Fincastle, Va to Catawba, VA
We woke up around 6:00 am and put some water on the stove for oatmeal. We broke down camp while waiting for the water to boil. We ate oatmeal and then were on the road around 7:00 am. The temperature was refreshingly cool as we departed Camp Bethel.
We came upon the Virginian Markette about three miles down the road. A food stop was not listed on the ACA map at this location. As it turns out, this store was represented by a food icon on the map at a different location but that location had burned down, hence the new location.
We were able to eat a hearty breakfast of bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches (minus the bread for Linda) and bananas. We stocked up on some Gatorade and continued on.
Our ride today was very hilly and the day was hot and humid.
When we reached Daleville, we saw our TranAm acquaintences bicycles (whom we had met the day before) standing outside the subway. We went in to say hello, since we needed a short break. Phil did not sleep well the night before, noises in the woods had got him a little spooked. We debated staying at a hotel in Daleville for the night.
We were in search of a Pharmacy to get a multivitamin and some other things and found a CVS nearby using Google maps. The CVS was only about a half mile up the road. We said goodbye to our fellow TranAm’ers and then headed to CVS. We were also looking for a place to get out of the heat for a bit.
So after getting supplies at CVS we noticed a coffee shop across the highway and off we went.
We walked in and immediately spotted a bike hanging on the wall. Then Linda saw that they had Gluten Free treats in the case. We loved this place instantly.
We were looking for a place to sit and a gentleman invited us to sit at the other end of the six place table where he was sitting. He asked us the usual questions: “Where are you headed? How far have you come today? etc.” He then introduced himself as Scott, the owner of the coffee shop along with his wife Penny.
The Coffee Shop is called “Thousand Hills Coffee Shop” with the slogan “Drink Coffee, Do Good.” We noticed the picture on the wall (below) and asked about it. Scott told us that they visited the country in Africa where their coffee beans come from and participate in a child sponsorship program for children on an island there.
Scott told us that his son Kyle (pictured above and below) was hiking the Appalachian trail and was home for Mother’s Day weekend. Kyle arrived at the coffee shop a while later so we got to meet him and learn about his adventure. We talked with him about our adventure as well.
After all of the great conversation we were hungry for lunch and this was a great place to eat, especially for Linda! Scott mentioned that his wife makes the chicken fresh daily for the wraps and that they even have gluten free wraps, Linda was in heaven.
As we were packing up to continue on, Linda received an email that she was waiting for regarding an Assistantship at the University of Wyoming. The email was an official offer letter for a Graduate Assistantship and she needed to sign it and fax it back. Linda went back inside the coffee shop and asked Kyle if there was a place nearby where she could print out and fax the paperwork to UW. Kyle told her there was a UPS store down the road and that he was willing to take her there. Linda graciously accepted the ride.
Once Linda came back, we got back on the road. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. The hills continued and the heat and humidity was very uncomfortable.
Later on in the day as we were still about six or seven miles from our planned stop for the night, Phil was out of energy and couldn’t go another mile. There were some houses but not much else around. Phil laid down on a lawn next to the road to rest. Then it started to rain. We put on our rain gear and stayed put because Phil was just too tired. Linda said a small prayer and it wasn’t but a few minutes and her prayer was answered! A school bus passed us and the driver had slowed as if planning to stop and see if we were ok. The driver kept going but then stopped a bit down the road and started backing up. The driver drove in reverse back to us, opened the door, and told us that there was a church with a pavilion only about a hundred yards down the road around the bend. We thanked her and then headed for the Church. Knowing that there was shelter very close by, Phil had energy to make it there.
We went under the Pavilion and then contemplated what to do. We could have just stayed there for the night. We were not there long when a man with a pick up truck came into the parking lot and then parked at the opposite end of where we were at. Phil walked over to him to ask him if he could fill up our water bottles as we were low. The man told him he’d meet him by the door near the Pavillion to fill up our water bottles. He met us at the door and right inside was a sink. He told us we were more then welcome to camp there for the night and that he was going to take some people to dinner with the Church van, but when he returned he would be willing to take us to Catawba, about 5 miles down the road.
When he left we cooked some dinner with our stove and realized just how hungry we were. We wanted to camp at our planned stop which is a convenience store so that we could get food when we wake up. So we accepted the ride to Catawba and camped behind the convenience store as planned. We took our bags off the bikes and waited. He came back and then drove over to us with the Church Bus! He said that he needed to put gas in it anyway and the convenience store also had gas. So we got a bus ride to the convenience store and there was already an AT hiker camped out back. We got to bed before sunset and Phil took some Advil PM to ensure he slept well.