06/14/2004

Day 15 - 6/14
Mallard Duck Camp to Troutville, VA
53 (685)

I managed to pop another innertube last night, so I put in my one spare. Needing to replace the spare I scooted into nearby Lexington first thing in the morning. I got in at 8 and the bike shop didn't open until 9, so I just strolled the quaint streets. At 9 I bought myself 2 spares plus some
more CO2 cartridges.

After Lexington I took a sidetrip to see the Natural Bridge, deemed by
Jefferson to be one of the 7 wonders of the natural world. I saw a painting of it at Jefferson's Monticello and it was beautiful, mystical. Today much of its splendor has been eroded, with a highway running over it, a restaurant, a seated viewing area below, and a nightly laser show. And of course they charge $10 to look at it. But I saw it anyway and tried to imagine it in its natural splendor. I can't help but imagine how much better the park would be if ran by the National Parks Service.

From there I dragged myself towards the next town for lunch. My legs were feeling really tired today. One mile before Buchanan, I got another flat tire. Crap! As I was changing it along the side of the road, it started to rain. Funny, eh?

Actually only a few drops fell and I continued on to lunch. I ate well: 5 pieces of fried chicken, salad and a small roast beef sandwich. I sat in front of the store and chowed on chicken, so much chicken. I was so full that I had to spit out my last mouthful.

I'm sure you wanted to know that last part.

My final destination for the night was the town park in Troutville. Shortly after arriving I setup my hammock then went and got me a big ice cream cone. Just as I finished my cone, the rain began to pour. All the town residents enjoying the park quickly fled. I grabbed my stuff and hurried over to the covered picnic shelter.

The park attendant came over after most of the storm had passed. He suggested that I just sleep in the picnic area; I agreed. He showed me how to turn on the lights, assured me that the bathrooms would stay open, and that the Sherriff's office would drive by every couple hours to make sure all is ok. What a great guy! I feel like such a hobo in this nice town park, but everyone's perfectly nice about it.