Morning came with the discovery that we could get internet signal by standing in a certain way on this little bridge in the park, so if you received an email from us on Thursday, that is where it would have been sent from. After I finished checking all the important things I normally check in the morning, like who has written what on people I know's blogs, and how amazingly cool everyone else's life events are on Twitter, we started to take the tent down. Cecil the groundsman (Park Director) advised us to take a shortcut on 11 highway that was significantly less dangerous than the posted route. It is amazing how many people are convinced you are taking your life in your hands every time you step on the pedals. Perhaps we are underestimating the risks, but on the whole drivers have been very considerate to us. This might be because we are queer and exotic beasts to them and they give us a wide berth.
Today was a red letter day as we resolved to have lunch in a diner, and took our break in the quaint town of Lexington, Virginia, which was the home of two of the Confederacy's great generals – Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. There was the opportunity to look at the grave of one of them, I forget which, but we chose not to. Going to the gravestones of the famous is a bit weird in my view. I did hear a story that Henry VIII's remains 'leaked' from his coffin in Westminster Abbey (or wherever it is) at some point in the 20th century. I say leaked because he was buried in a solid and sealed lead lined coffin. Now as you may know we are all 70% water, and given the coffin was sealed, all Henry's juices were in there too. The passage of time weathered away some corner or other of the coffin, and out poured the Royal liquor. Believe that if you will, but I am just telling you I heard it.
Back on topic. I had a Reuben sandwich which I have to say is a great way to enjoy two slices of bread. For the unschooled this is pastrami, plus pickled cabbage, plus cheese plus thousand island dressing. Anyone who doesn't enjoy that is a pervert and I want nothing to do with them. Sarah had a chicken fillet sandwich and a mango and peach smoothie. The army recruiting office was next door and I read some literature to see if I had what it takes to be a U.S. Marine, while Sarah reviewed the local tourist brochure.
Around 5pm we arrrived at Gertie's country store at the foot of an ungodly large mountain, which was to be our campsite for the night. Gertie and her daughter run a cafe/shop and have been putting cyclists up out the back for several years. They were nice people, who showed us the dinner menu, but one thing we have learned on this trip is interesting things you can do with noodles, and we had a cheese/shrimp powder recipe that needed perfecting.
Tomorrow is the big hill of Montebello which we have been warned about since Wyoming by people we have met, so let's see what that brings us.