Sunday, September 11, 2022

Day 94-September 11, 2022 at 12:09pm…It is Finished!

We have done it! Three months and one day from Olympia, WA to Yorktown, VA! 

I kept expecting to wake up to rain, but we got lucky…mostly. No rain while I was packing up my tent, but Doug’s got a little bit. No rain for our last breakfast. We were packed and ready for the last 30 miles by 7:40. We also had bits of off and on sprinkles throughout the day, but it was really warm. 

As soon as we got back to the Capital Trail, we noticed a whole bunch of bikes. Fortunately, they were on the road, and not the trail. It was the Kinetics Sprint Triathlon. 

This must be a come as you are type of triathlon. We saw all kinds of bikes from full-on tri bikes to hardtails and hybrids. There were also several riders pulling trailers with disabled riders. The racers turned at the Jamestowne Settlement, and we continued around on the trail…until we met them on the running part. 

It was a whole bunch of “On your left” to get through. It was actually pretty easy. 

They finished at the Settlement. It was pretty crazy busy there, so we didn’t go through it. Instead, we got on to the Colonial Parkway to Williamsburg. 

The Colonial Parkway is aggregate concrete. Kind of noisy to ride on, but not many cars. 

James River

Still out in the country. 

We rolled into Colonial Williamsburg at about 10:00. I had scoped out a bakery/cafe just off the route. 

Aromas. I had blueberry French toast. It was delicious! “CW” (as the locals refer to Colonial Williamsburg) has a thing called “Second Sunday”. On the second Sunday of each month they close some of the streets, and vendors come in and seek a variety of things. 

It started at 11:00, so most were still setting up. 

After our second breakfast (on Second Sunday), we rode through part of CW. 

The Palace (on Palace Green)

Period costumes and everything. 

We just did the “Drive-by”, because…well…we had Yorktown on our minds!

We were back on the Parkway the rest of the way to Yorktown. 

13 to go!!!

York River. 

As we rolled into Yorktown through the Yorktown Battlefield National Park, we decided to go to the Visitor Center first. We did a stroll around there because Doug’s National Park Pass got us in for free. I picked up the final postcards. 

We went back to the route. I was thinking we had a more to go, but really, we just came around the corner, and there was the monument! Oh yeah!!! We did it!!!

The end!!! September 11th, 2022 at 12:09pm. 

Then, we did the all important dipping the front wheel in…okay…yes, I know…it’s not the ocean. But, it is the bay, and it is saltwater!

And it’s a sand beach!

Just down the road on the waterfront is our hotel, the Yorktown Beach Hotel. I will stay here two nights, Doug’s son will pick him up tomorrow. 

After showers, we went for a celebratory lunch at the Yorktown Pub. 

Crab cake sammie! Yum!

Now I have the task of packing Tilmann into his case…

T-minus 0 days!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Day 93-Three Months, and Just One More Night in the Tents!

We saw Jim and Kay once more last night. They stayed at the Days Inn right behind us. They’ve got to kill some time now, so we won’t see them again. 

Today was another lengthy mile day, but even flatter than yesterday. Even though we had plenty of time, we still were on the road by 7:00.

Second to last sunrise. 

It was a pretty suburban ride until we got far enough away from Richmond (even though we didn’t go to Richmond). It seemed like we crossed a bazillion highways. Eventually, we had some moments of countryside riding. More soybeans and corn. 

Of course, we are now deep in Civil War history, and original settlements and lots of plantations! We went through the Richmond Battlefield (and some other battlefields too). There were signs everywhere (especially for something called the Seven Days Battle).

The Cold Harbor Battlefield

Garthright House

A little history, and a whole lotta solar panels. 

We spent a chunk of the morning riding to the Virginia Capitol Trail. It runs from Richmond to Jamestown Settlement. We got on it near mile 34 (about 16 miles east of Richmond). 

Fall is coming!

The Shirley Plantation 

One of the info plaques. 

Because it is Saturday, there were a fair number of people on the trail. Lots of road cyclists, but families too. I talked to a few people as we were riding. One guy asked a bunch of questions. No one we talked to seemed to know about the Trans Am (maybe because it’s so close to the start/finish). People couldn’t believe we had ridden all the way across the country. I think some thought we only rode on bike paths. We set them straight. 

With about 14 miles to go, we stopped at the Indian Fields Tavern for some lunch. There wasn’t an access path from the trail, but we saw some people walk their bikes across the grass, so we did the same. Then, right after we did that, a guy on a lawnmower mowed a path! So, at least we had a path back!

It was kind of a fancy-ish place, but there were a lot of cyclists there. We both had the special…chicken with carrots, tomatoes, and Parmesan with a lemon poppy seed dressing in a pita. It was delicious! It was also a good break. 

