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Tennessee to Virginia

Tennessee to Virginia

Shortly after we made it into Tennessee, the snow magically disappears. The cold, however, stayed… so did the brisk cold wind that just went right to our bones. Luckily the scenery is beautiful and we have quite a few more hills to climb, which keeps us warm and happy.

 

Once we finally make it to Elizabethton, TN we stay with Charlie—Ron’s “grand-dad”—for a few days. We hang out and listen to his stories, since he is a WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor; he has many stories to tell.

 

We go for short walks and eat plenty of food. (Apparently we managed to lose about 10 pounds since we left!)

After a few days it was difficult to leave family again, but it was time to move on.

 

Since the cold weather has been playing on our mood—after riding all day in the cold it is no fun to set up camp, cook, and wake up in the morning to frozen equipment, we have decided to change our route. So instead of riding up to Canada, we will head toward D.C. and possibly to New York, to fly out to Spain.

The sun was shining, but the ice-cold headwind stayed with us faithfully. We actually felt too cold to take pictures, which hardly ever happens!

 

We managed to ride about 40 miles into Virginia to stay at the “Interstate Campground”.  It most certainly deserves its name, since we could have thrown a rock onto the interstate.  Despite the below freezing temperature during the night and the constant flow of traffic nearby, we slept well. Facing the cold in the morning made getting up a little bit of a task, and since we wanted to wait for the frost on the tent to thaw and dry out, we had another late start.

 

Looking forward to another Warmshowers host for the night, we pedaled up and down many lovely Virginia hills to make it to Tony’s house.

 

The wind was still icy, but at least it was to our back today! We were mentally ready to go camping in his backyard and were looking forward to take a nice warm shower. Luckily, Tony invited us to sleep in the house, which we were really grateful for. We made some Chili and chatted over a good beer. His Great Dane, Argos, was very entertaining as well, despite him being 8 years old; he plays around like an over-sized puppy. Thank you for another great stay!

 

Today, we managed to go on another long ride along more beautiful, fairly quiet, country roads. Some of our way went along Bike Route 76. There were many more up and down hills, but the scenery was beautiful. We were surrounded by mountains, great views of valleys, we saw horse and cow farms, old barns, quaint houses, old trees…overall it was one of the most scenic rides until now.

Eventually we make it to our next campground at Dixie Caverns, we quickly set up camp, cooked dinner and make a fire to stay warm for the evening, before going to bed.

 

4 Comments
  • SUSAN HONSINGER
    Posted at 10:29h, 04 April Reply

    Virginia and Tennessee is a beautiful place ,and when the weather is nicer and all the trees are green..and sky is blue..may be you will ride back that way when it’s warm and you are on your way home…. I’m enjoying all of your photos …take care and keep warm..pedaling on down and up these road….

    • Petra
      Posted at 08:18h, 05 April Reply

      It’s supposed to clear up and get near 60° today; however, there is a lot of snow on the ground at the moment!

  • Tracey Krinn
    Posted at 20:26h, 04 April Reply

    Hey, Guys! We have really enjoyed following your trip and I am REALLY sympathizing with you regarding the cold! It has lasted much too long this season, I’m sure!
    Got a couple of questions: Do you just gather wood when you camp for the night, or how else do you get it? Also, how does your tent set up? Is it a pop-up? How long does it take to set up and take down each day?
    Glad you are getting periodic warm places to sleep and showers! Happy travels!

    • Petra
      Posted at 08:16h, 05 April Reply

      Hi Tracey, nice to hear from you! If we are able/allowed to make a fire, we usually try to find firewood where we are setting up camp. When we are wild camping, we try to avoid making a fire. Our tent is not a pop-up, it’s a 4-season tunnel tent with a big vestibule for our equipment. The tent usually needs to be staked down at 4 points, but with some creativity, we were able to set it up with only 2 stakes and some tie-downs. Setting the tent up and tearing it down only takes a few minutes. Usually Ron will set it up, while Petra is getting dinner ready at the end of the day.

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