Thursday, August 27, 1981

67. Ashland, Virginia

Day 67:  Thursday, August 27, 1981
Kents Store to Ashland:  50 miles

Shady little stream
A shady little stream
We awoke as daybreak brought the songs of birds to interrupt the quiet night of the countryside.  An early morning mist, soon to be vanquished by the sun, lay over the fields.  And our friendly dog made himself quite at home in our tent.  We finally lured him from the pasture and closed the gate behind him.

We eased our pace a bit today.  Jack again took the low road (US 250), and took eight hours to go the 50 or so miles to Ashland.  I stuck to the bike route, except for one small shortcut.

As I was leaving Mineral, John (the biker I had met at Monticello) pulled up alongside me.  He was headed farther north, but we rode together for the next seven miles.  It turned out that John and Choo Choo had biked together from Idaho down to the Tetons.

The rest of the trip to Ashland was pleasant, if uneventful.  I passed Scotchtown, the home of Patrick Henry from 1771 to 1778, but didn't tour the house.  By 2:00, I was dragging - probably due to the pace I had set yesterday from Monticello to Kents Store.  The fast ride with John hadn't helped, either, although the path I took with him saved 6½ miles off the regular bike route.

Ashland is a strange little town.  The double-track C&O railroad line runs down the middle of the main street, and the small railroad station is of unusual architecture.  I watched as an Amtrak passenger train zipped through.

Ashland's main street
The railroad tracks bisect Ashland's main street.
Ashland's railroad station
Unusual architecture for a railroad station

Jack had not had a shower in four days - I, in six.  So we opted for a real campground tonight.  It's right next to I-95, south of Ashland, and the chirping of the crickets and cicadas cannot hide the hum of the truck tires on the pavement.  Perhaps the noises will re-accustom me to city sounds.  Ah, home!

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