The day was, for the most part, pretty peaceful. We were on Black Oak Rd. which was small, very rural, and very quiet- not to mention beautiful. We actually got to enjoy the fall colors and scenery again. Richard and finally got to ride side by side and have some quality time laughing, singing, and talking about what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown on this trip. It was nice to just have some time alone, just the two of us, when we weren’t guarding our lives against the traffic.
Riding through Princeton kinda took away our relaxed ‘high’ because it was pretty congested and stressful, not to mention we took a wrong turn somewhere. But we found a helpful man who set us back on the right path and we got out on 460 once again. It seems that we are on and off this route fairly often and according to our map, it will be that way until we finish at the beach! So there we were again, back on 460! We were very relieved to see it had a relatively large shoulder, so despite the rather thick traffic, we didn’t have to be overly alert.
It was beginning to have the same familiar problem- no where to camp because the highway was built in such a way that there was no private property along it, yet there was only steep shoulder along the edge- when a man pulling a horse trailer stopped and invited us to his house. It was four miles away- much further than we were hoping to go that day- but it was our only option. So we decided to detour onto his “parallel” road (which was 5 miles longer – but we didn’t realize that until it was too late to turn around) and head for his house. Maybe someday, we’ll remember to look at our map before taking the “shortcut” or “parallel road”…. but then again, we’ve been at this 20 months and still seem to forget sometimes. I guess we were just meant to ride the distance to make a new friend.
And Allen and Paula were great people. We listened in fascination as they explained to us over a home cooked meal how they make molasses, ground corn, cider, and other home made staples- often using draft horse powered machines! With horses and sustenance living being a common interest, we had lots to talk about and we were tempted to stay another day, but we resisted the urge. After all, we were only a day’s ride from the Virginia border! Let’s get this show on the road baby!
We were soooo excited to get to the Virginia state sign. I’m not exactly sure how to explain how it felt to get to our last state and take pictures at our last state sign of the whole ride. Surreal. Jittery. Dreamlike. The same as the other signs- but not. Like- whoa- this is the last time we’re gonna do this at a sign… I don’t know- it was just weird but cool. No more state signs. Our next big goal is, well, the OCEAN! And it was pretty weird and funny too when I went into the gas station to find someone to take the pictures for us. I walked in the door and the attendant looked at me, looked at the front page of the paper, looked at me, and help the paper in my face, “IS THIS YOU?!” I laughed, “Well there’s probably not too many other crazy cowgirls riding their horses on a busy highway! Yeah- it’s me!” She gladly took the pictures. And for the record, we took one with the West Virginia sign in the background too, since we entered the state on a private road and didn’t get the chance on entry- so we got it on the exit end!