Sweet Tomato Sammies

Rural Retreat State Park

I woke up early today to avoid any possible encounters with park rangers since I stealth camped last night at Claytor Lake State Park (as previously stated). I experienced gradual climbs with the terrain I encountered today so I only put in 50 miles.  The breeze chilled my arms and gave me goosebumps. The nights are already getting colder and each morning the fresh dew and fog become thicker, but it’s refreshing and peaceful. It makes my mind and spirit feel completely free. No matter the weather, rain or shine, hot or cold, each day brings new sights, people and experiences. I can honestly say, I am glad I was laid off from work or I would not be experiencing this first hand. I would still be a dreamer.

Rural Retreat State Park
A view of the lake at Rural Retreat State Park.

One thing for sure is my appetite is getting stronger as I proceed on my journey. I scarf down meals in a few minutes and I eat while cycling down the road. Even cooking groceries, I still spend about $20.00 a day on food, snacks, meals, you name it. Today I actually hit up a mini mart and grabbed some snacks (peanuts, twix, snickers, monster, pretzels) and I hit up a small restaurant off Route 11 and grabbed their special which consisted of 2 eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns for $5.00.  I continued on down the road and stopped at Bethel Public Church to eat yet again and charge my electronics.  It was there I finished reading the book, “To Build a Fire” and left it with a note for someone else to read it. I ended up biking to Rural Retreat State Park. I met an 11 year old named Cole who just got back into school and was telling me about football and the weather here in Virginia. He showed me around the state park and showed me where the shelters and restrooms were located. Let’s see if I can stealth camp here tonight. There is a park ranger in front of me at the moment so I will try to see if I can relocate to a different area.

Rural Retreat State Park
The driveways out in the countryside of VA are really long. This goes on for a few miles. All of the homes near Rural Retreat State Park are like this!

I stuck around and met two wonderful people, Ron and Roberta, born and raised in VA. I told them my story about my cross-country journey to Washington. They fed me two tomato sandwiches, which were excellent. I have never tasted such sweet tomatoes before in my life. We talked about construction, the ingredients engineered into the food we eat, family, Alaska, Tacoma, and the TransAmerica bicycle trail. All in all, it was a great conversation.

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