Taking time off…

Kathy – Today after we finished a beautiful but very hard 46 miles of climbing we heard some horrible news. One of our dearest friends in Spokane died in a tragic accident. We are devastated to say the least. Paul was our neighbor for 22 years, but more so, an amazing man that we were lucky enough to call our friend.

We will be renting a car in the morning and driving from Fredericksburg, Virginia to Norfolk, Virginia to fly home tomorrow afternoon. We will figure out where to store our bikes once we get to Norfolk.

Our goal right now is just to be with one of my best friends Sue (Paul’s wife) and try to comfort her and her family in any way possible. We will fly back to Norfolk, Virginia the first week in November and continue on our journey.

My ask of you: (1) Please pray for Sue and her family that they may be comforted during this difficult time, and (2) Please give your loved ones a extra hug and tell them how much they mean to you. Our time on this earth is limited, enjoy life and love all.

Manassas, Virginia

Hank – We scheduled a short day today. Thirty-two miles to Manassas, Virginia. Leaving DC was a breeze. We followed M Street to the Francis Scott Key bridge. Before we could cross we ran into Tammy and Tracy. They’re from Denver and they had just finished riding to Washington, DC from Washington state. They were headed to the National Mall to do some sight seeing. We chatted for a bit and then crossed the bridge to Arlington, VA.

That makes state #25! We immediately got on the Custis Trail and we were cussing it the entire time. It was as if someone designed a trail just for making bike tourers miserable. We were doing the sine wave. Up. Down. Up. Down. Short, steep climbs and descents for four miles. Then we connected with the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. It’s a rail trail that’s much more level.

While we rode on the W & ODT. A cyclists caught up and chatted with us. Mike hails from Miami. He was excited to hear our story and he gave us a lot of tips for our journey to Key West. I was happy to hear about a new trail connecting Richmond to Jamestown. Mike painted his bike himself and it includes to quotes from his wife. See the photos. Regarding the blatherfest quote, it’s apparently a jab at Mike for being such a chatterbox when he’s riding. We enjoyed his energy and talking to him very much.

We diverted off the trail and got back on the roads. Before long we were hitting school traffic followed by rush hour work traffic. Arriving at the hotel was a relief. We showered and then caught an Uber to a tequilaria where we took advantage of happy hour. We caught a ride home and called it a day. Tomorrow we go to Fredericksburg.

Kathy – Our 32-mile ride today was in cool temps low to mid 60’s with minimal headwinds.  The crisp air kept us cool during our many climbs today.  We really enjoyed our time in Washington D.C., but is was time to move on.  I managed to spread my flower seeds in the city before I left.  A month or so ago we tried to predict approximately where we would be the end of October so we could book tickets to fly home for our son Joshua’s wedding.  Well, we have a little extra time here so we can reduce our daily miles as we head toward Norfolk, Virginia.  We will fly out of Norfolk on Oct. 27th so plenty of time to get there.  Many people warned me about Virginia (our 25th state!) that it was very hilly.  They are correct.  So I guess it is a good thing we have lots of time to get to Norfolk with all the elevation we are encountering.

Leaving D.C. was pretty uneventful.  It was really nice to meet the other bike tours Tammy and Tracy. Love listening to others travel stories and adventures.  Not enough time with them, but pleased to have met them.  We then got on the Custis Trail for four miles of pure hell.  Constant climbing and lot of steep climbs.  There were many times where I thought I was not going to make it up the steep climbs, but I did on every one.  Happy to have these four miles done so we could enjoy the next section of the trail much better.  Meeting Mike on the trail was super fun.  This guy is a ball of energy and has a wealth of knowledge on trails and routes for us to take in the future as we make our way to Key West, Florida.  He also has a really cool looking bike, purple with lots of cool designs on it.   Once we completed our four miles of hell, things got better after that.  We continued to climb all day today, but our climbs were much more gradual and manageable.  Thankful for that.  After getting settled in we had Uber take us to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, which was delicious.  I stuck with the appetizers that were plenty for me.  The mega margarita was WAY too big for me.  I only managed to drink 1/4 of it.  Hank was nice enough to finish my drink for me. Let’s just say he was feeling fine.  Overall it was a beautiful cool and crisp day, which made for a good ride.  Looking forward to our ride tomorrow.

A couple of notes…