The first several days have been incredible and I’ve been off to an intentionally slow start.  Adjusting my body, fine tuning my load, and thoroughly enjoying the places and people.  The sounds, the smells, the scenes.  It’s so very rare to find experiences capable of igniting all five senses…  I love this.  I love everything about it.

I could spend hours alone in the sand, listening to the waves kiss the shore and the birds cry overhead; and I’ve loved hunting for shells since I was little.  So I decided to pick out a shell from the Atlantic Coast and carry it with me to the Pacific Coast, where I will pick out another.  It’s the little things…  The Colonial Parkway took me from Yorktown to Jamestown; about 21 miles.  Along the way, I ran across a beautiful monument in dedication to the French Soldiers who gave their lives for our Independence during the Battle of Yorktown.  Glad I got to take a moment to thank them…  I didn’t even realize some of this history!

The Capital Trail is a beautifully groomed bikeway that stretches clear from Jamestown, VA to Richmond, VA.  I entered at the Jamestown trail head and the entire ride was basically eye candy until Charles City, a great stop for the night.

I was able to help someone with their tire, which was awesome…  He was out training for an upcoming race in Europe.  Thank you, Halcyon Bike Shop, for the repair class!!  Day 2, it already came in handy…

The Courthouse Grille in Charles City not only has delicious homemade food and free cold water out front, but it is a staple stop for passing cyclists.  There is a world map on the wall where you can add a pin to your hometown and there was barely a spot open anywhere.  The owner, Bonnie, graciously offered a safe place in the back yard to camp.  The next morning, after cooking some breakfast, I noticed the most perfect climbing tree ever, and I’d be a fool to pass up an opportunity like that…

This part of the country is so overwhelmingly historic and powerful.  I refuse to blow through it.  Nearing Glendale, VA, I spotted a small Veterans’ Cemetery and stopped to pay my respects.  Just as I rode off, the Pastor of the Willis United Methodist Church stopped and offered a place to stay!  Full kitchen (made Mac ‘n Cheese), warm showers, plenty of floor space, food.   I challenged him to a game of “horse” before he left and to my surprise, he not only took me up on it – he totally beat me!!  🙂

Heading out toward Mechanicsville, VA today – about 20 miles today, through the rain.  Looks like some pretty wild weather on the way…  Thunderstorms and heavy showers in the forecast until Saturday, but that will be immediately followed by eight straight days of sunshine!!  That’s when the big mile days begin.  😀

It’s now only 4 days into my journey and I am already dumbfounded as to why I haven’t always lived like this.  Simplistic and intricate all at once… It feels impossible to describe, but I will truly try my best.  <3