Posted by: localmotive2011 | June 6, 2011

380 miles later…

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Last week we took a nice break from biking to visit the first fiber co-op in the United States at Juniper Moon Farm outside of Palmyra, VA. Carolyn and Zach, the farm managers, welcomed us and gave us a tour of the farm. They have sheep, goats, a donkey, and a llama named Jerry, along with chickens and pigs. These two recent college graduates decided to put off grad school for awhile and follow their dream to farm. Luckily Zach used to work in a bike shop, so he was able to tune up some bike issues. We were very impressed by the individual care given to each animal, to the extent that Carolyn and Zach knew every animal by name (we liked Puffin the best). Juniper Moon keeps a blog, where the co-op members can follow the animals and be part the farm community.

After the farm, we headed towards Charlottesville, where we enjoyed pizza at Mellow Mushroom and spent part of the next day writing postcards and hunting down the best ice cream shop. Our plan was to reach Afton that evening so that we could start on the mountains early the next morning. Little did we know that the steepest and longest hill imaginable was coming right up. Gasping for breath, we pulled into Afton and discovered that The Cookie Lady, a TranAm legend, was right there! The Cookie Lady runs an informal hostel that is filled with food and all sorts of memorabilia from cyclists! Surrounded by pictures, newspaper clippings, and a very strange tandem bike, we were encouraged by all of the successful tours that others have completed.

The next morning, we successfully rode through the first set of the Appalachians, enjoying the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and the familiar burning in our legs.

That night we rolled into Lexington, VA to the sound of country music playing in the town commons. Within minutes of arriving we were welcomed by the police chief, who promised to personally watch our bikes; a local family also offered their backyard as a campsite for the night (Thank you Nikki!). We enjoyed the music greatly and all of the friendly people who approached us. Lexington definitely made an impression as a very friendly town.

Later in the week, we were hunting for a campsite around an elementary school in Daleville, when we met Logan. A local eighth-grader, he told us all about his Future Farmers of America group and his plans to become a dairy farmer. He also brought us some bread and peanut butter to help us on our journey, and his family kindly offered us a place in their home to escape a thunderstorm. We have been consistently impressed throughout this journey by the generosity of so many people.

– Kerstin, Katie, and Lauren

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Responses

  1. 380 what what!! the pictures look great, i’m jealous. also not to be a downer but the “steepest and longest hill imaginable” might not actually be in the appalachians (i’m guessing this hyperbole can be attributed to katie)… regardless, a tremendous accomplishment, keep up the hard work!

    • Thanks Chives! You are right about the hill (both the description and the author). We hear the Ozarks are pretty tough though.. maybe we’ll find the steepest hill there. Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

  2. Wow, Good Job!!!!

  3. Enjoying your blog! Glad you enjoyed Lexington, VA. Come back any time!!!

    • Thank you Nikki for a wonderful stay! We still talk about how friendly Lexington was and would love to come back : )


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