Monday, August 16, 2010

A Good Use of Funds!

No matter what your feelings might be toward the stimulus dollars, when I saw the sign below, I thought, "Now that's a good use of funds!"

I was on the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 17-mile downhill bicycle trail that starts (or maybe ends, depending on your point of definition) in Damascus, Virginia.

We left early and arrived in Damascus at the bike shop about 10 a.m.

After we "tried out" our bikes, our chosen model (big seat, please!) was put on the trailer and we took a very long van ride to the top of the mountain -- or, almost the top. (Your stimulus dollars were repairing the top of the trail!)

All started out well, though I crashed (gently, from a nearly-dead stop) and Rick and his dad took a look at the breaks. Apart from a yucky knee and some black and blue marks that surfaced later, I was good to go and having such fun, I didn't notice!

I have to say, as most of you know (or can guess), I'm no athlete. I leave that to my biker boy. But I was one happy camper that day!

The trail is gorgeous. It cuts throughMount Rogers National Forest with brief forays onto private land. You see views like this...

And this...

And this...

And this one, too.

There were benches for quick breaks (as Rick's dad and Kathy show, below!).

And beautiful bridges to cross, overlooking waterfalls.

Tall rock walls often surround the trail.

And now and then, there were flowers in bloom. Every bit was breathtaking.

We lunched at the Creeper Cafe, where Rick met a biker who rides with George Hincapie, a Tour de France mainstay from the U.S. This diner had wonderful milkshakes! (I have to stay, in every photo from my vacation, my hair is either wet or in this case, helmet hair.)

And we did find a Cafe Cat (Chat Cafe) who bore a striking (if slender) resemblance to one boy left behind. I don't know if that made me feel better or worse (but he was in good hands!)

More wonderful views.

I happened to love the kudzu, until I learned it is a creeping marauder that kills off everything in its rooty little path. Needless to say, I didn't bring any home, though frankly it could only help my back yard!

I can only say that if you are in this neck of the woods, whether biking is or isn't your thing, that you give the Creeper Trail a try. And even if you are with a more seasoned biker (like Rick), that's OK. He loved it too!


Maegan said...

I knew I wasn't the only late night blogger! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL! I would love to go to Virginia! The country there is just different than any part of Texas. ;) I'm glad you had a good time and don't worry about your hair! Your smiles are so bright and happy in the pictures no one will even notice! Have a great week!

Shane Pollard said...

Good on you Jeanie!!
It looks like a wonderful bike ride along such a scenic route.

We did a canal boat trip in France last year and rode bikes along the paths - I hadn't been on a bike for more than 30 years and found it difficult at first!!
But it was fun and we laughed a LOT!!!!!

What does Gypsy think?!!

Take care

KRCampbellArt said...

Hey Jeannie-
You did a great intro for Alberta Adams. That show was so great. So nice to have the festival right here in our own backyard.
And thanks for bringing those fans!

Rosa said...

Poor you! Glad you got those brakes fixed!!! Beautiful pics. Hey, I'm ALL for big seat! <3

~*~Patty S said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely trail and ride with us Jeanie!
Damascus is not too far for us as we live in N VA ... great pictures, the Joe Pye Weed is such a butterfly magnet.
I have a surprise for you on my bbb :)

~*~Patty S said...

sorry about the spill you took ... I know you're tough though and probably never skipped a beat :)

Dogwood said...

What a beautiful place. Fun bike ride. Wow, you are one strong lady. Did you check out my blog. You WON my give-away. Let me know where to send your winnings! Cory/Dogwood

beth said...

you are one brave woman....
i on the other hand, am a wimp !

Sugar Bear said...

Fun! I am in the process of putting together a biking event now. This post gives me some good inspiration.

anno said...

Good for you, Jeanie! Looks like a beautiful ride, though, and a lovely day with Rick. Glad you're back!

paris parfait said...

Looks like such fun! Great pics. Glad you weren't seriously injured. xo

Melissa B. said...

Love all these Superior Snaps! We're greatful every day over here in the DC area. The stimulus dollars saved a couple hundred teachers' jobs in our district. PS: I've been away, but wanted to congratulate you on your BON nod. Bravo!

Joanne Huffman said...

Such good photos. You should take great pride in this ride.

Savira Gupta said...

Sounds like a fun trip ! Thank you for your email Below is the link to my site

Anonymous said...

These pics are so beautiful. Makes me want to visit there. It would have to be an overnight trip for us, but it looks worth it.

Linda Jo said...

I would've taken a spill, too!!! Great pictures!

Beth said...

Now I could handle that bike trip. All down hill,,yep, and stuningly beautiful scenery, yep!
Sorry about your boo boo. And NEVER plant kudzu any where,,we have that stuff here too.

ForgedinPaper said...

What a fab trail and I love that you all managed to follow it. Glad it's been a great time with family.

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