Day 121

Bridgewater, VA to Gladstone, VA
7465 mi

Linda gets up, makes coffee, and graciously allows me to photograph her in her bathrobe as I’ve forgotten to take any pictures here. I try putting some hot coffee in my insulated water bottle, and discover the extremely pleasant sensation of riding through the cold morning while taking sips of steaming hot coffee. The whole body tingles with delight, relishing the contrast.

I take a little rural road with no traffic into Waynesboro. Farms all the way, coffee all gone, it’s hard to find a concealed place to pee. I go in the open, hoping for the half-hour it seems to last that no one comes along the road. At one point a car approaches in the distance, but politely turns away without coming near.

The main problem on my mind is how to reach my friend Lisa in Raleigh without my address book. I try a few times to call Camella, but no luck.

In Waynesboro I eat breakfast at Weasel’s Kitchen. First menu I’ve seen with grits on it.

Blue Ridge

It’s an easy pass over the Blue Ridge. I see a string of Appalachian Trail hikers headed south. Making my way south along the foothills, I pass a ski area and lots of nice views. In Colleen I pass an ice cream stand. In an unusual display, I decide I don’t want it enough to really enjoy it. Wow. In Norwood, I’m unsure about what to do at an intersection. I turn right. The road seems to go too far east, but I stick with it.

Ridge Color

On one of many small hills, my chain catches and I have to stop. A big guy in overalls on a tractor stops to talk to me. Wayne Mundy is bushhoggin’, which he has to translate for me as cutting the grass. He owns a big piece of land in this picturesque area. It has a great mineral water spring, he says, and offers me a drink. After parking the tractor down the road a bit, I follow him on foot up a wooded path. The spring is in an old, roofless house with names and dates from the 1800’s carved in it. Mineral deposits of orange and white crystals surround the cold, tasty water. Wayne asks if I ever camp in a spot like this without permission. I say yes, and ask him what he’d do if he found me on his property. “Hell, once I foun’ out what yew was doin’ I guess I’d let ya be. Long as yew wasn’t down here smokin’ dope or nuthin. I wouldn’t tolerate anything like that. But I spose I’d let yuh stay.” He then offers to let me camp on his land if I want to. It’s a little early, but I accept. He leads me to a nice bushhogged spot where I set up and read awhile.

After sundown he and his wife Denise come down and talk awhile. They’re nice folks.

I go to sleep surrounded by noisy deer.

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