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.

QUICK STATS

Start End Lodging Miles $$ Spent Weather
Ashland, VA Williamsburg, VA Home (Steve & Shiela's House) 76.7 $16 L:50 H:68, Slight Headwind

 

We slept well on the back porch. It had rained softly off and on all night long, but it didn't matter because we nice and dry. It was a great porch!

Ironically, because Bruce and his wife were both professors at the local college, their kids were both off to school before they were. April packed up our gear while I made a delicious breakfast of oatmeal pecan pancakes! Using a real kitchen is so much fun!

Today, we decided we were going to try for Williamsburg, 82 miles away. We figured that given how flat the roads were now, we could handle the extra mileage. Plus, Williamsburg would put us less than 30 miles from Yorktown and the coast! This was ideal since we wanted to spend some time in Yorktown, but didn't want to take a full rest day there.

For some reason, it was very difficult to find a place to stay in Williamsburg. Most of the churches didn't answer, or just said "no". Finally, April connected with an admin named Carla at King's Way Church. Carla said she wasn't sure, but she would ask at the morning staff meeting and call us back. She said if could stay, though, we would need to be there by 4:30!

With that in mind, we took a picture with Bruce, who was the only one still home at that point, said good-bye, and headed off into the cool, overcast day.

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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 cheeseburger rolls to hold us over. For those not familiar with gas station cuisine, these are cheeseburgers in the shape of a hot dog that are then eaten in a hot dog bun. Not exactly gourmet dining, but not too bad either.

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.

At one of the out-of-business restaurants, April called to check in with Carla and see what she'd found out. Carla said that she had been calling church members to see if she could find a place for us to stay! How cool is that?! And, to top it off, the phone and internet at the church had gone down so she was using her cell phone to make her calls! Wow!

Finally, around mile 55, our map showed that we were coming up to a town and that there was a gas station with some groceries. By this point, we'd given up on a restaurant and we just wanted some food! As we rounded a bend in the road, we saw the empty shell of a closed down service station. It was almost more than April could take, the hard riding and lack of food were definitely affecting her mood for the worse! I didn't even bother stopping. I was hoping there would be another store of some kind before we left town.

Fortunately for both of us, just around the next corner was the real gas station. And it had a full grocery store attached! Hallelujah! We quickly picked out and paid for our groceries and set about devouring them.

Feeling better, we called Carla to see if she'd had any success. She had! We learned that we would be staying with Steve and Sheila (who was also Carla's best friend). Yay! In addition to knowing we had a place to stay, we now no longer had to be there by 4:30! But, our average speed was up over 14 mph, a record for us, so we decided we would keep pushing anyway!

After getting off the phone with Carla, April gave Sheila a quick call. Sheila told us that they were happy to have us stay and that they would love for us to have dinner with them. Never ones to turn down food, we were happy to agree!

With our best average pace yet and the thought of another home cooked meal motivating us, we arrived at Steve and Sheila's around 5:00, averaging 14.6 mph for over 75 miles!

We were both feeling pretty beat, but a nice shower and a kitchen full of delicious smells helped revive us! Dinner was amazing! Sheila had made shrimp, potatoes, and salad with homemade dressing. Yum!

To top it all off, they decided to treat us to Bruster's, a local ice cream shop just down the street. The waffle cones were homemade and the ice cream was, of course, great! We do love our ice cream!

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Then it was over to the church, where Steve was leading a "young married's" small group. They were great, and there was some good discussion about what it means to have a Godly marriage. It was pretty fun and we met some really cool people.

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Back home at Steve and Sheila's, we talked for a little while longer before calling it a night. That's when we discovered our bed would be a memory foam mattress! Woo-hoo!!

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It's hard to believe we're really almost to the Atlantic! A short 30 mile ride tomorrow and we'll have done it! We'll have ridden from one side of the United States to the other! And now, on that note, I think that bed is calling! Good night!


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