Day 10: Lorton to Independent Hill

After writing my previous post, I went to REI with Adrian. I bought a few things that included a small MSR Alpine stowaway pot, a pack of antibiotic ointment, a package of Katadyn Micropur purification tablets to purify water, toothbrush covers to replace the more bulky container, a Nemo 15 degree sleeping bag, a Sea to Summit compression dry sack, and an REI membership. The total was $411.22. The sleeping bag is one that cost the most at $300.

After stopping by a local bicycle shop that Adrian wanted to visit, we went home so I can send my other stuff home, such as the fleece sleeping bag, the bigger stowaway pot I had brought, the helmet mirror that I don’t use, and a few other small things. After we walked to the post office to send everything, I took Adrian out for lunch at Pho Chateau that’s two doors down. I wanted to thank Adrian for his military service, for hosting me, and for the trip to REI.

Once we’re back at Adrian’s place, I packed up everything. Adrian also gave me a pair of pants that can be unzipped to become shorts. I was able to pack everything on my bike. The panniers now weighed a little over 20 pounds. Along with the sleeping bag, the sleeping pad, and the tent, I’m estimating that the total is about 25 pounds. Not bad.

On the road again

After we hugged and said goodbye, I was on the road again. I was going to go to the Oak Ridge Campground in Prince William Forest Park, but then I realized it’s out of my way from the bike route. So after about 24 miles of riding from Adrian’s place, mainly on the roads or the side paths, I arrived at Independent Hill. I had two crab cakes and cole slaw from Crosby’s Crab Co. It’s been in operation since 1976! Their seafood is very good.

Crosby's Crab Co.

I had no idea where to spend the night since there are no Warmshower hosts in this area. A local told me where to find the fire station, as it turned out, I had passed it on the way to Independent Hill. After circling back, I asked the firefighters if I can stay in their backyard, they told me I can’t since there’s no grass due to the construction of their new fire station. One of the firefighters told me to camp at Prince William Forest Park. I ended up finding the local library and set up camp beside it.

Camp beside the local library with my new sleeping bag

Tonight, the low is 42 degrees. I think with the new sleeping bag I should be fine.

Just for the record, I’ve ridden for a little shy of 250 miles. That’s about 25 miles per day. If I don’t count the three days I rested, that’s s little over 35 miles per day. With my current pace, it’ll take me over six months to complete my original 5000+ mile journey. Instead, I’m thinking of taking the Route 66 bike trail from Marshfield, Missouri, all the way to Santa Monica, California. That route is about 1908.6 miles. Adding that with the 1222.5 miles from Ashland, VA, to Marshfield on the TransAmerica Trail and the 294 miles from Conshohocken, PA, to Ashland, the revised total is 3425.1 miles. So if my pace is 35 miles per day, I should reach California in 100 days or so. Thirty-five miles per day is what I should aim for from now on.