May 30, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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May 30, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Virginia

Catawba to Draper, Virginia. (59 mi.) Mile 472

Free camping again.

Today was very similar to the last, another pleasant day of cycling through rural Virginia. Centuries old hand-hewn log structures and vintage clapboard farmhouses, mixed in with new housing developments, are scattered throughout the countryside.

We are getting a little stronger on the hills. We had a chance to witness Virginia's Department of Transportation money at work today:

Approximately 3 miles of bike lane so far on the Bikecentennial Trail. Thanks VDOT!!

An experimental bridge to nowhere: 2,000 ft. long, 175 ft high, 3 years in the building, at a cost of 17.4 million. It's part of Virginia's Smart Road research project. Today was Opening Day even though the bridge isn't really finished yet and doesn't really go anywhere.

Our goal for the night was the reported full amenities campground in Draper, but after a long day of hill climbing, we arrived to learn it was closed. Instead, we discovered Bryson's General Store, a magnet for people and activity in the community. When we got there, the activity was centering around the Bryson's 7 month old twin granddaughters, Sydney and Sally.

The Brysons represent another example of the best Virginian hospitality, happy to let cyclists camp behind the store free and offer any other assistance if necessary. Their prices on ice cream cones and other basics are very reasonable. We aren't used to finding small markets stocking turnip and mustard greens, cressy greens, kale greens, black-eyed peas, and so many canned potted meat products (like pork brains in milk - Yum!), or providing country/mountain music from a boom box on the porch. We were just glad to have a place to camp, even if we didn't have the full amenities or a place to get cleaned up with "a hot share".

Bryson's General Store

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