06/11/2004

Day 12 - 6/11
Mineral, VA to Charlottesville, VA
61 (557)

I survived the night camping behind the FD. It turned out to be a very long afternoon, but it was nice to truly have nothing to do. I just read and listened to the radio. I had dinner at a BBQ ribs place and they were odd. The ribs were all one big slice of meat, not yet cut up into finger licking form. They tasted great and they came with hush puppies, which I think are deep fried balls of cornbread.

I woke up at 5:20, made some oatmeal and packed up. An hour later I was on the road, cruising towards my next dog encounter. This time, though, I was able to outrun him. See dogs, we can both win.

I passed a big group of bicyclists, but no panniers-just local riders. I'm started to wonder if I am the only one crazy enough to be out here.

I made it to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello by noon to take a tour of the guy's house. It's not a comfortable feeling to load onto a tour bus with 50 miles of smell on you-nor is it for the person next to you. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear I'm a biker-the clanging of my shoe clips are a giveaway.

Checked into the Super 8 motel on the north side of Charlottesville. I was looking forward to exploring the downtown a bit, but shortly after check-in a tornado warning was issued. Yeah. So about 4:30 the storm hit. Sustained winds of 65 mph and nickle-sized hail. No tornados, but I was still grateful to be inside. It rained all evening. I ventured out to Whole Foods to get some, well, food, and a local bikeshop to get some gear. I was buying my third mirror. The first one broke on day 1, the second on Day 10. At this rate I should probably have a planned mirror budget-10 mirrors over the trip at $15 a pop. Ridiculous.

I told the guy at the shop a bit about my trip. He wanted to take me in the back and show me two bikes he was tuning-up in preparation for a x-country trip. Seems the 21 year old twin sisters that own the bikes will be leaving at the end of the month. I had planned on leaving town tomorrow, but with this new information, I've decided that Charlottesville deserves at least a couple weeks of exploring.