The sound of rain woke us up forcing us to pull the rain fly onto the tent. When the day finally broke we packed up the wet gear and made our way to Roanoke with rain jackets on and no rain falling. The skies were ominous as we pulled into the Vinton public library looking to upload a bit and maybe freshen up. We were dismayed to learn that the library was closed as they were moving to a new location. Feeling lucky we pulled into a church to ask to use their facilities. The secretary informed us that hot showers were available and showed us how to find them. So far our church experiences have been positive.
Next on the agenda was to stop at the nearby Walmart to pickup another mesh bag to load with odds and ends and to purchase too much half price candy. Amanda was feeling cranky and dragging due to the lack of coffee and the effects of big mountain climbs. We found a sheltered picnic area and made a big breakfast and drank two big cups of coffee!
The first library we passed was closed, we went into Roanoke looking for another. Sketchy neighborhoods scared us away from the next two we passed and we gave up on the idea. Interested in ‘City Market’ we rode to the historic part of two where we discovered the history of the Norfolk Southern rail road and its importance in the building of Roanoke as a city.
City Market was little more than a handful of eateries, but did have public seating with WiFi. I did some writing while Amanda investigated the surrounding area on foot. She discovered On The Rise bakery and Jack Browns, a burger joint that was recommended. We walked over to the bakery to replenish our bread supply; also stopped into Walk About Outfitters to inquire about stealth camping in the immediate area. Mill Mountain Park was recommended and was on the way back to the Parkway. Double Score!
Jack Browns was recommended by numerous people and happened to be across the street; we walked the bikes over, doing our normal ‘rearrange everything so we can watch the bikes and eat dance’. Two burgers + two fries + two beers = two happy bikers. Add in an extremely friendly and helpful server and we now have an updated route and several more places to check out! Thanks awesome server!!
Perhaps it was the beer and burgers or maybe the day prior, but our bikes did not seem to want to go up the steep climb that was Mill Mountain. Eventually like always we pushed through, yet again in the dark. We had no idea where this campground was or if it even existed. Online said it was closed, people told us it was open, we never found it and instead rode around the park, gardens, zoo, and star only to camp under the picnic pavilion. A quiet and peaceful place after all.