torsdag 7. august 2014

Day 57: The Blue Ridge Parkway

90.0 km

Packed up and checked out, I headed out for breakfast down the road. I knew today was going to be very tough with a highly anticipated climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Elliot from day 43 had warned me about this serious climb I would get that obviously was a desdcent from a westbounder's perspective, as he had experienced serious overheating of his rims due to the intense breaking down the steep hillsides. 

After 30 km, I pulled off to the ringt, soon to see the road winding itself upward with a terrifying grade. The climb could easily be omitted by taking some off-route roads, but I had expected this climb for weeks and knew it was going to be taking me up to the last of the mountains for this trip. To be honest, this was probably the steepest climb of the trip and the combination with the distance through which it continued made for an exhausting ride. Once I got to the top, I rode onto the Blue Ridge Parkway - a highway following the Blue Ridge. The ride on top of the ridge offered some breathtaking views on both righ and left side with several vista points to stop at. The ride also included some tough climbs as well as joyful descents before the final major descent from the last of considerable mountains of this trip. 

The 40-50 km on top of the ridge offered no services and I had finished all my bottles and was starting to get increasingly hungry. Luckily, I passed a visitor center on the way down and got to refill my bottles before the urge got too great. Few minutes later I arrived at an junction with some other major roads connecting to some larger cities in the area where I grabbed the opportunity for a meal from a hot dog truck parked by the road. I sat down with a hiker, doing the famous Appalachian Trail hike from Maine to Georgia. He gave me some advice on where to spend the nice. He suggested I roll down a big hill to Waynesboro, a nice little town where I got a motel room for the night. 

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