Abigail DeLashmutt, our fearless correspondent, recently embarked on an epic journey across Virginia’s Piedmont in a tour of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.
By Abigail DeLashmutt
There are a lot of ways to bask in the glow of success. My new favorite way to do so is in the tasting room of Barboursville Vineyards, over a glass of their 2006 Merlot (which has notes of butterscotch clearly discernable by even the boxed-wine enthusiast). If you have pedaled your buns over 150 miles to get to said tasting room, you may find both the wine and the success going straight to your head- let it. You’ve earned it.
Four days spent biking over 150 miles of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground has transformed our team from a happy-go-lucky gaggle of pretend cyclists into steely-eyed athletes with unfortunate tan lines, whose swagger cannot be entirely attributed to the padded shorts. It’s hard to exaggerate the scale of our triumph; my every hyperbole seems like the most sober truth. We had a fantastic time. We saw a dispute between Christians and Quakers resolved amicably in Waterford. We met a falconry expert in The Plains. Real cowboys and cowgirls (cowpeople?) gave us a team cattle penning demonstration in Culpeper. We heard an eight piece band play Foggy Mountain Breakdown in Remington. We observed sheep dog trials and extravagantly befluffed angora rabbits. While we drank Virginia lager on a perfect porch in Locust Dale, we watched a stunningly beautiful sunset throw the Blue Ridge Mountains into sharp relief, and breathed contented sighs of the same.
Which is not to say our trip was without incident. There was the expected amount of gravity-related drama; we lost part of the team in the back roads of Culpeper; and there were some insurmountable equipment troubles. But the injuries were not serious, we eventually found our lost lambs, and the kindness of a stranger helped us out of a tight spot. You can read a full retelling of our exploits in the pages of The Piedmont Virginian sometime next year. Meanwhile, if you’d like to take advantage of the crisp fall weather to take your own cycling trip, you can contact The Journey Through Hallowed Ground at travel at jthg.org to get detailed advice on great routes, interesting places to stop along the way, and the best places to eat and sleep. Even as a lifelong resident of the Piedmont region, I was amazed all over again by the beauty of Virginia, and impressed by the rich lives our neighbors lead.
We had our funnel cake. And yes, we ate it too.