04 Apr 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.