The Nathan & April Adventure

The journey *is* the adventure!

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Day 96 (11.19.10): The Great Dismal Swamp

Normally, road closures are inconvenient at best. We're never sure how far out of the way the detour will take us, what kind of roads we'll be on, or if they'll even be passable on a bike. Plus, since we don't have a GPS, most of our calculations are based on knowing how many miles we have to ride between point A and point B and ultimately, how far until we reach our final destination. Not to mention, we were already really, really tight for time!

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Day 95 (11.18.10): Crazy Connection in Suffolk

It turns out our mail went to the wrong post office.  Now we were faced with the fact that our mail was at a post office that was 6 miles in the wrong direction. That meant it was 12 extra miles round trip on top of the fact that we were already getting a late start because the post office didn't open until 10!  Thankfully, a very nice man named Dan walked in about then. After finding out what had happened, he simply said, "Load your bikes in my truck and I'll take you to get your mail if you like." Yay!

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Day 93 (11.16.10): Disappearing Diners

Since we had so far to go and not a lot of extra time, we decided to try and eat a big meal at about mile 20, that way we could go the rest of the way without any big stops. The only problem was that the restaurant that was supposed to be at the 20 mile mark was closed. Around mile 23 we stopped at a gas station and had some hot dogs to hold us over.

Over the next 30+ miles, all the restaurants marked on our map were either out of business, closed, or the road was closed and we were detoured around them! We were both getting pretty hungry and frustrated with the lack of towns and places to eat.

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Day 92 (11.15.10): The Center of the Universe!

As darkness fell we had no idea how far we were from Ashland. Since we'd taken a different, more direct route than the official ACA route, our maps didn't give us accurate mileage estimates. We only knew that our legs were tired, there was no shoulder, we were in the middle of nowhere, and it was dark! In fact there was no moon, no stars, and no street lamps! If it hadn't been for the near constant stream of cars from the other direction, we wouldn't have had any usable light at all! We were definitely not enjoying our second night ride any more than our first one back in Yellowstone. Maybe even a little less!

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Day 90 (11.13.10): A “hellacious” ride and the Cookie Lady

Nathan and I got up and went to the porta potty behind Gerties, and my butt almost froze to the seat!  That wasn't the best way to start my day today…especially considering how much I was already not looking forward to it.  Today, if you forgot, we are going to be climbing up Mount Vesuvius and riding the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This part of the trail has been laughed at, called "hellacious", and was said to be the hardest part of the entire TransAmerica Trail.  This is also the only mountain we've ever heard people say they would rather go UP than down because it's so steep.  For a girl who's already tired of mountains and hills, this makes me grumpy just THINKING about it.  The only thing I was looking forward to was our warm breakfast at Gertie's and the end of the day at the Cookie Lady's house. 

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Day 88 (11.11.10): 4,000 miles

Who knows, maybe I'm just in a bad mood because I'm starting to have more thoughts of home than I am of the route, but this was REALLY tough.  Why did the Adventure Cycling Association choose such difficult roads?  I mean, these roads would be difficult in a CAR!  Was the route planned as a super-duper weight-loss program, or a Navy Seals training course or something? 

My legs were tired, and my mind was tired, and we just kept turning corners and finding more hills to climb.  I decided that if the route was this hard BEFORE the Blue Ridge Parkway section, then I didn't think I could handle it, so I devised a great plan in my mind, then I pulled up to Nathan and told him I had something to tell him.

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Day 87 (11.10.10): Road 666

We were enjoying the views and tolerating the hills well enough, but we were getting close to the tipping point on our hill-o-meter and had almost had enough.  There was hardly ever a flat stretch, and the hills kept coming, and coming, and coming.  We were both pretty tired and getting crabby when we turned onto a road called "666".  We found the name ENTIRELY appropriate!