Today's Miles = 72.2
Average Speed = 10.4 mph
Maximum Speed = 33.5 mph
Total Miles = 141.6
Today Ed and I left Glendale without a clear destination in mind. Our idea was just to ride from town to town and decide on the road when we felt like stopping, which seemed like a good plan before we actually put it into practice.
The guidebook we are both using suggested using an RV camp near the interstate as our next stopping point but I don't think that either of us were too excited about pitching our tents on a gravel patch next to 24-hour traffic noise, nor did we want to stop riding at noon when we passed the camp. Instead we agreed to ride on into Ashland (pop 5864) and go 50/50 on a motel for the night there.
When we got to Ashland somehow we decided that we would push on and ride all the way to the campgrounds at Lake Anna. Now I'm not sure if I talked Ed into this, or if Ed talked me into this, but there were three things wrong with this decision. First, if we made it all the way to Lake Anna it would have meant riding an 80-mile day. Second, once we passed Ashland there were no motels or campgrounds until we reached Lake Anna. Third, the sky was darkening and it looked like a storm was coming in.
I started having doubts shortly after we left Ashland when we had to climb the biggest hill we had seen to date. As we rode on we both ran out of food to snack on, I begin to notice that it was harder for me to think clearly, and the rain began to come down on us. Somewhere along the way I overlooked a subtle point on our route guide and we made a wrong turn. Where we were supposed to take the second left onto 658 we took the first, and this led us several miles in the opposite direction from which we wanted to go.
Eventually we realized our mistake and with the help of a passing motorist we got back on the right path. But by this time, it was going to be too late for us to get to our Lake Anna campgrounds before dark. We were getting tired, cold, wet, and hungry. Fortunately we were rescued.
A passing driver stopped and asked us if there was anything we needed. Ed asked her if she knew a place we could pitch our tents and she ended up leading us to the home of Brent and Gail Wolfe. Brent came out and met us in the road and we talked for a short while about the route and our rides. Shortly, Brent asked us if there was anything he could do to make our lives easier and then he agreed to let us pitch our tents in his back yard. As we rolled our bikes up their driveway it seemed like there were children running and skipping everywhere. Maybe I was seeing double, maybe they were just little whirlwinds of energy, but if you had told me there were a dozen kids I would have believed you.
Ed and I would have been grateful for just about anything, but the hospitality that the Wolfe's showed us was overwhelming. After pitching our tents in their yard, we parked our bikes in their garage to shelter them from the rain. I took advantage of a warm shower, then Gail insisted that we sit and eat and we were treated to fried chicken and all the carbohydrates we could possibly want. It turned out that the Wolfe's have only four children, but I think the kids were all faster moving than average.
We stayed up and talked until sometime after the children’s bedtimes, then finally retired for the night. It had ended up being a roughly 70-mile day and Ed and I were exhausted.
Nick - that's the kind of story that's so heart warming, and epitomizing of the kind people you've had the chance to meet and will meet on your journey -- brings tears to the eyes. Glad you are having the time of your life.
Nick & Ed, I know neither one of you but i would just like to say that Gail Wolfe, my godmother, is the kind of woman who would open her home. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Gail, Brent and their 4 children had nothing but wonderful things to say about you two gentlemen. If the two of you ever ride through Charlotte, my family and I will be looking for you. Best wishes and hopes of more happy journeys to you both.