June 19th, 2019 / (90km/56mi)
Again a 7am start. It’s a bit above 20°C outside and completely overcast. But no rain. And I guess it’ll stay that way today (it does actually).
We leave Stafford on heavy traffic roads and finally make it to the turn off a major road to a military base which should get us thru King Williams Forest. Unfortunately, it’s again a gravel road! But there’s no viable alternative route. So we give it a shot and hope for the best.
The trail remains poor to ride with a road bike. The gravel is poison for the tires and it’s hard to get forward. A creek runs over the trail at least in 8 different locations. While very shallow at the first crossing, the water level gets deeper and deeper, so that by the time we’ve made it across the last one, our shoes are soaked. Luckily our trailer bags are sealed and water proof. The water went above the trailers bottom. After several kilometers we get back onto a better trail and don’t have to push the bikes any more. The trail continues thru the deep green forest, sometimes on paved roads, sometimes on light gravel.
We then get into busier areas as we get closer to Washington. Traffic gets heavy and riding is definitely less fun. Progress today overall is slow as we first lost quite some time pushing bikes along the gravel trail, then traffic lights and wild crossing of highways keeps us from getting some miles accumulated.
We hit the official Atlantic Coast bike trail again during the day. It’s also following the main roads – but at least there’s a dedicated bike lane on the street for most of the past. And then, to our big surprise, we hit a perfect bike trail that gets us the last 25 km right into the heart of Washington! Love it! And our hotel for the next three nights is only two blocks away from it.
As we arrive in Washington, the sun has finally made it through the clouds.