Gregory had lots of questions about the various muskets, rifles and pistols (both replicas and authentic) that were stored there.

Watching the printer at the old fashioned printing press was also particularly interesting as was the blacksmith where they were making hinges and a coal shovel. Other stops included the wigmaker where we learned that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did not wear wigs. Mr. Jefferson sat for a portrait in a wig once but didn't wear one in everyday life.

At the Milliner & Tailor we got to see and touch breeches (knee length pants) made from sheep skin which was considered more comfortable than deer skin or buck skin. At the weavers we saw demonstrations of both cotton and wool being woven with different spinning wheels. Because the cotton fibers are shorter than the wool fibers they were more difficult to spin than the wool.

At the Apothecary they recommended Camphor for my knees and at the Silversmith we watched silver being pounded into a ring. On the way to the Basketmaker we met Mark who took the time to tell us all about George Wythe even though the Wythe House was closed today. When we left after sometime with Mark, and were complimenting Gregory on being a good listener, Gregory responded, "Well, Mark is a good speaker." Indeed he was and we found the life of George Wythe, who was a great mentor to Thomas Jefferson, to be a very interesting one indeed. After we'd said our goodbyes, Mark later popped in at the Basketweaver's Cottage to tell us to stop on our way out. He had a bit of 18th century glass he'd found out behind the Wythe House just that morning. It is an interesting chunk of green glass probably from a wine bottle.

Last stop was the Governor's Palace kitchen and gardens. In the Kitchen Susan told us all about the feast she had laid out. There were 4 kinds of meat and a variety of other delectable looking dishes. The Palace gardens were interesting, though with the season and the rainy weather it was a bit dreary and gray. Gregory and Mike liked the maze and we were able to look down on maze from atop the ice house mound.

We hopped on the shuttle back to the Visitor's Center and the Cascades Motel about 5:00 P.M. After a brief stop in the bookstore to get a new book for Gregory we headed back to our room. We knew we would probably not be venturing back out into the weather for dinner. We did indeed order in. It was less that desirable food that took over an hour but I was happy to have had a nice hot bath and to have been under the covers lounging in my beddie-bye.

Tomorrow Yorktown awaits and the end of our TransAm route. But, not until we make a stop at a pharmacy for some Blister Bandaids and muscle rub!

Day 133 ~ A Triple, Two Tandems and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Goodbye to our new friends Penny and Keith...We shall meet again on Thursday!

These two tandem couples, Juanita and Winky in the background and Al and Leslie in the foreground were kind enough to show us an alternate route to avoid some construction. We were quite the train going down the roadway! Thanks guys!

Gregory decided to call his new kitty friend Boots. We met Boots outside Cul's Courthouse Grille in Charles City on the Virginia Capital Trail.

Checking out the view of the Chickahominy River from the Capital Trail Bike path that crosses the bridge.

Taking a break at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park

The Virginia Capital Trail was a nice break from the traffic on Highway 5

Even after a 73-mile day Gregory has a smile for me as we arrive in Williamsburg with its festive decorations.

Date: November 29, 2009

From: Mechanicsville,Virginia

To: Williamsburg, Virginia

Route: Hwy. 156, Back Roads to Capital Trail Bike Route into Charles City, Hwy. 5 to Capital Trail (across the Chickahominy River) and detour to Hwy. 31 due to Colonial Pkwy. closure because of bridge out

Miles Today: 73 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,650 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Sunny

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), 1 Virginia, 1 Maryland plate gifted from the McClure Family

Flats: 11

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

I started this day thinking out loud, "It is nice to be able to ride without my knees hurting." That lasted about 10 miles and that was all she wrote. They started aching again. I was so disappointed because it was a beautiful day and we knew it was going to be mostly downhill grades. Thankfully it was downhill because I frankly don't know how I would have made the 73 miles otherwise. As it was, we started the day at 8:45 A.M. and we pulled into our motel at 5:30 P.M. right at dark! We plan on riding that distance back on Thursday after we finish our route (Yorktown) and make the rounds of the Historic Triangle. We're thinking we'll have to get up at the crack of dawn to do it considering it will be uphill on the way back. To top it off I've got another enormous saddle sore. Ugh! With no needle and nothing to sterilize the pocket knife I had to try to reduce the size of the thing by hand. From the bathroom Mike and Gregory could hear, "I can't do it! It hurts too much! Owww!" Don't fool yourselves into thinking that because we've biked 3,650 miles we are immune to the aches and pains we've encountered to get here. Oh. no. We are all sore and exhausted. We managed to get showers and walk to a nearby restaurant but as soon as I ordered my salad my head was down on the table and I was almost out before the food arrived. We all went to bed at 8:00 P.M. with not a complaint from anyone. (Gregory actually read his book for a half hour before we called for lights out!)

The weather today was beautiful and if it weren't for my knees and the fact that I felt a bit hormonally out of sorts all day it would have been grand. I just felt uptight and agitated and I couldn't relax. I had to keep trying to remember to be in the moment and enjoy the beauty of the day. I kept thinking, Take one pedal stroke at a time and you will eventually get there. You are stronger than you know.

As it was we met some great people throughout our day who saved us on a couple of accounts. First we met up with two tandem couples at the Horizon Store in Glendale on Highway 156. Winky and Juanita and their friends Leslie and Al quickly learned our story and when we inquired about the sign informing us that the Willis Church Road was closed up ahead, they quickly offered to show us a detour to the Virginia Capital Trail Bike Route that would lead us right into Charles City. We were thrilled to meet these great folks and I appreciated their kindness, but I felt like we were pushing hard to stay with the pack and felt like my knees paid the price. We did make one stop to let Gregory have a look at the freshly harvested cotton fields. Balls of cotton remained on the field looking a bit like patches of snow and we picked some up to investigate. I showed him the seeds and explained that before Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin slaves picked the cotton by hand and that the sharp plants took a toll on their fingers. Gregory pocketed a bit of cotton and we set off again. With two tandems and a triple we made quite a train. We took lots of pictures and said our goodbyes when we reach the Capital Trail where we were able to ease off a bit and enjoy a little more leisurely pace. While we were standing on the Trail taking pictures Gregory said, "Mom. Our bike seems incomplete without the trailer." "I definitely agree," I replied. I think we all were missing "Good Old B.O.B." just a bit. It felt strange that "he" wasn't making the last leg to Yorktown with us.

The Virginia Capital Trail isn't quite complete and we were on Highway 5 for quite some time before we rejoined it. We actually passed by several plantations including the Sherwood Forest Plantation, home of former President John Tyler. The Capital Trail crosses over the Chickahominy River and the bridge afforded us some breathtaking views of the Chickahominey River to the north and the James River to the south. Just after the bridge we found the Chickahominey Riverfront Park that provided a nice break. Gregory played on the playground and we visited with some nice folks. By the time we departed it was getting cooler and the sun was fading from the sky.

We soon came to a stand still trying to figure out which way to turn to get on the Colonial Parkway as the Adventure Cycling route recommends. We'd totally blanked out on the fact that Winky had forewarned us that a bridge on the Parkway had been taken out by a barge and this route wouldn't been possible. Luckily for us a nice family saw us with our maps out and pulled up in their minivan. They reminded us that the bridge was out and sent us right on to the detour route of Highway 31. If it weren't for them we would have gotten in well after dark. It was dark as it was!