Day 20: Radford to Wytheville

Last night was a bit cold and there was a layer of frost on my tent. I was awakened by the chirping of the birds. The moon was still out and the sun was sneaking up. I packed up my tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. It was still early and Keith and Shannon were still asleep. I decided to pick out three photographs from my stash of pictures that I reserved for hosts and gave them to a very sleepy Keith. I hope he didn’t get offended that I left early.

Woke up and the moon is still there

Coffee and bagel at Radford Coffee Company

A couple of miles down the road was the Radford Coffee Company, I think that’s the only coffee shop in town. I had a cup of coffee and an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese. After getting ready, I was approached by a lady who wanted to use my bicycle as a backdrop for a photo. I guess my bike will be more famous than I am!

I rode along Main Street in Radford and crossed the New River on a bridge. From there, I continued on bicycle route 76. There were still many hills to go up, then down, then up again. It went like that the whole day. But at least the road was smooth for the most part. I did go down a very steep hill and the road had a lot of potholes that I had to be very careful.

Crossing the New River

Smooth road

I ate an early lunch at the Mercantile and Trading Company in Draper. I had a pulled pork sandwich with fries and chocolate mousse for dessert. I was so delighted to have had great meals this morning so I kept riding.

Pulled pork sandwich at Draper Mercantile and Trading Company

More hills and more hills. Most of the time I walked up the hill if I couldn’t do it in an easy gear. It was also getting very hot, approaching 80 degrees. I was glad to come across a McDonald’s in Fort Chiswell. I enjoyed a strawberry banana smoothie. When I finished the smoothie and went to turn on my iPhone for navigation, it said it’s too hot to operate. I had left the phone on my bike in the hot sun for about 30 minutes and the phone overheated. After waiting a bit inside of McDonald’s, the phone worked again.

I rode for another 15 miles or so and came to the town of Wytheville. An older couple saw me looking at my phone and asked if they could help. They recommended me some restaurants on Main Street, I ended up eating Skeeter’s famous hotdogs. They were good but I wouldn’t label them famous just yet. Apparently, the First Lady of President Woodrow Wilson was born in the building next door to Skeeter’s hotdog place. I guess that’s my history lesson of the day.

Skeeter's, since 1925

After dinner, I wanted to ask the local fire department if I can stay in their backyard, since none of the Warmshowers hosts replied to me. Unfortunately, both the fire department and the police department were closed. Doing a little searching, I found the Elizabeth Brown park next to the police department and decided to camp there. To my surprise, there is already a cyclist there! His name is Tripp and he rode his recumbent bicycle all the way from Phoenix, Arizona. He’s heading to Vermont. I’m so glad to have found someone to talk to since it was only 5 PM.

Tripp, going to Vermont from Phoenix, AZ

I took the time to dry out my tent and sleeping bag. Also there are wall outlets in the pavilion where we are staying so I charged up everything. Tonight should be nice, the low is 49 degrees. I’m going to only use my sleeping bag and stay inside the pavilion.

View from the pavilion