Once we left South Carolina it was getting close to Memorial Day/Jim’s birthday and we knew we didn’t want to be in a campground or even a state park. Where to go? The Elks Lodge, of course. We contacted the Elks in Raleigh, North Carolina and planned to stay there over the weekend to ride their excellent Greenway system. We thought they would have 15 amp electric but it turned out it was a GFI outlet, which for some reason always throws the breakers. Jim has changed the outlet before but we figured they didn’t want us messing with their electrical system. No problem. As our friend Michael says, “The generator is our friend.” We knew we were were headed for Chickahominy to ride the Virginia Capital Trail for several days where we would have full power.
When we first got on the Raleigh trails we got separated and it took a while to get back together. Still good riding. And lots of hills! We pulled some pretty steep ones but by the end of the weekend we were more acclimated. I also turned over 3000 miles on my “new” bike.
This little guy landed on me and stuck around for about 20 minutes. And we were treated to a spectacular sunset on Jim’s birthday.
His birthday always seems to have a good sunset. Last year in Marthasville, Missouri:
The North Carolina Art Museum was on one leg of the Raleigh trail system. They had some whimsical sculptures along the trail and a sculpture garden with two Henry Moores and a Rodin.
After the weekend we set off for Chickahominy where we rode the Virginia Capital Trail which runs about 60 miles between Jamestown and Richmond. Lots of historical signage along the way. A lot of it doesn’t make one very proud of how “America was made.” Jamestown was interesting enough but we didn’t do the Settlement. I forgot we have our National Park senior passes but there were hundred of schoolkids all around, the type of carnival atmosphere we don’t enjoy. We biked around Jamestown Island where there was more history to see. Some of it not very nice. We started annihilating the Indians in the early 1600s. They never had a chance.
Toward Richmond. We ate at the Courthouse Grill in Charles City and it was good.
Along the Jamestown end of the trail.
The recent rains made everything so lush and green.
The cats loved our spot at the park and we let them out without their strings. Carmella was sitting under a picnic table when all of a sudden she shot across the road and emerged from a bush carrying a bird! I hollered at Jim to close the bus door because I knew exactly where she would go. Sure enough, she ran toward and under the bus and Jim got her to release the baby blue jay. It hopped/flew back across the road and Jim put it back in the bush. Didn’t seem to be injured. Whew!
We had planned to meet up with our friend from Texas who lives in the area, Tony, but he was sick and had to cancel Next time, Tony!
Right below the bridge over the Chickahominy River where I took this picture was an eagle’s nest with a fledgling in it. I never did see the big eagles. We also saw eagles on the Jamestown island loop.
The last afternoon we were there we had a sobering experience. After we returned from 30 miles on the trail, about six emergency vehicles, fire engines, state troopers, and an ambulance all gathered across the empty field behind the bus. I rode my bike over there to see what was going on just as a helicopter circled and came in for a landing on the field. Two people got out with a gurney and they brought a woman bicyclist out of the ambulance and into the helicopter. Her smashed up helmet and glasses were all I saw. The helicopter took back off and we hope she fared well. No pictures, that person was obviously having a bad day.
When we went to Google we didn’t find any info on that particular incident but learned that several bicyclists have been hit and some killed in recent years, including a woman in the Chickahominy park in April of this year. Hit by a cement truck at the trail crossing, two bicyclists hit by a semi passing another car, mountain bikers flying over the handlebars… URK! Be smart! Pay attention!
We wrapped up our stay at Chickahominy and began our re-positioning by fueling up, getting propane and groceries and pointing the bus toward the Eastern Shore of Maryland through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnels. We like tunnels.