What to do after several stressful but rewarding weeks? Unwind with a cruise up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. While sipping my morning coffee I plotted out a route that would take me to Galax, VA, but the prospect of fighting winds around Fancy Gap convinced me otherwise. So, I gassed up, headed up 421 N, with a detour to see the newly renovated Wilkesboro Speedway, then joined the BRP just outside of Boone. From there, I rode north, stopping at almost every scenic overlook.
At highway 16, I turned south to North Wilkesboro, stopped along 421 for an iced coffee, then blasted home in time to go grocery shopping.
Saturday I headed north to Virginia, away from the worst of the thunderstorms that were developing. The weather app suggested that if I could stay clear of storms by 11 am, I’d be in the clear for the next couple of days. I brought along a change of clothes in case I roamed too far from home and wanted to turn my day trip into a two-day trip.
The ride to Fancy Gap, VA was a breeze. All highways and Interstate, no rain. When I jumped on the Blue Ridge Parkway it looked like I had mostly clear skies ahead. It wasn’t until I got to Groundhog Hill that I noticed a storm chasing me. I’d stopped to take a few photos then felt a drop. And another. And many more. I scooted away, continuing north, until I outran the rain for a while before passing under another cell that left me a little damp.
I got off the BRP at Floyd, VA, thinking I’d look for lunch. The crowds in the center of town convinced me to keep going, so I turned onto 221 N with the idea I’d continue on to Roanoke and find a place to stay. Going out town, this place caught my eye and I stopped for a biscuit and superb latte. If you’re in Floyd, visit. You won’t regret it.
The break gave me a chance to look for rooms in the Roanoke area. Dammit, it was graduation weekend. After looking at a string of overpriced hotel rooms, my mind was made up — I turned south on Hwy 8 and headed home.
That choice had its benefits. The route is lovely and I got to check on one of the few remaining covered bridges in Virginia.
All in all, not a bad day on the bike.
Just after the storm. Just before the Charlotte FC v. Chelsea kickoff.