Chilhowie to Elk Garden United Methodist Church Hostel, Virginia. (32 mi.) Mile 573
Back on the TransAm route, climbing resumes.
This evening we are writing our journals in the upstairs Sunday school room of the Elk Garden United Methodist Church, built in 1787 (using red brick, of course). The Church opens its doors to bicycle tourists and Appalachian trail hikers needing a place to stay. We have free use of its kitchen, some basic food stocks, and any place we want to put down our sleeping bags for the night. We have joined Walter Francke from Hillsborough, North Carolina, a retired university professor, who also left Yorktown, VA on May 20 riding his bike west to Oregon. He caught up with us as we were just starting up the 4 mile continuous climb (taking 1 hour at 4 mph) over Hayters Gap, a climb I would not have been able to make earlier in the trip. We are both hardening up and feeling stronger. This, and having someone to share stories with for the evening, are making the trip more fun.
The climb up Hayter's Gap, 4 miles at 4 mph
Elk Garden Methodist Church Hostel.
We joined Walter Francke to fix dinner in the church kitchen.
We are glad to be back on the TransAm "Bike Route '76". We were told at a mini-
Near Elk Garden