We were so glad to get out of the terrible motel in Atkins and get back on the road.
It was yet another day of discouraging headwinds, but we were able to make steady progress on route 11 as it ran next to the interstate.
During a snack break in Marion VA, we met a British cyclist who had been on the TransAmerica Trail. He had started in Yorktown and made it across the Blue Ridge, but he had been completely demotivated by the 3 days of rain, which he had encountered alone while scaling the ridge line. He wasn’t inexperienced–he’d done the Pacific Rim Trail–but the terrain, weather, and isolation had taken its toll, and he had decided to fly back to England instead of continuing. I felt bad for him, but I also know that I have felt the same way at moments on the trip. I sobbed on some of the hills on the third rainy day. There was nothing fun or enjoyable for me about riding under those circumstances, but it was somehow more bearable when I knew there were others in it with me.
In comparison, pushing your bike uphill into a headwind on a sunny day isn’t so bad.
We rolled into Abingdon without a good idea of where we’d stay. We did stop into Highlands Ski and Outdoor Center, who recommended a few cheap motels and a restaurant, Bella’s Pizza.
So, we headed to another motel for the night.
This motel was probably the nicest we’ve been in, and it was actually about the same price as the horrible motel in Aktins. We were thrilled. And ate Italian food.