Day 68: Friday, August 28, 1981
Ashland to Charles City: 70 miles
Although we have been out of the mountains for two days now, it didn't really become obvious until today. The Piedmont Plateau, through which we have been traveling, doesn't seem like much of a plateau at all. The hills are quite rolling. Yesterday's ride was through roller coaster hills - not too many long grades.
Today, we left the hills behind. The land slopes gently down to the sea, with only a minor rise here and there. We're loafing along, and still shouldn't have any trouble getting in 70 miles to the next campground.
The Bikecentennial Trail passes through the Richmond National Battlefield Park, which encompasses the sites of many battles, including Beaver Dam Creek, Cold Harbor, and Malvern Hill. Still to be seen are the remains of the Union and Confederate trenches. Numerous national cemeteries containing Union war dead dot the area. Many of the Confederate dead were buried in Richmond.
Many houses that were built in the nineteenth century have been restored in the Federal style, and new homes are also Federal copies or imitations. We passed by many historic landmarks today: the home of John Tyler, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee's mother, and on and on. Many of these homes have been restored and are open to the public. One of these is Berkeley Plantation, whose present buildings date from the 1700s. It is on the bank of the James River, and is famous for a number of things, most of which I have forgotten (one: Taps, the bugle call, was composed there). Jack and I rode almost a mile over a rough dirt lane to the house, only to find that tours cost $4.50. We're both skinflints, and thought this exorbitant - they should have paid us, after biking over that road! So we bumped back to the highway and continued eastward.
|The end of the penultimate day (or, more likely, the next morning)|
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