August 5, 2018
Damascus – Newbern
144 km (89 miles)
1868 m (6127 feet) elevation
6:22 moving time
6309 km (3921 miles)
How fantastic it is to get a good night sleep, everything then looks brighter, greener and easier 😁
We could not get a good breakfast so before we got to Rural Retreat we had gone 75km and climbed 970m. Our stomachs were empty, and our energy dropping. We can always notice when it happens because then we quit talking to each other 😉
It was cold going up the first mountain, only about 13 degrees so we wore our arm warmers and gilet. Soon the sun was out and the weather was just beautiful today.
At one junction a pick up truck drive up next to us and told us a big white dog was coming after us. And there he came, big, barking loudly and really dirty, but wiggling his tail and not coming to close. Sæmi even tried to give him a treat that he did not touch. It was the owner warning us, said many cyclist were scared of him. We even think a blogger we have followed wrote about this huge, scary white dog that he tested his dogspray against 😑 no need for this dog.
At Sugar Grove we encountered a fascinated old man walking with a fancy decorated cane. He told us the kind of every feather on his cane and that he made the cane himself and is making more to sell. He did not seem to have much between his hands but he smiled and looked happy and wished us a good and safe journey.
We thought that when we would get closer to the east coast getting on a good wifi would get easier but it has proved to be the other way. At restaurants there is rare to get any wifi and if it is it’s usually not strong.
Sæmi was not at his best today. Feeling the hills from the days before, lack of rest and probably not hydrated enough he struggled around noon to keep on cycling in the heat that got to around 36 degrees. He did not give up and kept drinking. After some rest and cooling off at a gas station he soon felt better 🤗 and stormed the hills up and down all the way to Newburn.
We had thought about going further today and possibly reaching the beach after three more days but the heat, the distance to go and Vesuvius is too much. Today’s plan is to finish after four days, few days earlier than the original plan 😁 we can’t wait to get home to our kids and families and to our sweet little Vargur 🤗
Before starting our journey we bought tickets back home the 15th of August, with Icelandair, hoping we would be able to cross over and get to Washington before that day. Yesterday I sent them a message about changing the ticket. The answer was not pleasing, the cost for changing the ticket is more than a new one costs. What is that!!!!! We should have looked at this before buying the ticket back but this is crazy.
Feeling a little tired, with jelly in our legs but really happy about our journey over America and really excited to be almost finished 😁
8 thoughts on “TransAm – Day 52 – Damascus – Newbern”
If you have an extra day in yorktown the church there offers up a beautiful house (the whole house) to cyclists! The house overlooks the water and is very very nice. Wlfi, nice kitchen etc. We stayed 2 days it was so nice. It is listed on adventure cycling maps.
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Thabks. Didn’t know about that!
Wonderful blog. Great pics.
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Nice vertical again today and you covered some good ground despite that. The cool mornings must be a welcome change. Those airline fees are always a problem and I’m sure that you were conservative in choosing your date because of the naysayers on the AC message board. But better to be set the date out a few days than feel rushed throughout the tour. If you decide not to pay the fees, DC is an interesting place to visit for a few days or there’s the high speed Acela train to NYC. You could also take a day off in Williamsburg, VA, which is an interesting colonial town. But you guys probably just want to get to the finish line!
We had a frustrating airline situation last summer where we were taking a mid-tour break with a 10 day trip to Asia with extended family and had booked a flight out of Minneapolis which connected to the Asia flight in Chicago. Because of crazy winds for the better part of a week we were never able to get to Minneapolis on our bikes but instead ended up further on in Wisconsin just a short bus ride to the Chicago airport. The airline refused to let us skip the flight from Minneapolis and just fly from Chicago so we had to rent a car and drive 5 hours back to Minneapolis where we waited a few days to fly and then they canceled out flight to Chicago! I don’t remember ever being so furious! After reading the riot act to the airline they finally did get us to Chicago on time but it was not without a bit of stress! The airlines are not our friend…
Now that you’re nearing the end of your ride across the U.S., I have to say that I’ve been impressed by several things. Primarily: 1) your route planning and follow through on a daily basis, Huge miles day-after-day that would’ve worn most of us down! 2) Your ability to conquer those often-challenging elevations. 3) And, how you’ve been able to find places to sleep at (mostly) comfortable locations. I’ve been surprised at how you’ve been able to find wifi along your route (mostly, anyway) so you can update your blog. I’m sure many of your readers look forward to your daily comments — I know I have. Mostly, though, I continue to be surprised at how you’ve packed your essential gear. As I plan my tour, you’ve made me think I should return my Ortlieb panniers and instead go with the bike packing approach you’ve taken. After you complete your journey, I hope you can provide a breakdown of exactly how you’ve packed your essential items, what you wish you would’ve brought that you chose to leave behind, and what you really didn’t need that you brought. Safe rides as you near the finish line.
– Joe Pickens, RidesLikeThese.com
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Wow. Thanks for the compliments Joe. The long days are starting to feel more like work than adventure these days. We are so looking forward to finishing that we sometimes forget to enjoy the journey! 😁
We will do a packing video when we get back home since we don’t have all the stuff with us. We have shipped some ahead of us.
I am happy for you and that you have enjoyed your journey (thus far). I am really going to miss reading your blog about your experiences along the way. I have taken notes of successes and hardships you have had and will use them to plan my Trans America adventure.
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Hope we have made some sense that you will be able to use for your adventure ! 😀