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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

July 11, 2007      Miles 86      Total miles 4029      Ended at: Richmond, Virginia


I left Afton after saying goodbye to the Cookie Lady and immediately descended her very steep and winding road to the highway which was two miles away. Even after that, I continued a slight downhill ride for ten more miles. I got into some pretty scary traffic for about five miles going into Charlottesville but as soon as I got on the east side of the city I had little traffic to worry about until the end of the day. It was another day of getting rained on here and there but I enjoyed it.
The Cookie Lady's father owned an old time gas station and repair shop before he died. The station was between her house and the hostel. It is still there and the price on this pump shows to be 90 cents per gallon. The building is not being used anymore.

When I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway I met the nicest two ladies and we chatted for a while. I had my camera in my hand to take a couple of pictures of them but I guess I was distracted by Lisa taking my picture and I never got a picture of them. Lisa is Aleana's aunt and they too are traveling across America and seeing the sights. The occassion for this trip is Aleana's graduation from college. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in psychology from the University of Southern Maine. Aleana will now go to graduate school for a degree in social work. So, Lisa is giving her niece this wonderful trip for her accomplishments. I told Lisa this is a much better gift than anything she could have bought in a store. You can check out their blog site at The Adventures of RoadGals.
I love the smell of the freshly peeled wood at the wood mills. They were making a lot of posts this day. They also make all kinds of other timbers of all dimensions.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of two young men I met on the Blue Ridge Parkway, John and Jayson. Today I got an email from John. He works in Richmond which is over a hundred miles from where we met yesterday. He said he was leaving work today and looked across the highway and saw me riding Ol' Blue down the road. Now what are the odds of that happening?

Most of today's riding was pretty hilly but nothing to wear me out. It will be flat on the other side of Richmond, I am told, and should be that way all the way to the coast. I will not ride on Thursday because my wife won't be in Yorktown until Saturday evening and I am less than 100 miles from the coast. I will have two easy days of riding on Friday and Saturday.

It is hard for me to realize this is all coming to a close. It has been a great challenge to myself. I am glad I did it alone, at my own slow pace. I found that even though I have been temporarily homeless, so to speak, I was able to give continuity to my daily life by forming bonds with people I didn't know who were eager to meet a total stranger on an odd machine. Because of the technology we have today I was able to keep in daily contact with my wife which isn't as good as being with her but it was great non the less.

I will not post anything Thursday as it is just a waiting day until Tanya arrives.