Sunday, August 23, 1981

63. Salem, Virginia

Day 63:  Sunday, August 23, 1981
Wytheville to Salem:  60 miles

Roadside stream
A roadside stream
I didn't feel like getting up this morning, either.  But then, I rarely do.  I have a built-in inertia that makes me want to keep doing whatever I'm doing.  I guess I have a one-track mind.

Near I-81 about eight miles east of Wytheville, we passed by a stone monument marking the location of the Wilderness Trail.  By 1800, over 60,000 pioneers had traveled over the trail to settle in southwestern Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee since Daniel Boone blazed it only a few years earlier.

Name these flowers!
Name these flowers!

The former N&W station in Salem
The former N&W station in Salem
I think both Jack and I are ready for this trip to end.  We're still dragging a little - Jack a little more than I.  He'll be happy to do 60 miles today.  Right now, we're on the lawn of a Christiansburg school.  Jack's sacked out on his mat, and I'm slurping a milkshake.  And we just had lunch ten miles ago in Radford!  It's another 12 miles or so to Blacksburg, and that will give us our 60 miles.

Jack has another cousin in Roanoke, which is about 30 miles east of here.  He hasn't seen her for 20 years, and can't remember her married name.  He's been trying to call Lena to get the info, but no luck.

log house
Log house by the side of the road
We passed through the little town of Newbern this afternoon.  It's over 200 years old, and has some old log houses and other old buildings, a lot of churches, and no stores.  One of the log houses was in the process of being renovated.

We stopped for the night at Dixie Caverns, about 15 miles west of Roanoke.  A sign said that these are the only caverns in this part of Virginia (whatever that means), but we just camped here.  It was a short day today - only 60 miles or so, but Jack was happy.  We biked back up the road to a restaurant, where a customer told us we had picked the wrong restaurant - the other one served real food.

At the campground, we met a Danish family from near Hamilton, Ontario.  The grandfather must have been in his 80s, and he was originally from Sweden.  Jack told him he'd see him in a couple of years for a Scandinavian tour, and they exchanged addresses.

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