Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day One Hundred-twenty-two, 090630 - BRP#7 Rocky Knob (VA)

Day One Hundred Twenty-two, Date Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:31
Distance for the Day: 53.62 miles From BRP SC#6 To BRP SC#7-Rocky Knob
Accumulated Trip Distance: 5847.77
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 2822’/3188’, Highest: 3440’ Accumulated: 4649’
Speeds: Avg: 7.1 mph, Max: 38.5 mph
Weather: 63° clear and hazy, becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon
Expenditures: $14

The air was a bit cool this morning, with a cloudless, slightly hazy sky, when I woke at 5:30am to the chirping of birds. As promised, I broke down and was ready to go before sunrise, by 6am. I took pictures of the cemetery, and then left at 6:15am. I did pass the halfway point yesterday late afternoon, and was hoping the parkway would continue to get easier as I went (hah!) I crossed the border from North Carolina to Virginia at 7:45am, and had a small celebration of grapefruit juice and trailmix for breakfast. There was a bit of a breeze around daybreak, but it stopped, though the air was still cool and a little humid – maybe 50%. Oh, continuing with this honesty in reporting business: the skin on the inside of my right thigh near my crotch was starting to get a little raw, so I put on this product called Easy Glide, which is supposed to help skin to keep from chaffing. That didn’t quite do the trick, so I put on a dab of Bactine crème, and the combination of nerve deadening agents and medicine did the trick. Good ol’ Bactine! Don’t leave home without it. I passed MM (milemarker) 200 at 11:07am, so had only 200 more miles to go, and was well past the halfway point on the Parkway (yay!) I think the hills were getting generally easier, but my legs and knees had been taking such a beating the last several days, I couldn’t quite tell. I stopped for an hour in Fancy Gap from 11:30 to 12:41pm to get lunch ($7) and restock up on drinks and supplies ($7). Here’s a couple of tidbits about the trip: I like chasing the cloud shadows that are going the same direction as me when I'm going fast downhill; and I’ve taken to sitting up in my seat on those downhill runs to help dry the sweat and cool me down. Sometimes, on the longer ones, I can get almost totally dry doing that. It sure beats wiping myself down with my hand towel and wringing out little puddles of sweat every hour or two. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of ups and downs on the BRP; and I really appreciate the shade from trees and clouds, and breezes (both natural and motorcycle-made). It’s only times like these, when you *don’t* want a tailwind. When you’re hot and sweaty, a slight tailwind makes it feel like there’s NO wind, and therefore makes you even hotter and sweatier. I stopped in at the little town of the Meadows of Dan at 5pm for more food items ($5), and continued forward on the BRP. At 7:15pm, I found an excellent stealth camp at one of the larger overlooks, across the street from the Rocky Knob Visitor Center (N36 48.570’ W80 21.019’) It had a stand of trees off to the right of the parking lot that had a foot path through it wide enough to roll my trike along. As usual, I hung out and read my book, waiting for sunset and making sure nobody was around. At about 8pm I rolled my trike up the trail a short distance into the woods, found two trees a proper distance apart to hang my hammock, and was in bed early, by about 8pm. Just before setting my hammock up, I saw a deer pretty close by, and got its picture. Sweet! I climbed into my hammock a bit early at about 8pm and had a nice, quiet night of undisturbed sleep, until the morning.

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