Monday, August 24, 1981

64. Natural Bridge,Virginia

Day 64:  Monday, August 24, 1981
Salem to Natural Bridge:  53 miles

We're trying to use up all our food by the end of the trip.  This morning we ran out of pancake flour after only four or five pancakes apiece.  But we had the good fortune to find a doughnut shop right next to the telephone booth I stopped at to call the office.

Norfolk & Western J6 #611
Norfolk & Western J6 #611
at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
It was only ten miles or so to Roanoke, where another of Jack's cousins lives.  We visited for several hours, and wound up having lunch there.  On the way out of town, we spent an hour at Roanoke's transportation museum.  Its emphasis is on railroading, but, unlike the museum in Golden, Colorado, the only live steam it has is in 1½" and 2" scale, and then only several times a year.  It's newer and more attractive, but should really restore some of its full-scale locomotives to working order.  To do that, it would need more space, and it is currently trying to acquire adjacent land.

Jack and I followed US 11 to Troutville to rejoin the Bikecentennial route.  I followed the TA trail up to Natural Bridge, but Jack stayed on US 11, which was smoother and less hilly, although more heavily traveled.

Name this vine!
Name this vine!

We had picked a campground from the route book to spend the night, but there was no campground there.  So we set up our tent next to a gas station.  The mechanic lives there in a motor home, and he supplied us with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden, and some white corn likker.  Two wets of the tongue were plenty for me, but Jack downed a tad more.

The old guy (must have been about 55) was a character.  He's from Louisiana, and used to run a body shop in Baltimore.  But he had enough of that, gave his 22 employees a month's notice, and closed up shop.  Now he does his own mechanicking, gardens, fishes, roams around, and is a lot happier.

After an interesting conversation with Lefty, we stuffed ourselves with macaroni and cheese and vegetables, washed down with beer, orange juice, tomato juice, white lightning, and pop, and then hit the hay.

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