Day 5: Clarksville to South Hill (October 10 & 11, 2014)
We left Occoneechee State Park and the group split among those sticking to the wide-shoulder 4-lane, and those choosing the backroads. Everyone linked up again at Boyd’s Tavern in Boydton for a rest stop and historic tour.
Off again toward South Hill, we passed a very strange yard and display, prompting the question: Do toilets grow on trees? And we were warned: Beware of the Dog.
As the long-awaited rain finally began, we wound our way to our final hotel venue, a Hampton Inn in South Hill.
Day 6: South Hill to Lawrenceville
The rain overnight caused some concern about the intended Tobacco Heritage Trail route for some of the skinny-tire riders. There was, however, a paved section, so we all began at the THT entry point.
When the pavement ended all except four of us departed the trail for an alternate/paved route to Lawrenceville, where we were set to participate in the Brunswick Stew Festival for lunch and departure to homes.
For those of us who stuck out the relatively sticky unpaved portion of the trail, it was sometimes a bit of a slog through wet sandy soil, but mostly, the trail was magical. Silent, secluded, leaves falling along the way, it was as if we were the only people on earth. Allen met us on one of the road crossovers, and we ended up at the Lawrenceville courthouse in downtown, where many of the group collected to either head home or to the festival.
At the festival we sampled varieties of Brunswick Stews, had some other treats offered by vendors, inspected the old car/tractor/motorcycle showcase, and wandered around for a bit. With the clouds, however, it was a rather chilly afternoon, so the eats were handy to keep us warm.
It was a great ride exploring areas near enough that we *should* know them, but far enough (or taken for granted?) that we didn’t. Great good fun. Here’s hoping the links are made for an entirely east/west off-road trek from Virginia Beach/Williamsburg to Bristol one day in the near future.