June 12th, 2019 / (164km/104mi)
We start at 7:30am today and our first stop is a Walmart nearby to restock on fruit and sweets. For whatever stupid reason I forget my backpack outside Walmart and recognize it 10 minutes later. Don’t know how that happened, but I took it off to stow away our groceries into the trailer and then while trying to rush out, it was simply forgotten sitting there at the wall. When we return to Walmart, the backpack is gone. A short moment of blood freezing and I check inside: there the backpack is sitting next to the cashier where I had payed. Someone had found it and dropped inside. Phew! Relieve. So finally we get onto the road. Which is pretty busy this morning with commuters from the surrounding areas driving towards Richmond. For the next 2-3 hours we’re only on roads getting us around Richmond and have to be careful to stay to the right and not be run over by commuters. We luckily then get onto more back-country roads which lead thru forests and fields and we are only sporadically passed by cars.
Today’s route gets us past dozens of historic sites of the Seven days’ battle, one of the most important confrontations between the Union and the Confederates. Several of the battlefields are lined up along the roads we ride. As are cemeteries.
40km before we reach our today’s destination, Williamsburg, there’s even a brand-new (it appears), wonderfully maintained bike trail next to the road with a perfect pavement. Without much thinking we can follow it right into Williamsburg where we check into our motel for tonight.
The original plan for our route was not considering to go beyond Williamsburg to Yorktown. But while Yorktown is not the official end of our journey, it is the official end of the TransAm bike trail and it is located at the Atlantic. Somehow us only going to Williamsburg hasn’t given me peace of mind for the whole day already. So after having checked in today and having unpacked quickly, I decide to ride the extra 21km to Yorktown and pay tribute to the official end of the TransAm: I’ve been following the TransAm trail for more than 3000km over the past weeks. It has guided me since Colorado thru Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and finally thru Virginia. No way I’m not going to Yorktown. So there I pace along the Colonial Roadway as if I were running out of time and Yorktown was at risk to disappear before I make it there. When I arrive at the end of the trail, the Yorktown Victory Monument, it’s still there, so I was apparently fast enough. Phew. I am relieved. Indeed a personal victory: I made it from Pacific to Atlantic ocean! Quite an emotional moment, I have to admit, It’s not our final destination – we will reach NYC exactly 2 weeks from now – but nevertheless it feels like quite an achievement all of a sudden and it’s perhaps the first time I really realize how far I have travelled over the past days and weeks. I remember how I imagined to get here when I was riding some highway’s shoulder in Kansas. And NYC feels like just around the corner now (it’s actually another 670miles/1080km till we arrive on One World Plaza, but so what?).
Never underestimate my determination to finish whatever I sign up for!
Shortly past 7pm I’m back in Williamsburg. We will stay here for another day – there’s lots of things to explore around here.