Map | Pictures | Postcards | Essays | Facts & Figures | Links | Coast To Coast 1999

Previous Page

Next Page

Day 9 - 16 Coast To Coast 1999 by Eric K. Andersen (click on images to see larger pictures)

Day 9 Ashburn Farms, VA After some early rain passed, I said good-bye to my brother and his family and I hit the road. The road passed gently through horse country and Civil War battlefields. I picked the right road to head into the Blue Ridge Mountains. I saw a marker that said that Manassas Gap was the lowest entry into the area at 950 ft. The climb was steady and easy. I got into Front Royal, had a big rib dinner with a beer and went to a movie. I was on vacation. Total Miles: 50

Day 10 Front Royal, VA  I took a back road through the Fort Hood Valley and George Washington National Forest. The road eventually turned to dirt which I like since this means no traffic. The road gradually climbed until suddenly it went downhill for about 5 miles. I barely touched the pedals. I turned onto route 11 and headed into New Market for lunch where the guy next to me was eating something I couldn't identify. I saw the first cowboy hat of the trip. I made my way to Harrisonburg where I found a Super 8 and joined the frequent stayers club in anticipation of staying at many more at a discount. Total Miles: 64
Day 11 Harrisonburg, VA My goal for the day was a campground at Natural Bridge. After riding for 70 miles I got there and followed the signs to the campground. The sign said four more miles. Fortunately they were downhill. Unfortunately I'd have to ride back up them in the morning. I got to the campground, paid a tourist rate, and pitched my tent next to the James River as the sun was going down. The place was nearly deserted. Total Miles: 75
Day 12 Natural Bridge, VA After breakfast, I climbed back up to the Natural Bridge tourist trap. The bridge is a big beautiful arch that they charge 8 bucks for you to see. George Washington's initials can be seen carved into the side of the span. You could also visit the wax museum or play minigolf and video games. After I "Experienced the Wonder of It All" I continued south. When I got into Roanoke I found a library and sent an email blast to my family and friends. Later I found and stayed at my second Super 8. Total Miles: 42
Day 13 Roanoke, VA I got up early since I cut the day short the night before. I had a nice ride using the Adventure Cycling Association maps for the first time.  I stopped for lunch at a Sonic Drive In in Radford where Mandy the waitress asked me if I ever got hungry.  She gave me a free Flurry and offered to fill my waterbottles with icewater. I've been traveling in the valley along the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains now for four days. It's starting to get monotonous. I got a room at a motel near the Interstate in Fort Chiswell. Total Miles: 75
Day 14 Fort Chiswell, VA After riding over 30 miles it began to rain. I put on my gear as the downpour worsened. I hid under a gas station car port until it eased up, headed on, but then it poured again. It only lasted for about 20 minutes before it cleared up. I actually like riding in the rain. Perhaps it's because I was never allowed to ride in the rain as a child. I was planning to stay in Abingdon, VA but did not find any motels on the south side of town and since it was only 4:30 I headed south for another 11 miles to Bristol. Bristol is half in VA and half in Tennessee.  It feels good to be out of Virginia. I feel like I have finally gotten somewhere. I'm actually as far west as central Ohio. I plan to be in Nashville in 5 days. Total Miles: 79
Day 15 Bristol, VA After sending out an email from the library in Bristol I headed west towards Kingsport. The road was almost entirely downhill except for a small climb into town. I stopped for lunch at a local BBQ joint for a pulled pork sandwich. The restaurant had antique bicycles and riding toys hanging from the ceiling - a tribute to pedal power. I planned on staying in Rogersville since I found out that there were motels there. The roads continued to be downhill and when I made it to town, I asked if there was any place else to stay along the next stretch of road. I found out that there was a cheap motel in Bean Station so I continued on. It began to rain as I left town, but the road was still in my favor and I made the next 17 miles in no time. After getting a room from someone who was definitely born elsewhere, I went to a pizzeria where already overweight locals were gorging themselves at the buffet, eyes wide and glazed at their plates piled high. Total Miles: 73
Day 16 Bean Station, TN The road continued to go downhill for the first 30 miles today until I headed towards Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is the home of the Manhattan Project and is where the Atomic bombs dropped during World War II were made. I made great time and got into town in time for a movie and a local town event that featured entertainment and food. Total Miles: 70


Previous Page

Top Next Page | Coast To Coast 1999 Map | Pictures | Postcards | Essays | Facts & Figures | Links