We woke well rested and had a leisurely breakfast with Mick and Lee. Over breakfast we discussed our route for the day and Mick was able to give us some options for the best roads to ride on. We decided on having him give us a lift in the car back to bicycle route 76, just outside of Radford, and planned to ride 76 the rest of the day to the Atkins, VA area. In Radford I discovered the “Summer of Shakes” at Sonic, a fast food joint that I have only eaten at once while hiking the A.T., and made mental note to try each shake before the trip is done.
After saying our goodbyes we had a pleasant morning ride as 76 followed the James River and consisted of rolling hills and little traffic. Eventually we arrived in the little town of Draper, VA and just in time for “Pie Day” at the Draper Mercantile Inc.
We didn’t hesitate to stop! I ordered up a piece of blackberry pie and Hannah had a piece of cream cheese pecan pie.
They were both delicious and the weather couldn’t have been nicer for eating pie outside on the deck. After eating we dropped into the bike shop (Also part of the Draper Mercantile…yeah bikes and pie in the space, my dream come true!) and visited with Thomas who is an accomplished cyclist who is planning a southern tier cross country ride this coming winter. He was quite knowledgeable about the surrounding area as well and suggested we stay on bike route 76 as it is one of his favorite sections.
With that in mind we took up riding again and after a few more miles stopped for lunch near this cemetery.
While eating lunch on this ridge we could see some storms moving in and we were pretty sure we would be getting wet again at some point.
Another seven miles down the road and our bicycle route connected with interstate 81 at a travel plaza with a truckers motel built into the gas station and restaurant. We stopped to use the bathroom and clean our brake pads and while we were working the rain started to fall. One of the fellows who worked at the truck plaza checked the weather on his phone and we could see that it was going to rain for the rest of the evening. I popped back inside to see if they had any rooms free for the night at the advertised rate of $39.99. They did and it seemed like a good deal for a dry room that was small but clean. There was no room for the bikes but Donny, who had looked up the weather for us earlier, offered to store them in the chain-link fenced lot behind the plaza where they parked the trucks.
So, we didn’t make it quite as far as we had hoped but we didn’t have to camp in the rain. I had a bag of pretzels, a king size Snickers bar and a can of Coke for dinner and it was wonderfully full of nasty sugar, salt and fat! It was delicious.