The luckiest day of the trip began gray, became drizzly, and soon resolved itself into a rainy grind towards some nebulous “next stop,” which turned out to be Charlottesville.
In the beginning of the day, I was attracted to a very large wooden Big Wheels along the route, and when I stopped to take a picture, had my first encounter with the heretofore mythical creature, the Warmshowers host! Warmshowers is like Couchsurfing- free lodging for touring cyclists in exchange for stories, help, adventure sharing, etc- as long as no money is involved. Although I figured it was to early in the day to call off riding, the meeting was a harbinger of good things to come, even if they took some time.
Many miles later, when it was getting pretty rainy and the riding had ceased to be what even I would call “fun” and the prospect of camping was definitely considered to be “un-fun,” I checked around Warmshowers for hosts in Charlottesville- although there were many options listed, I was wary since previous attempts were curtailed when I wasn’t deemed an acceptable guest by prospective hosts. Charlottesville’s only hostel was also, apparently, closed permanently, which left hotels as the most attractive option to dry off in.
Although not very adventurous, hotels have some advantages, like news TV stations, spreading everything out to dry without bothering anyone, and oatmeal for breakfast. And, even at a hotel, you can still meet some cool people on an adventure. As I was chcking out, I met a family traveling from Ohio who had a number of friends who had ridden cross-country, including one who had written a book about it. They were also very happy to help tote my trailer up and down the hotel stairs (not very wheelchair-friendly), and see me off on a very bright and beautiful morning.
The adventure continues, of course, but that’s a good chapter mark for now. More coming soon, first I’ve got to write it!