Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ashville to Mineral, VA 50 miles

We lost a sojourner this morning. Our Florida compatriot decided not to continue. Many factors contributed to her decision. She had gotten seriously hurt a few months prior to departure and this made sleeping difficult and the lack of high quality foods was probably a factor. We were very sad to see her go. Probably, the ability to eat out of gas station mini-marts should be added to the list of requirements.
Breakfast was had at the Ashland Tea and Coffee Company; it was incredibly comforting. The campground host had recommended it, but John had beat him to the punch.

And here is a picture of someone who aimed the camera towards himself when trying to get a group shot. I post it in retribution for him blowing his dog whistle right behind me, which almost made me crash into Ted. See, Bill? I don't bother holding grudges.
We stopped to admire some horses and one came and leaned its head over the fence for a head scratch. I thought it was going to try to eat the banana out of my front pack, but it was very well behaved.

Dogs? Some pathetic efforts to chase were made, but one dog's efforts were defeated when he passed out of the shade while chasing, ran a couple circles and returned to the shade. When John passed him moments later, he didn't even bother. John easily dispatched another dog by spraying it with his water bottle. Wow, that dog tail quickly. Who knew?

First flat award goes to Ted. He gives new meaning to "10 minutes flat", because that was how fast he fixed it.
We made progress through the
day, but the heat and humidity took a toll on all. At Bumpass Brice Marden took photos with each of our cameras (he is second from left). He works with the USPS. So nice, and an affirmation of human goodness.

John had trouble with his derailer and as a result his max speed for the day was 29.6 but he said that was going uphill. He only thinks he's funny.
We are staying the night at the firehall in Mineral. They are extremely generous, especially since we were joined here by 25 cyclists doing the Ride Across the US for MS (fully supported - a van carries their stuff, but they do about 65 miles per day) and 2 solo riders doing the Trans Am.
Small town America, a train goes by about once every 2 hours 150 ft from our tents. At grade crossings require the engineer to sound his horn. Math question of the day: if we sleep for 8 hours, how many trains will wake us up.

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