I'm sitting at the bar at The Mill Tavern in Front Royal. It's blowing hard outside and it's supposed to storm from around dark until midnight. If the rain holds out until the T-Bone I just ordered arrives, I'm going to camp two miles up the road at the KOA. If it's pouring, I found the Red Dot of Quality motel, only $35, halfway to the KOA.
It was crisp, but nice this morning. Around lunch it started getting blustery. I rode the last 35 miles of the W&OD trail this morning, which is great, then ate at the White Palace in Purcelville, which is where the trail ends. The W&OD has lots of markers explaining how unsuccessful the W&OD Railroad was. There never seem to be many historical markers for failure. Here is a picture of the highest point on the W&OD.
Then it was on back roads in Virginia horse country. Fewer of these roads are paved than one might expect. As a result, I went 80 miles today, instead of 70, including an unpleasant stretch on US 50 which is 2 lanes and everyone drives 60.
The back roads in Virginia are beautiful and brutal. Lots of valleys with really steep hills. I wound up in the small town of Delaplane, where there was a huge traffic backup because they were rebuilding the road crossing for the train track. I saw a parade of railroad repair equipment while stuck in traffic.
(OK, T-Bone arrives. More later).
I am now in my tent at the KOA. It is pouring down rain. It's supposed to go on like this until midnight. The steady rain started when I was about a mile from here. I set the tent up in the rain. There is a little dampness inside, but I'm pretty cozy all in all.
The KOA is a big ripoff. They charged $30 for a tent site with no water or electric. For just $5 more I could be in the cheap motel in town, and have three hilly miles removed from the start of the day tomorrow.
Front Royal is a pretty nice town, but it is not at all bike friendly. There are few roads in and out, due to the terrain, and they have heavy traffic. Lots of people were blowing their horns and yelling stuff.
Here is the route actually travelled, more or less. The map software won't do bike trails.