22 May Blue Ridge Parkway – Day 1&2
May 21 and 22 has been spent riding 93 miles from Union Station in Washington DC to Skyline Dr in Front Royal, VA. After deboarding train and putting on pedals, handlebar, panniers, etc. I charged into DC traffic and was soon riding past the Supreme Court, Capitol building, Smithsonian, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial. As usual, tourists were in force. A few willing tourists agreed to snap my photo, all foreigners, from Austria and Italy. After crossing the Potomac, I followed the river upstream on the very narrow and crowded Mt Vernon trail. Nice. Sometime I would like to try riding this the other direction to Mt Vernon. The first 53 miles were all downtown DC and bike trails ending in Purcerville, Va.. Helpful bike shop called End of Trail figured out a clicking sound and fixed by tightening my pedals. He spent a good 15 minutes of detective work and refused to charge me. Next, I was soon in beautiful countryside with stacked stone fences, stone houses and barns and deep green pasturages with mountain backdrops. No good choices for camping so I stealth camped. Most wooded areas were covered in poison ivy. Mosquitoes swarmed over me as I lay in my hammock. They were eating me up. I was miserable. Thought about moving on. Did iPhone search for motels. None. Suffered and scratched and prayed for cooler air of nightfall that might bring abatement of these bloodsucking pests. It did improve with nightfall. I was either sweaty or cold most of the night, but I slept. This was one campsite I was glad to leave at daybreak. Today the ride was through wealthy horse farms and estates with more beautiful stonework and scenery. Within a couple of miles of my campsite I saw 18 deer (2 dead). They had long white tails that flashed up as they ran down the road in front of me. There were singles, pairs, and foursomes. Now I am in McD’s in Front Royal where I used the sink for bath, shave, laundry. Now thinking about purchasing bug spray before leaving town to start Skyline Dr.. Photos include stone Library in Upperville, VA. and Union Station where The journey started. Dr..