WOW! What a fabulous day, we could not have had a better first day!
We started the day off very early so that we could get some sunrise photos on the beach! Linda’s awesome sister took many amazing photos of us on the beach!
After our early morning photo shoot, we all went back to our rooms to get ready for the “famous” breakfast served at the hotels Island Cafe. We had a good breakfast together with our family and friends.
The official start of the TransAm bicycle route is at the Yorktown Monument just up the hill a few hundred yards from the hotel. Four of our friends joined us for the first half of our first day and it was so much fun to have had them with us starting out!!!
Before we all left, we once again had a professional photo shoot at the monument to capture the moment. There we said our goodbyes to my Mom, Dad and sister. It was a blessing to have them there.
The 6 of us enjoyed a beautiful ride to Williamsburg and Jamestown. We took a group photo at Jamestown, said our goodbyes to Wendy and Kim, which was bittersweet, and then continued on further with Dan and Janet. We found the SS sub shop, about 9 miles from Charles City, which when we got there was closed. However, we were there not even 5 minutes resting on the outside picnic tables and someone arrived early to open the shop. So we were able to fill our water bottles, use the bathroom and get some snacks. Oh, and I (Linda) noticed my skin frying so decided sunscreen was a good idea.
After we hung out and rested there for a while, we went our separate ways. It was sad to say good-bye, but we know we’ll see them again because there just too awesome of friends not too.
We traveled on to Charles City, it felt like a long time They are creating a fantastic trail along the Route that will be a wonderful blessing as it wasn’t the most fun road to ride on. We got to ride on some newer portions of the bike trail not yet listed on the Adventure Cycling Association maps. Some of the new portions even appeared to have had blacktop freshly laid literally just before we rode on it!
We ate lunch at a phenomenal restaurant called “Cul’s Courthouse Grille” in Charles City: 10801 Courthouse Road, Charles City, VA 23030, Ph: 804-829-2205, www.culscourthousegrille.com, Open 7 days a week
Cul’s Courthouse Grille is a MUST STOP for bicycle tourists!!! FYI ***Courthouse Road runs parallel to the actual TransAm Route and dumps you right back onto the Capital Trail***. Do not miss the turn! They have a guest-book for the touring cyclists to sign. While we were there, we met some fabulous people, including Bonnie, Freeda (our server) and a really awesome couple, Mike and Kate, whom arrived soon after we did and sat at the booth next to us. Mike noticed our fully loaded touring bikes outside and seemed very interested so naturally Phil started a conversation with Mike. We then had a great conversation with Mike and Kate and they were very enthusiastic about our trip! After a fun conversation with our new friends, we finished our lunch and got back on our way.
Back on our way and biking along the capital trail, Phil was at it again, asking strangers as we pass by them “How far is it to Oregon?”, knowing full well that it is a great conversation starter! We have had all kinds of awesome reactions to this question. Phil had asked a woman whom was biking the other direction with a man and a child this question in passing…
…Fast forward ten minutes down the trail and we stopped to take a break. A man stopped where we were and said to Phil (paraphrasing) “My wife said you had asked her how far it is to Oregon…” It turns out he was the man we had passed biking with the woman and child. His name is Mike and he is a cycling enthusiast. A few minutes later, Mike’s wife Mary and their son Liam arrived as well. We talked for a while and then took a group photo using our awesome tripod before continuing on our way. They biked with us for a bit and Liam showed off his speed, never letting us get ahead of him!
After leaving the trail, we were back on roads again climbing and descending some rolling hills for a bit. Just a few miles from Willis United Methodist Church where we were staying at for the night, we found a nice short cut that took us off the busy road and onto what eventually became a dirt road. We only deviated from the official trail about two miles. We had three more miles to go instead of five.
Just about one mile before the Church, Phil stopped to take some photos of Cannons at one of the many Historical Sites of the “Seven Days Battles, Malvern Hill.” The we continued on and pulled into the Church around 7:30pm.
When we arrived, a group of touring cyclists was there to greet us and show us around. They offered dinner to us and Phil had some of their tasty meal while Linda ate her to-go food that she had ordered at Cul’s.
Willis UMC is an amazing stop for Cyclists. They have a very clean shower for the cyclists to use and also provide very nice, clean, and soft bath towels as well! They have WiFi and tons of food in the cabinets for the cyclists to eat! They even have a commercial eight burner stove for the cyclists to use too! There is plenty of space to camp outside or sleep inside. The group that was there with us all camped outside while we decided on indoor accommodations.
After we got our showers we set up our room and then turned in for the night.
We’re looking to do a shorter day tomorrow. We knew today would be a long day and it was. We appreciate everyone who came down to see us and ride with us. Our thoughts are with those who wanted to come down but couldn’t. Our thanks for all the prayers everyone is sending our way. Words cannot express our appreciation and thanks.
P.S.- Pictures to come!