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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Road to Damascus 2007 - Part 1

Dateline: Lynchburg, VA

I've converted to a diet of coffee and donuts for the duration of the trip. Now if I can get my hands to stop shaking I might be able to post this. I'm currently sitting the White Deer Cafe in downtown Lynchburg overdosing on caffiene and beignets. I think I'll have a spoonful of peanut butter and covert to decaf. That will help with the shakes.

It's been an interesting trip. So far I have stayed off the interstate highway system. I am in no hurry today. The weather and fatigue caused me to postpone departure till this morning. As long as I am in Damascus by nightfall I will be on schedule.

Left about 9:30 this morning and was surprised to find a walkathon marshalling in Monroe Park. By rights I should be participating. It's on behalf of diabetes. I made sure to thank some volunteers for both their work and using Monroe Park. On a normal Saturday the only park users would be the homeless and others lining up for a free meal.

I snuck out of Richmond the back way via River Road and Route 6. This is actually the shortest, but not quickest, route to the mountains. It follows the north bank of the James to the Blue Ridge mountains going through a number of river towns and right past Schuyler, VA, aka "Walton's Mountain". The first significan town was Scottsville, a small historic community south of Charlottesville about 250 years old. They are benefitting from and influx of people and money. Little shops are sprouting up along Main Street and they were having a Veteran's Festival by the levee, but what stopped me was the "Free Donuts" sign. This turned out to be seredipitous, because they were throwing a first class festival. There were reenactors there from 6 different eras spanning the Civil War up to Iraq, represented by the national guard. They even let me hold an M16, unloaded.

The leaves in the upcountry are just starting to change and you can feel a touch of fall in the air. I turned south on Rt. 29 just before the mountains. There are fewer travel options once you reach the Blue Ridge and I want to stay off the freeway while I can. Well, I've finished my last beignet and it's time to hit the road. I have another 3 or 4 hours of backroads before I get there. I'll probably turn off before I hit Rt. 58, a real bear of a road. Unless you like 50 miles of hairpin curves and constant elevation changes, this is not the road for you, or me. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt.

Next stop, Damascus.

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