Friday, July 9, 2010

The one where that damned John Denver song keeps going through my head

Day Five and Six ('cause we ain't that interesting, or because I'm lazy. Hard to say.)
Total mileage: 1,189
Number of times I whined about putting on suncreen: 14
Number of times I griped about my sunburn because I wouldn't put on sunscreen: 15

After spending the last few days with a relative body temperature reminiscent of a three day hot flash, I was forced to yell "Get me to the mountains, man" and we turned southeast and headed to the bottom of Virginia.

Our route took us through prime Civil War battlefields and monuments to the conflict betweeen the North and South.

But first...

We stood in the blazing sun for over an hour waiting on a funeral procession to pass through. We weaved our way through traffic to get off the main highway and spent the next hour or so waiting on traffic to clear. As it started to clear (or so I thought) I announced to the man that we could leave now and still make it to our night's destination before dark.

Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on that one. We managed to catch up to the procession within a matter of minutes and were forced to sit in the full sun on the highway, sweating like a beer on a tailgate at a tractor pull in August. I spied a road ahead with a sign for a battlefield exihibit and pleaded with The Man to turnoff the highway and drive down the shaded road. I figured if nothing else we could kill some time and give the GPS a chance to re-route us away from the traffic. We made our way down the road, enjoying the slightly cooler air and the fact that we were actually moving. Moving! With air and everything! Divine! We rode probably four or five miles, then NOOOOOOOO!!!! we were right back where we had started. The road had simply looped around and took us right back where we started. Except that we were now five miles farther BACK and had to sit through the same traffic we had just left. This may have been when I started crying. Hard to say, I've blocked it all out. Eventually we passed the cemetary and slowly began to speed our way south as traffic began to thin out.

At the bottom of Virginia, we turned into the entrance of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. There is a ranger station at the entrance of Skyline drive, where a (Ranger) (lady in a Smokey the Bear hat) (State Park Employee) nice lady gave us maps, took our ten bucks and issued us a warning. Apparently the previous day, a motorcyclist was hit by a bear. WTF? No, he did not hit a bear in the roadway. THE BEAR RAN OUT OF THE WOODS AND HIT HIM. I can not even imagine the conversation with his insurance company. Does one need special Giant Attacking Bear coverage? Luckily, at the next gift shop I found a T-shirt answering all my questions.

No, it does not come in adult sizes. Yes, I asked. And of course, I will be searching online for one that fits me, because this is possibly the best T-shirt ever!

The next day and a half were spent riding through vista views and views of vistas and scenic wonderlands of mountains. What can I say? It was cool and refreshing and clean and peaceful and beautiful. There were wonderful granola-cruncy hikers, complete with eco-friendly shoes and tattered backpacks. The ride was a calming balm to the hustle and stress and smog of the recent cities. It was cool streams and woodland charm.

We traveled through curves and tunnels and the best parts of Virginia. I recommend that everyone take a drive on Blue Ridge Parkway at some point in their lives. It will renew your spirit.

Tomorrow's agenda: West Virgina. It's all that you have heard, but weirder.


Anonymous said...

Tractor pulls in August? Sounds like fun.

alonewithcats said...

I lived in Virginia for several years, and while I'm very happy to be back on Yankee soil, this post reminded me of how much I loved having constant access to Skyline Drive. Virginia's not all bad. ;)

Andygirl said... is that Tshirt's advice supposed to help if your bike is charged by a bear? do you just curl up and feign death? said...

Dawn I feel like I am riding in the 2 seater next to you guys.( A heavy duty one of corse with the big springs) keep it coming.

Dawn said...

Scott - tractor pulls are the polo matches of Redneckyville.

Alonewithcats - Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are like heaven for bikers. I miss it too.

Andygirl - I'm banking on being able to outrun them. And cute Harley boots to save my feets. But I can definitely feign if callled upon.

Joey - As soon as we get a side car, you're there, baby. Bring snacks.

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