There was a bit of a headwind for the rest of the way, but it wasn’t terrible. Our destination of Chickahominy County Park was on the east side of Chickahominy Creek. Earlier in the day we crossed this creek. It looked like this…

When we crossed it again, it looked like this…

My how you’ve grown Chickahominy Creek! From here, it dumps into the James River. 

This is the Capitol Trail over the creek. 

We arrived at 3:15 after 70 miles. We got the last tent site. 

It’s fitting that we spend our last night on the Trans Am in our tents…just like we started, and for most of the route! 

Today was 3 months. In this last month we rode from Eureka, Kansas to one short day out of Yorktown, VA. I haven’t added up the miles for the month yet. 

We are cooking one more dinner tonight, and one more breakfast tomorrow, then it’s on to Yorktown!

T-minus 1 day!!!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Day 92-Definitely Out of the Mountains Now!

Today we rode 73.5 miles from Palmyra to Ashland with an average speed of 11 miles an hour (it was actually 11.2 until we came into Ashland). All that really says is that the hills weren’t big or long, and we are now trending down until we get to the ocean. 

We said goodbye to Jim and Kay as we don’t know if they’ll come all the way to Ashland today. 

It was the usual foggy, but not for too long. Then it was clear blue skies and sun. 

Counting down the sunrises now!

A perfect day for a long bike ride!

The scenery was dominated by soybeans and, surprisingly, pine trees. We also went through (well, on the road) Lake Anna. 

Some puffy clouds joined the party. 

It’s a very big lake. There were a couple of bridges. Funny thing, there were no campgrounds (at least on our map).

We did our usual couple of convenience store stops, but mostly we just rode. We did go through Bumpass (no services except a Post Office). 

No matter how you pronounce it, it’s still a butt…Bump-ass, or Bum-Pass. 

Before too long, we were pulling into Ashland, home of Randolph-Macon College. The route went by the campus. Ashland is also not far from Richmond. In fact, if we wanted to do the Richmond Alternate, we would start it in Ashland. We are going to stay on the main route. 

We are staying at a Motel 6. Not having had showers for the last two nights, we opted for the hotel option. 

Nice barn on the route. 

USBR 1, The Atlantic Coast Route joined the Trans Am. We are getting close now!

T-minus 2 days!!!

Day 91-An Old Friend, and Dead Presidents

There were a fair amount of hills today. Nothing majorly long, but enough to make my legs feel it. 

We left the Cookie Lady Bike House just after 7:00. We said, “See you tonight!” to Jim and Kay who also stayed at the house last night. 

This was taken at the church we are staying at tonight. 

It was the usual foggy and cloudy…maybe a bit more overcast than recently. In fact, there was pretty much no sun today. 

Coming out of the mountains, we rode through some orchards. 

Our friend from the AT, Smiley, is in Charlottesville. He had messaged me, so we arranged to meet up with him when we rolled in. 

Rolling past the University of Virginia on our way to meet Smiley. 

The “Geritol Posse” together again!

We had a great time catching up, then Smiley had to get to work. Doug and I grabbed some lunch, then headed out of Charlottesville. We decided to stop at Monticello. Of course one has to purchase a ticket to go to the mountain top where the house is. We just got tickets for the grounds and gardens, not the inside. We still had about 20 miles or so to do. 

Monticello is owned and operated by descendants of Thomas Jefferson. Apparently, some still live in the house. Only the first floor is available to tour. 

We took the shuttle bus to the house. As soon as we got off the bus, it started to rain. We didn’t have our rain gear, and Doug can’t get his hearing aids wet. We did a quick walk around and took the requisite photos. 


What’s on the back of the nickle. 

Pretty flower

The view (not so great today).

Then we got back on the shuttle and went back to the Visitor Center. Of course, it stopped raining…for awhile. 

Not long after leaving Monticello, it started raining again. We donned our rain gear (ah yes…Flap Flap again). I really shouldn’t have bothered as it was so humid, I was just sweating as much as if I was just getting wet from the rain. Eventually, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and it had slowed to a sprinkle, so off came Flap Flap. 

We also rode by “Highland”, the home of James Monroe. We didn’t stop there. There’s only so many dead presidents one can take in in a day. 

Instead, we stopped at this fruit stand place. Better than dead president houses, they had cider donuts and peach crumble pie!

And this cool apple crate/pumpkin sign. 

We finally rolled into Palmyra. We are staying at the Methodist church. They are another church that takes hosting cyclists seriously. Reverend Sung Yoo welcomed us, and showed us all the things they have for cyclists. He said over and over, “Anything you want, take it!” They have rigged up a shower system with a hose that connects to the bathroom sink, then out the door to outside. Okay for guys…not so much for women…

They also have a “laundry system”. It’s a 10 gallon bucket with an agitator plunger. Pretty creative, actually. 

Jim and Kay rolled in about an hour or so after us. We’ve got our bikes in one room, and sleeping in another room, and Jim and Kay have another room. 

The clouds seem to be breaking up. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better weather as we have a long ride. 

T-Minus 3 days!