Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 30 Border Crossing Troutdale, VA – Madison, NC 120 miles

The first ten miles today featured a really special country mountain road downhill past Mt. Rogers, Virginia. The air still had that chill to it and I had the road all to myself. It was good to ease into the day by descending. At the bottom of the hill I ate two breakfasts. Later in the morning the hills got tough again but I also crossed into Carolina. It was a good feeling. The final state on a long journey.

Northwestern North Carolina has some fine scenery. Most of these secondary roads are far more quiet than Highway 58 that I was on a day earlier. These back roads lead past countless Christmas tree farms.

Early in the afternoon, and just east of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Eastern Continental Divide, I descended the most wonderful hill of the trip; five miles on an uncrowded road with spectacular scenery. This hill signaled the effective end of the Appalachians.

The day felt easier. The proof of this was a faster speed and relatively less appetite. I took some wonderful secondary roads through the small farm and woodlot country of the Carolina foothills east of Mount Airy. It felt good to have the hot sun go down. I realized that it hadn’t rained on me since Colorado. As the sunlight faded I let the light of the full moon shine the road for the final 10 miles of the day.

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