Friday, 11 May 2012

Yorktown and Glendale, VA

Yorktown Victory Monument, 10 May 2012
Jet lag struck with a vengeance. I lay awake all Wednesday night, exhausted but unable to fall asleep. In the morning, I was barely functioning. The day turned out to be dry and fine with a stiff breeze from the north that kept me cool, slowed me down, and generated whitecaps on the York river. The countryside was green and flat, the route attractive and full of history. I cycled 17 km to Yorktown and a further 98 km on the TransAm Trail to Glendale, arriving just after 5pm. From Yorktown I followed the scenic Colonial Parkway to the two other points that define America’s historic triangle, Colonial Williamsburg and the site of the Jamestown Settlement. Then I joined one of the few off-road bike paths I will encounter, the Virginia Capital Trail, only parts of which are in place but which is of excellent quality and a joy to ride. I cycled two stretches. This area was much fought over in the Civil War. Battlefields are marked and artillery pieces of the time proliferate. At Malvern Hill they were standing in line across a field of crops.

Start of Virginia Capital Trail
In Glendale I am staying as a guest of the Willis United Methodist Church, which has a tradition of welcoming bikers. I get floor space in the church hall to sleep on and use of a washroom and kitchen. There is no charge. It’s three days since the last time someone stayed here. An Adventure Cycling group was here four days ago.  I am the only person tonight. Bill, who I met in Newport News, mentioned that he will be here tomorrow night. No recognised alternative accommodation is available in the last 53 km before Glendale (cyclists have been permitted to pitch a tent in Charles City). If there were, I would probably have stopped earlier. I feel I’ve earned a good night’s sleep tonight.

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