Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010-08-29Virginia page 45 of 54

Day 45, Virginia

From Kingsport to Groseclose

I left Kingsport at dawn, following the 11W. On the way out of town I happened to see a strange sight. There, on a patch of grass, not 30 feet away, in front of a commercial business of some sort, was a small flock of wild snow geese, maybe eight birds in all. They looked at me but didn't fly away as I pedaled past. I have seen these types of birds by the thousands in the Arctic, but wondered what these were doing here in Tennessee, in the summer? Acting tame no less.

The day's progress was slow, due to the unrelenting hills and the towns along the way with their congested traffic and stoplights. But the countryside was also beautiful with a wide variety of hardwood forests, and rural houses with big and pretty lawns.

A familiar sight to the long-distance cyclist. Why, oh why, do we put up with flat tires? Because they are so easy to fix. A piece of glass had got into this one. So adding another patch made three for this tube. [Aside: I finished the trip with those same three patches, and am still riding around the neighborhood with them.]

This billboard was a real eye catcher. Discover the Forest

Mid-afternoon I was pedaling down the hill into Groseclose, where the A.T. crosses Highway 11, when I saw a familiar car pull to a stop, and Jenny come running out to meet me. Now that was a beautiful sight! She looked terrific, all trim and fit.

Of course it all been prearranged, and we had been in contact by phone. And some dear friends, Walt and Pat, had picked her up at the nearest airport and driven her to here. It was good to see Walt and Pat also. I had met them on my A.T. hike earlier this year, and they had taken me in for a night, and provided me with a home away from home. And not only that, but they had brought a nice bike from their garage for Jenny to ride.

By the way, this was my fifth time here. Three times on the A.T. and now two times by bike. It was Jenny's third - one time on the A.T., and one other time by bike. We had crossed the trail here on our "Hello Amerca" cycle trip. And we had happened to meet just here today.

Racking my bike on the back of Walt and Pat's car.

So with that, we added my bike onto the tailgate rack, and drove to town for the evening.

Dinner with Walt and Pat.

Miles pedaled today: 76

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