Falling asleep to the glow of a 17,500-watt star and waking up to the quiet glow of the morning sun is the goal of every morning. We had an entire pavilion to ourselves to dry our wet gear, cook a hearty breakfast and laze around for a few hours before conquering the rest of the climb back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We had a clue as to how the climb up Bent Mountain would be from the cyclist and from our beer in Roanoke. Despite climbing our first 3000 foot mountain pass we had a blast with Amanda echoing “When’s it going down[hill]?” every few minutes and me staring at the elevation window on the GPS pedaling 50-100 feet of vertical gain at a time. Almost to the top we stopped for a break to stretch, eat bread and M&M’s, take photos, and do some impromptu yoga.
Pulling into Devil’s Backbone Overlook, we decided it time to make dinner. Again we had to practice due diligence being in the mountains with bears and other animals always looking for a meal. Such is the life of two nomads in the wild. Amanda cooked up a recipe we got from a group of ladies at the plantation we visited.
Full from our overlook dinner and tired of climbing mountain passes we quickly pulled over at the sight of an open filed with round bales stacked orderly in the distance. We contemplated stealth camping in a discrete corner near the Parkway versus trekking through the fields to the house to ask for permission. Choosing the later made all the difference. We made the walk and found ourselves on the wrong side of a fence talking with Dwayne a cattle farmer and airplane mechanic. He offered the use of not only his land, but showers and showed us wood to make a fire. Once again Virginian’s open their arms to show us nothing but compassion and love.
We met his horses and new calf, Phantom. He told us about his farming practices and we discussed his travels to Philadelphia for work. Tent setup and fire smoldering, Amanda had a hot shower and we relaxed as the sun set over Lucky T farm. Thank you for the shower and shelter.