My last few hours with my wife, before she boards her plane and heads back to Tampa. It’ll be another month before she comes and visits again.
She really wanted to visit the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, so that was our plan before she left.
We woke up early and went downtown and ate 3 delicious crepes. 1 savory, 1 sweet, and 1 that could be considered both. So good! And lucky for me my wife gets full pretty quick so I ate most of them!
We went back to the hotel, packed up and set out for the gardens. Me biking, and her driving. She stopped at Walmart on the way and picked me up some food. Love her.
The Botanical Gardens were right next to the airport which was convenient. The grounds were huge! Something like 153 acres! Too big to walk it all in our hour and a half there. So we took a tram around the place and it was a great end to my time with my babe.
I realized that time stresses me out. I put a timeline on the day that she should leave at 1:00 to get gas, return the car, and get to her plane which left at 3:09.
She didn’t leave the gardens until about 1:30. This stressed me out, and as much as I tried to hide it and get rid of her, she knew.
She had plenty of time, even to eat some food before her flight. So that’s something I am trying to work on this trip. To not stress over time, cause my I believe if you’re not early, you’re late!
So it’s 1:30 and my choice was now: stay near Norfolk another night and crush some miles tomorrow, or use the cooler weather today and crush a good chunk. If I leave today, I can stop in Williamsburg for some brewski’s tomorrow.
Sold! I decided to bike about 54 miles back out to the middle of nowhere. Rode up on a car that just started to catch fire. The family just ran out of the car before I captured the picture, and I ended up being the last one on the highway to pass the car before the police closed it to extinguish the flames.
Now this middle of nowhere that I was biking to was also right back to where that nudist community was that I stayed at!
So the truth comes out. The other day when I stayed at that nudist community, I knew ahead of time it was a nudist campsite. I, however, had not planned on staying there and didn’t even know about it until I was about 5 miles away. I thought it would be a funny addition to my trip. Didn’t really know the “rules” of the place before I entered.
While it made for a great story (more than you guys got, sorry), one visit was enough for now. So I found the original campsite I was going to stay at the other night and stayed there tonight. No nakedness for me tonight!
Right after I set up camp, I took a shower and ended up having a long shower conversation with a guy in the next shower stall. Luckily, unlike the nudist camp, the showers were separated and I had my privacy.
I got some weird stories from him like how he dated a girl “a lot younger than him and very good looking” and she convinced him to have a shower with her. (I’m sure that took a lot of convincing..) She loved super hot water showers and so he got used to that and now the water in this shower wasn’t hot enough for him.
I thought the cold water felt great! After the story, I tried out the hot water, and it seemed plenty hot to me!
I finally met him after the shower, and turns out he lives in the campground and his RV shower is hot enough for him, but doesn’t have enough pressure. I got this guy’s whole life story. I think he just needed someone to talk to, and I was the chosen one.
Interesting, but nice fella. Good night, man, I’m going back to my tent now.
I’m actually going to miss all of these middle of nowhere roads. Roads where the signs say share the road and then have a picture of a tractor instead of a bicycle. I feel like I am getting more into the big city route now where I have to worry about cars instead of dogs.
I made my way to a ferry crossing and met a church group there. They happened to be from a Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC. The same city where I slept behind a Baptist Church!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same church they were from – that would have been a crazy coincidence! But their church wasn’t far from it.
They hooked me up with some cold water and snacks as we boarded the ferry. This is now my 4th river crossing by ferry.
Made it across into historic Jamestown, VA and a brewery was waiting for me to get there to open their doors.
Had myself a flight, and took my time drinking it as I soaked up the AC and planned out the route to my next brewery. Thanks to a buddy from my old work back home, Tim, my drinks were covered!
Since I had biked out of Norfolk yesterday instead of staying another night, it gave me more time to check out Williamsburg.
Biked around the city, which had a neat little downtown area and college campus, and stopped at Precarious Beer Project for some more beer, tacos and to watch the world cup match between the US and England. (Yes, I am a little behind on my blog posts right now!)
After getting sucked into the game, I realized I had only an hour to get to the park I was planning on staying at before the office closed. Google maps was saying it would take me an hour and ten minutes to get there.
With the sun beating down on me and my legs cranking the pedals, I got a text from my buddy Doug from back home.
He said his mom, Betsy, was going to be driving through the area and wanted to take me out for some food!
I made it to the park with 5 minutes to spare, but the office was already closed. I banged on the window, showed them the time, pleaded with them, and they finally let me in to pay for a campsite for the night.
Just after that, Besty pulled up and took me out. We first went to another brewery, Alewerks and then out for some delicious food. I was definitely fat and happy after that pot roast, sweet potato mash, broccoli, salad, corn bread, and dinner rolls.
She made sure I had a full charge on my phone before the evening was over and then she got me back to the campsite just before the sun went down. Even left me with a goody bag! Bunch of protein bars and meal replacement bars!
Today’s route is almost completely on a bike path called the Virginia Capital Trail. The only time I need to get off it is to find beer and find my hotel.
Yes, I have a hotel for tonight thanks to Doug’s mom Betsy! Super kind of her not only to have taken me out yesterday, fed me, gave me snacks, and now to book a hotel for me also!
It was a very hot day, but about 20 miles or so in, I rode past another bike rider. This wasn’t just another regular rider, this guy was doing the full Key West to Canada route as well!
Dylan left June 1st and I had left Key West May 12th and we met here today. So obviously he is putting in more miles each day than I am. He had put in around 1400 miles to this point where as I had put in over 2000 miles! Shows how much off the path I go to find breweries, campsites, and anything else that looks of interest!
We rode all the way into Richmond together and stopped at a coffee shop to hang out and talk more.
He is doing the route all by paper map! Doesn’t even have a smartphone with him! I have become very dependent on my phone for directions, but it made me feel better to know that those maps cost him over $100! They give good details of the route, places to stay, about the cities and so on. My phone does it even better, though.
After filling up on coffee, water, snacks and exchanging information he kept on the path for probably another 30 or so miles and I did not.
I biked around town finding beer! Too much beer to try, though. So many breweries within just a couple miles of each other I had a tough time choosing which ones to visit.
I ended up going to Stone Brewing, Bingo Beer Co, and Final Gravity Brewing. These made the cut for several reasons. The first two were recommended by some of Doug and Betsy’s family. Bingo Beer Co was also recommended by the bartender from Stone Brewing. Then Final Gravity Brewing was just the closest to the hotel I was staying at.
Stone Brewing had some delicious (and a lot to choose from) IPAs. Bingo Beer Co had a cool arcade game room going on with decent beers. Final Gravity didn’t do flights so I got two half pours, but the two he had recommended were really good. It was their saison and double IPA.
After what felt like a long day, I plopped into my big comfy bed in my nice hotel and fell asleep real quick.