Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Heaven's Length

I have it on good authority (mine), that Heaven is at least 42 miles in length. Trust me - I know - I've ridden it.

It was the last day of a recent weekend mini-tour. Two days earlier, I rode from my home and had been riding and camping since.

My final night was spent at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. It was a beautiful camp sight overlooking the river

I was treated to a marvelous sunset.

The evening proved to be quite windy and cold. After burning what little firewood I had, I crawled in my tent and slept in relative (I use this term loosely) comfort. I awoke the next morning to nature's call, which I ignored for as long as I dared and then crawled out of my sleeping bag cocoon to face the raw cold.

For cooking on this trip, I chose to take along my Trangia alcohol burning stove.

I bought this stove late last Spring and used it to great effect several times this summer. I fell in love with it's simplicity and functionality. This was the first time I used it on a freezing, gusty, winter morning. The wind and cold combined to dampen my enthusiasm for it's functionality. I arranged my panniers as a make shift wind break and still had to fill the bowl twice in order to boil a single kettle of water. It was a frigid, if not thoroughly frustrating exercise.

After finally warming up with several cups of coffee, I decided to skip trying to cook breakfast. So I packed up and got an early start.

For the last day and a half, I had been heading predominantly North the entire time and, seeing how I chose to start my final bike tour of the year just as the first cold front of the season blew through the area, had a stiff headwind the whole time.

Since I was taking a circuitous route, it was only a matter of time before I would head South. The final day of my mini-tour was that time. I rode to Jamestown, crossed the ferry and then traversed the counties of Surry and Isle if Wight to Smithfield.

The skies were clear...

The sun shone bright...

The traffic was next to non-existence...

The country roads were peaceful and pristine...

The fields were freshly harvested and settling down for a long winters nap...

Does it get any better than that? You bet it does. I rode a total of 42 Miles that day and had the pleasure of a stiff TAILWIND the entire time. Pedaling was almost effortless. With such a tailwind I could have flown down the road, but instead chose to use it to maintain my normal speed with less effort. I was in Heaven and not knowing it's width or breadth, I was in no hurry to happen upon it's boundary.

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