I am very, VERY, relieved to say that one of my greatest fears about this trip, getting hopelessly lost on country back roads, appears to have been nullified, at least in part, at least in Virginia.
That is correct- ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to report that there ARE route markers for the TransAmerica Trail. It turns out there are also route markers for the Atlantic Coast trail, which greeted me on this fine and foggy morning in Virginia, and continued to (more or less) direct me as I headed (more or less) south and west to meet up with the TransAmerica. (The VCR Trail was, regrettably, not an Everything is Terrible themed pathway paved with cassettes, but rather the Virginia Central Railroad rails-to-trails. Ah well, I can dream)
A few things about this part of Virginia: the roadkill is VERY suspicious (yes, that is an owl. Also seen but not photographed: an entire deer pelt with the top of the skull sawn off), politicians are often angry (about what, no one knows for sure), and I also strongly suspect there is a vast treasure trove of gold and gemstones in every stand of trees, because almost everything is PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING FOR ANY REASON AT ALL.
The riding was good though- I covered 92 miles in a little under 8 hours, pretty close to what I had planned. This encourages me for many reasons, mostly because it means I can still hit the 600 miles per week I had planned on, even if it’s 86 miles a day for 7 days a week. Also, even though I would say Virginia isn’t as hilly as Connecticut, it’s still rarely flat, and even though my net altitude gain was pretty low, I am comfortable with the progress made. Good directions/signage and smooth riding surfaces are both very helpful for making progress- I can build and maintain momentum for longer without stopping for directions and dodging potholes.
Other successes today included only 1 (one!) flat tire on the trailer- in the super worn wheel, naturally- so I was able to replace the tire with a new one. I’ve reloaded the trailer to put more weight on the non-worn side, and hope to switch the wheels daily (neat feature of the detachable wheels) to try to keep both tires wearing evenly.