Awesome (Second) First Day

Written on Sunday, 6/19/11

Underneath a tree in a park in Buchanan, VA

Just like last time, Edward and Katherine joined me on my first day of cycling. Unlike last time, our friend Matt joined us at the start of the ascent of Afton mountain (brutal start, but he’s a beast). We took a different route up the mountain because we wanted to visit the famed Cookie Lady.

June Curry has lived in the same house on Afton for 85 years and has been offering water and cookies to cyclists since 1979 (the TransAmerican Bike route passes right by her house, so  she’s become somewhat of a legend to cyclists looking for rest after the difficult climb). She’s quite an interesting lady – she talked our ears off about everything from the morning news to a childhood memory of her washing her dad’s car with vasoline…

She gave us keys to her guesthouse, offering whatever snacks we could find and asking us to sign the guestbook. As we unlocked the door and entered the guesthouse, we were stuck by a sight we couldn’t have imagined:

Wall to wall, staircase, tables, nearly every surface area covered with postcards, letters, and bike paraphernalia from cyclists who have visited her. She really has touched thousands of bicyclists on their journeys. Amazing. (Also, she forgot about us after lending us the guesthouse keys; despite ringing the doorbell, knocking, and hollering, we couldn’t get her attention, so we had to leave the keys on her front door, hence no group pic…)

Other points of interest: we met a lost Appalachian Trail hiker on the top of Afton. Knowing my direction skills, I let the other three do the talking in helping him find his way. Also, we got caught in a rainstorm around the time we realized Google maps had led us astray – turned out the campground was 10 miles further than we thought. But when we arrived, weary and wet, our spirits immediately soared when we saw our friends at the campsite! That’s right, several of our friends from Charlottesville (and one from DC – you’re a trooper, Katy!) drove to meet us at the campground, loaded with burgers, hotdogs, beer, watermelon, potato salad, coleslaw, s’mores…put simply, bicyclist food porn. We gorged ourselves (in fact, got so lost in the food I forgot to take pictures of this momentous event). Needless to say, it was the BEST start of the trip I could ask for.

Also, I write this amidst fireflies glinting in the sun’s fading rays, resting against a tree in a park, facing a river I swam in an hour ago. Peaceful.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wizzard on June 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Love what ever JV is doing in that first pic and the fact that virginia is completely hiding behind you….

    Reply

  2. JV does whatever she wants in every picture. ever. haha btw i’ve been kind of ill since the trip, and i’m suspicious of the cookie lady’s open bag of cookies in her guest house. or maybe it’s from petting the rabid cat outside her house….

    Reply

    • Posted by bcline909 on July 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      or it could be the universe recommending you hop back on your bike and join me the rest of the way…

      Reply

  3. I am so glad you got a good start (again). Keep it up, you’re going to be awesome!

    Reply

    • Posted by bcline909 on July 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      you already ARE awesome GBD! this ride will maybe bring me halfway to your adventuresome awesomeness,

      Reply

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