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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Our Bike Ride from Whitetop to Damascus - Virginia Creeper Trail

On July 25, we went to Damascus, Virginia... Taking our two hybrid bikes along for biking the Virginia Creeper Trail; down hill that is!
VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL...
The trail runs on a rail right-of-way dating to the 1880s -- first belonging to the Abingdon Coal and Iron Railroad.
In the fall: Virginia Creeper Trail just click through to go to their website.
We had arrived in Damascus, Virginia after driving up from Georgia, 377 miles or 607 km.
To the right, behind the trees is the Laurel Creek that the trail keeps following.
Our stay was at the lovely Mountain Laurel Inn, Damascus Virginia.
We booked the Rambo Suite and this is the bedroom where we slept for 2 nights.
So we got all rested and well fed with a delicious and per request, healthy breakfast.
Early in the spring on April 11, I'd secured us two tickets on the Sundog Outfitter shuttle up to Whitetop area at 10:00 AM from where we started our descent around 11:00 AM.
Laurel Creek is seen here.
Mount Rogers
National Recreation Area
Whitetop Station from where we rolled down...
It is all inside the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia
We were very lucky with the weather as you can see!
Ample parking space right at the Sundog Outfitter, we left our car there.
Our two hybrid Trek bikes got unloaded off the trailer at Whitetop Station...
Yep, we had to carry lots of water with us for this longer ride!
My Dachshund Mauzie's bike basket comes in handy all the time for having things on hand.
Pieter also added a tiny basket on his bike.
As seen in the above Fall Leaves photo from the Sundog Outfitter website, we constantly kept crossing Laurel Creek and it was only on these wooden bridges where we could warm up in the sunshine!
Constantly under a canopy of trees in the shade made it rather chilly, with the wind we produced by going down...
It is rather difficult for riding the bike through the coarse gravel and watching out for the natural rocks sticking out in the trail! At times it was slippery wet as the sun never reaches the trail with the leaves on canopy of trees above us.
So we took in the view of the wild streaming Laurel Creek when on the bridge!
That's when we fully could enjoy our surroundings.
Yep, on the shuttle ride up they warned us that every year they have to send in helicopters for rescuing people that have severe accidents!
We really watched out as there also were some nasty pot holes and with both hands on the steer and fingers on the brakes we did it.
Laurel Creek again.
Grade of 5.5% at 1,092 m elevation or 3582 feet.
The first 3 miles were the steepest and it got scary to go full speed...
Then we got used to it and stayed alert but enjoyed it more.
To the left of Pieter you can see the wild Laurel Creek with all its rocks.
Bet in winter time after the snow melts that it can be very high and roaring!
There even is a cable attached to the bridge (seen to the left) from keeping it in place I guess when the force of water wants to move it away...
Both of us were amazed at the little kids that paddled along with their parents and it sure is a perfect family outing and a healthy one.
There are also places down the trail for grabbing a bite and a drink for those that want to do so.
We did enjoy our snacks and fruits while on the wooden bridges in full sunshine.
One TIP for others. bring a light jacket for the top part as it gets rather chilly, even on a hot summer day in July but due to being in the shade and creating your own wind...
Warming up on the bridges under the sun was heavenly!
These wooden bridges were quite high above the roaring water!
Nearing the end of our trail, well we only did the 17 mile stretch but you can do 17 more to the next place!
This was easy rolling and for making good speed.
Right back to the parking lot at Sundog Outfitter where also our car was parked...
But before getting off his bike, Pieter fell in the gravel and hurt his knee... Sure, his blood thinners make it look a lot worse.
I did have lots of bandaid in my little back pack so I patched him up at Sundog Outfitter after cleaning it up with some peroxide they handed me.
We had us a Cappuccino (Pieter) and a Tea at Mojo's Trailside Café, right next door as you can see in the previous photo.
Pieter enjoyed his Jerk Chicken that got served in an elegant way!
Mojo's Trailside Café had delicious Sea Bass for me. Loved the mango and asparagus served with it.
Really great restaurant!
Yes, we did capture this Adventure on Relive.cc and it was worth it!
A total of 28.4 km or 17.6 miles.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for your visit and comment.



