Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred on August 28, 2011.
What a beautiful day in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia! One would never guess this area narrowly missed the high wind and heavy rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Irene. I empathize with the East coast residents. Having seen several hurricanes during my time in Florida, and by fate, chance, or whatever you wish to call it missed Hurricane Andrew by only half (1/2) a day, I know what these people are going through. While shuttling a group of hikers to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area today we saw caravan after caravan of relief supplies and emergency services headed for the East coast. It was a very welcome sight despite the occasional traffic jam encountered by the increase in traffic. I wish a speedy recovery for these residents and hope everyone keeps them in their thoughts and prayers. Sending a donation to the American Red Cross, or another relief organization of your choice, wouldn’t be a bad idea either, hint, hint.
Here’s a photo of a bicycle I saw at the Virginia Welcome Center on I-81 just Northeast of the Tennessee line. Had to have this pic since the bike so closely resembles mine, minus the stickers of course. 😉
On the topic of cycling… after dropping my hikers off, and having a very enjoyable look around the Headquarters/Visitor Center, I started the return trip home. On the way there we discussed a variety of hiking and world event topics, which always makes the trips seem to go by fast. Now I was alone and able to pay more attention to my surroundings. This area is gorgeous. If you haven’t visited here yet I suggest you do so. You won’t be disappointed. As I traveled through the forested road I envisioned traveling this route (VA-16) by bicycle. It has several hills, none of which would cause much concern to even a novice cyclist, and a lot of curves. One would certainly not be bored with this ride. Near the Interstate (I-81) there are several clusters of small houses, a couple of churches, and a business or two. Simple, quiet, and laid back. I guess during the height of the tourist season this road would be busy, but any other time it’s a peaceful area pretty much secluded and proceeding at its own leisurely pace. I like that kind of community, one where the people aren’t worried about out doing “the Jones’“, seeing who can build the biggest house or having the fanciest lawn,one where you see basketball goals out front for the kids (or the young at heart), tricycles parked haphazardly near the front porch and toys scattered around the yard, or a young couple walking down the road hand in hand oblivious to everything else going on around them. Yes, this area is going on my list of places to bike. Perhaps it will be added to your list also. 🙂