Really…it’s 17 miles…all downhill

Right, a trail that’s ALL DOWNHILL. 

When John suggested we ride the Virginia Creeper, he said I’d love this trail since it was a 17 mile ride, all downhill. I thought he must think I’m not very bright since I’m sure that any trail that’s all downhill must be ALL UPHILL on the way back. When I mentioned my skepticism that a ride could be 100% downhill, he explained that for $11 a shuttle takes cyclists to the trailhead so yes, it was indeed possible to ride 17 miles…all downhill.


We met at Sundog Outfitters in Damascus, Virginia and loaded our bikes on the trailer behind the brightly painted van and then rode to the trailhead at Mount Rogers Recreation Area with six other cyclists ready for the downhill adventure.


For the first time ever, I shifted my bike into its highest gear and pedaled occasionally, but mostly rode the brake all the way back to Damascus on a beautiful, cool, early fall morning.


We stopped at the old train station which has been converted into a museum.


Walked on a portion of the Appalachian Trail.


And then had to check out The Creeper Trail Cafe since the most common question asked of cyclists after riding the trail is, “Did you eat a piece of cake?” According to locals, the cafe serves the World’s Best Chocolate Cake so yes, we ate cake…good cake, but not the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.


I didn’t think I’d ever be called a Creeper, but having ridden the Virginia Creeper, I guess it’s a term that describes me.



3 Down; 12 To Go

When my nephew, Steven, called last spring to announce his engagement to Katie, I knew that a trip to an out of state wedding would be part of this year’s 15 in 15. And once the date and location was set, planning began for a long weekend in Virginia.

We started in Richmond with walks down Monument Avenue and along the James River.

Then we were off to Charlottesville where we checked into the house we rented at Rosneath Farm. A perfect place for the family to hang out while waiting for wedding festivities.

IMG_7677On a cold, wet morning we set out to explore the Barboursville Ruins, the burned house of Virginia governor James Barbour. A house that had been designed by Thomas Jefferson.

We also had time to drive the Skyline in Shenandoah National Park, take a walk from Monticello, and visit Appomattox Court House National Historic Park for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the stacking of the arms signaling the end of the Civil War.

And of course, we enjoyed the main event…Steve and Katie’s wedding.

Best wishes to the newlyweds!