Day 3: Mineral VA to Charlottesville VA 59 miles 85 degrees and overcast.. and double muggy.
On tour, I feel like I'm in a bubble. Cars whiz by not seeing the wild turkeys mating dance in the fields or the doe and faun cautiously eyeing me trying to determine if I'm a threat... the world plays out in slow motion for me. And my mind follows suit. I become more deliberate in thought, a side effect of living in the moment.
People are the same everywhere. They want to love and be loved and have shelter and security. But our mores sure differ. As I travel from western, through central Virginia, closing in on Appalachia, its not only the accents that seem foreign - there also seems to be a cultural time lag. After riding over hills in heat and humidity, all I want at ride's end is an IPA. But no. Bud, Bud Light or Corona ("It's imported," says the bartender from 1963.) OY.
Although I rode by wonderful history today - James Monroe's home and Monticello, and I'm staying in a motel in Charlottesville just a block from the old campus of the University of Virginia, designed and built by Jefferson. But what really caught my eye: I must have ridden by 20 graveyards today (see pics below). Some next to churches, but many, next to "ordinary" homes. At one of them, I noticed that a number of graves dating back 200 years, we're members of the Lawson family, right next door to a double-wide with a little wood sign that said, "The Lawsons". Again, OY.
Tomorrow I tackle what some say is one of the most challenging days of the tour, a climb over the Blue Ridge Parkway (see map below). Weather forecast: 90 degrees, thunderstorms... but I'll deal with that when it happens - tonight, I enjoy an IPA in my motel room. Hey, I had to go to three markets to find one, I think I deserve it. :)
1 - Roadside Graveyard
2 - Farm view
3. Elevation map