25 May Milepost 0 – Blue Ridge Parkway Ride – Day 4
Blue Ridge Parkway – Day 4
Today I am at the low point of my ride. No, I am not depressed. I am at the lowest point of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the James River, elevation 668 feet. Tomorrow I start of the day by a climb to the highest point on the Parkway in Virginia.
Grace Lutheran Church hostel provided breakfast with plenty of coffee. I had 2 bowls of nut and granola cereal with whole milk. I haven’t had whole milk in years and I enjoyed it. Bicycle tourers can’t be choosy. I was sure to leave a very generous donation. This hostel is top notch. I enjoyed breakfast with the bunch of AT thru-hikers that stayed the night. Here are the photos. The grey bearded one is Swift. He thru-hiked 3 times. Another is called Hot Sauce. He is packing a giant glass bottle of hot sauce to Maine and eating it along the way. Other names I picked up were Sprout and Triton. Enjoyed Santiago de Compostello Pilgrimage photos of one of the Germans.
Trail Angel gave my bike and I a ride to Rockfish Gap. The day was day of comparisons with Skyline Drive. Less traffic, wood railings and split rail fences with only an occasional rock wall. Slightly steeper grades. No gas stations, grills, etc right on the Parkway. Overlooks aren’t always pull throughs or pull overs. Overlook signs have elevation of both the overlook and the valley below or mountain in view, pavement is in much worse shape.
Clouds continued to blow in with gusting winds and a few raindrops of threatening storm. It kept things cool for most if the ride but by the time i finished, it was mostly clear and broiling hot (90 degrees).
Stopped and had lunch of sardines and granola bar.
Planned to stay at Otter Creek campground, but it was closed. Another 3 easy miles plus a mile off the Parkway brought me to H&H grocery and restaurant. I will camp in the woods nearby off Parkway and come back for breakfast.
Found a nice camping spot across a creek on the Parkway south of Hwy 501. Washed my clothes by filling my dry sack with creek water and squirting in woolite. hung bag in tree to let soak after I agitated. Wore my rain pants and extra shirt. Concealed in woods, but nice field on other side of creek between my spot and Parkway. Large Black Walnut trees had excellent limbs for hanging a bear bag, but without rope I chance it and keep the food just a few feet from my tarp. Food is just close enough to me to be a deterrent for less aggressive bears. Warm night, but mosquitoes didn’t bother me after I soaked my entire body in Deet. The itching wasn’t as bad as the last couple of nights. I have some Camphonic for the bites now.