My Anniversary Trip Part Deux

Once we left Bedford we headed down to Abingdon. Abingdon is located in the southwest corner of VA just a few miles from Bristol, TN. After checking in to our hotel we freshened up for a dinner and a movie date which is near impossible to have once kids enter your life. The movie of choice was Will Ferrell's latest, "Blades of Glory". We didn't know of any friends that had seen it so we weren't sure what to expect on the old laugh 'o meter. "Blades" ended up being one of the funniest movies I've seen in months. An easy 3 1/2 stars.

Saturday we got up and headed off to meet our bike shuttle. The way the "VA Creeper Trail" works is it runs 34 miles from Abingdon to White Top. You can choose which direction you want to ride but the most popular (and easiest) is from White Top down to Abingdon. Once we arrived at the local bike shop (there are several around to choose from) they loaded our bikes up on a large trailer and we jumped into a 15 passenger van with other folks who are doing the trail too. The drive from Abingdon to White Top is about 45 minutes so you get lots of time to meet the other people in your van. The cool thing about our van was that everyone in it was from NC.

Once we reached White Top everyone unloaded and started their trip. The trail ranges in width from 8 feet to 3 feet. Some of the trail is flat crushed gravel while other parts are a muddy root & rock infested jungle. The first 15 miles of the trail is mostly downhill on a 6% grade. Needless to say we felt we could compete in the Tour de France after such an easy ride to begin with. We stopped for lunch in Damascus which is the half way point (17 miles for you non-math kids) Most people end their trip in Damascus with lunch and then a short shuttle ride back to their cars. But we figured we had come this far we were going to do it all. So after a quick bite we were back on our bikes for the remaining 17 miles.

The last half of the trip was mostly flat with some slight uphill treks. The first 10 miles went buy pretty easily but then we hit the wall. Maybe it was that we had now been biking for over 3 hours or maybe we weren't in as good of bike shape as we thought but those last 7 miles were tough. After not stopping for any rest breaks during the first 27 miles (except lunch and picture opps) we were now stopping at each mile marker to rest our legs, butts, and arms while finishing off what little water we had left. By the time we made it back to our car we felt like we had been tied to a bike and dragged down the mountain. But that feeling didn't last long. After a nice shower and a good meal our energy started to return and we decided we'd probably live through this to see another anniversary. Over dinner we sat and marveled at yet anther first in our nine year marriage. We had biked 34 miles in about 4 1/2 hours and lived to tell about it.

It was a great trip even with the exhausting last leg of the trail. It's something that we both can't wait to try again.


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