Appalachian Adventure Update: Christiansburg, June 30

We’ve had a mix of highs and lows the last two days riding from Abingdon to Galax, and then on to Christiansburg, Va.

Yesterday we toured through the outfitter town of Damascus, which serves nearby hiking and biking adventures, but the rain set in on us, on and off, for the rest of the day. We stopped for lunch at Jerry’s Kitchen near the Appalachian Trail and wrote in their traveler’s log. The comments from the through hikers were hilarious and touching.

After about 45 minutes waiting out hard downpours in a barn, Crista and Chuck and MG and I set off during a break for Galax, only to run through showers all the way to town. The town’s only decent hotel, the Rodeway Inn, was pretty basic but did the job.

Today we had spectacular skies as we pedaled up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for more than 40 miles, passing by Fancy Gap. It was the first time MG and I had been on the parkway and we found it quiet and spectacular and surprisingly tandem friendly. We struck up a conversation with Eric Young of Atlanta who was touring and he came north with us to lunch before we exited the parkway to Floyd and then braved incredibly steep rollers to Christiansburg. We hit 52 m.p.h. on the way down one of them but had to pedal with everything to get back up the next.

Tonight we are in the lap of relative luxury in a spiffy new Fairfield Inn, before heading back into the rural charm of southwestern Virginia on our way to tiny Buchanan. Sorry I have no pictures to post right now; the hotel computer won’t allow photo uploads.

We’re continuing to watch the riders at the Cascade 1200 and 1000K rides. Looks like a hot day today for Carol and Maile in the Yakima Valley as they head toward the 1000K finish line in Mazama tonight, and Lothar on the 1200K route. Keep going you guys!

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