Eventually we noticed the front doors of the church did not have locks. In our experience, an unusual act and we were grateful for a place with a bathroom that we could access all night. Having never run across an unlocked church, at first we were unsure if it was intentional or not. It seemed our luck would end at this roadside church.
It was raining by the time we had packed and started back on Route 221. The road continued its hilly nature but became very twisty and incredibly unsafe with the non-existent shoulder and cars not giving sufficient space. Until now we have been spoiled with our options and have have very few issues with roads. This area seemed to have the worst combination of everything.
By the time we pulled into the Hillsville library my blood pressure was off the charts, this was by far the worst road we have bike on to date. A few hours of drying out and catching up on the computer allowed the stress to dissipate. Fortunately for us the road became more of a freeway, gaining both a few lanes and also a wider shoulder. Our shoulder riding continued for a few miles until we found ourselves looking down a long hill with a death-trap of a bridge and two options on the other side.
Blasting across the bridge we made it to the junction that we had seen prior. Burned out from the insanity of the earlier roads we chose the road with less traffic. Our choice took us through various neighborhoods and eventually back out to route 221, the main highway through Galax. Eventually we found ourselves on Main Street and away from traffic, being one of the towns recommended to us in our travels we were a bit dismayed by the lifeless feel of the downtown.
After a quick bite of BBQ we started the search for a place to sleep. We were turned down at the fire hall and the church, however a police officer clued us in on a spot that was not quite legal but would be problem-free. A short, cold ride later we were at our final spot. With freezing hands we setup the tent and went to bed without dinner. This day was finally over.