14 comments:

  1. Mariette, yours is the picture blog I wish I had the camera equipment to be! Having never visited that part of Virginia, by car or bike, I appreciate the scenery very much. Wow, looks like fall is in progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Debbie,
      Nah, our photos are taken with my iPhone 6 Plus as we hate to tote along with a bulky camera and different lenses. This is practical and amazing quality photos.
      That fall photo is NOT mine, as is mentioned with the link from the Virginia Creeper Tail. Would be nice though biking in the fall and probably more view as leaves are down.
      We both love the Virginia mountains, as we do the Tennessee mountains.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. Hi Mariette! It was interesting to follow your cycling journey. Really beautiful scenery. Hope his knee is OK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Anne,
      Thank you and the scenery was breathtaking indeed. We enjoyed being there.
      That knee looked a lot worse as it was in reality and within three days it was okay.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Mooie fietstocht geweest, en ja, 'onder de bomen ' en 'in het bos, is het altijd een stukje frisser. Ik heb altijd een jasje bij me, ooit lang geleden ben ik eens naar een tuinbeurs geweest, het beloofde toen een prachtig , warme dag te worden, maar KOU dat ik geleden heb die dag, het zal me nooit meer overkomen. Dus zo ook morgen, als we naar Zeeland gaan, er gaat een jasje mee in de fietstas, ook al is het meer dan 30 graden. Aan zee, en zeker kort langs de kust is het altijd kouder, beter 'mee verlegen' dan 'om verlegen' toch? Lijkt me ook een mooie B&B, prachtig huis trouwens..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beste Marian,
      Oh, ja we verkeken er ons danig aan hier boven op de berg. Het was 28 graden maar niet boven en niet in de schaduw!
      Toen wij in April 1992 naar de Floriade zijn geweest hebben we kou geleden. Niet zo zeer van boven maar aan de benen en voeten. We kwamen van Indonesië, waar we bestolen waren dus geen high tops meer voor mij, alleen slipper sandalen... Toen heb ik ook besloten om een deel kleren en schoenen in Nederland te hebben voor je weet maar nóóit! Dat overkomt ons ook nooit meer.
      Ja, aan zee fietsen zoals op Hilton Head Island, vinden wij heerlijk vanwege de zee bries die er altijd wel waait. Geniet er van.
      Liefs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. Hola dear Mariette !
    What I most love of you tow lovely couple is that you enjoy every minute life "gifts" you both.
    Great pics too.
    I'm sorry dear Peter's knee got a little bruised. Hope is well by now.
    Keep having fun always and taking the most great pics for the memories.
    Love,
    Fabby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Fabby,
      Yes, we both realize very well that every day IS a gift from God and as Pieter always puts it, he lives in over-time. Grateful for those moments and making memories for looking back on one day.
      The knee did heal very quickly and he is fine!
      Big hugs to you,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. Un bellissimo viaggio in bicicletta.
    Buona serata

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caro Giancarlo,
      Grazie e era un bellissimo viaggio!
      Un abbraccio,
      Mariette

      Delete
  6. Hello Mariette, We are all lucky that the world is filled with these beautiful spots, and that many places take measures to protect them and make them accessible. I should go with my camera to some of the Cleveland Metroparks, just to give the Virginia parks some competition! I hope that Pieter's knee is better by now--there are so many hazards is the path of bicycles!
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      Yes, it is a pleasure to see historic places or rail tracks being well maintained.
      You sure got the rocks at the Cleveland Metroparks but not quite the altitude...
      Each State has its natural beauty, but you have to be on foot or on your bike for indulging in it.
      The knee looked a lot worse than it was and in about three days it got healed.
      Those hazards were mainly because of rocks sticking out and the gravel is also tricky...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. That is a very charming inn. And it's beautiful there! It would be really nice to visit to see the autumn colors but I love all the lush summer green as well. Looks like it was a very nice bike ride. Though your husband Pieter hurt his knee, I'm glad you both stayed safe..no helicopter, which is good :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes, it was a lovely stay at this charming Inn and we enjoyed the lush green summer view everywhere. No drought, so it looked great.
      The fall will no doubt be stunning in those mountains and maybe even easier for the bike ride as there is more light coming through the trees then.
      The knee looked bad but it heeled up in three days; thankfully!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mariette...

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