Friday, June 7, 2013


College of William and Mary
We entered Virginia and spent the first night in Suffolk.  From Suffolk we rode north and took a ferry across the James River into Jamestown, the first English settlement in North America.  We didn’t spend any time in Jamestown but instead rode north about 10 miles to Williamsburg.  We had visited Williamsburg on several occasions while Hank was a graduate student at Georgetown.   The historical area appears to have expanded tremendously since our last visit.  The crowds now are reminiscent of Disney Land although it was Memorial Day weekend so I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised.  On alternating days the historic area emphasizes either the events immediately before the Revolutionary War or events during the Revolutionary War.  On the Saturday we were there, events prior to the Revolutionary war were emphasized, including a confrontation with the Governor and play about a husband
Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg
who supported separation from Britain and a wife who supported the crown.

Riding north from Williamsburg, the terrain became hiller and we passed a number of farms.   In the wooded areas we also began to hear the cicadas.  We had never heard the cicadas before and now understand why people have difficulty sleeping because of the noise.  The sound is loud and constant as thousands of cicadas seek a mate.  We continued to hear them on and off until we reached the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.  Between Williamsburg and Richmond we stopped at the site of the Seven Days Battle at Malvern Hills, fought in June and July 1862.  Here cannons were arrayed at the top of the hill overlooking a large open field.  Another set of cannons was arrayed halfway down the hill. From there we rode into Richmond, spending the night a block from the Virginia capital.  That evening we ate at the Tobacco Company and enjoyed the live band. 
Cannons at Malvern Hill
Virginia Capital In Richmond

Confederate General Stonewall Jackson Monument

Leaving Richmond, we passed several monuments of Confederate generals, including Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee. 

Cannons on Howison Hill in Fredericksburg
In Fredericksburg we stopped at Howison Hill, where Confederate cannons were used to bombard the Union troops attacking the city.   During the Civil war, the area was surrounded by open fields.   From the site of the cannons the gunners had a clear view of Fredericksburg.  The fields are now forests, blocking any view of the city.   At noon we stopped for lunch at a restaurant adjacent to a souvenir store displaying the flag shown below.  In the afternoon we toured the Fredericksburg Civil War museum.

AK 47 Flag in Fredericksburg
Stream Across Bike Path
The ride into suburban Virginia proved more challenging than we had expected.  Our cycling friend Don Brumbaugh suggested we ride into the city on bike paths and then taking the Washington and Old Dominion bike path out to Vienna.  This route would have been 41 miles.  Instead I mapped out a route on bike paths that was only 25 miles.  Unfortunately the paths I chose were more suitable for mountain bikes than a fully loaded road tandem.  After fording three streams and covering only 12 miles in 3 hours, we completed the ride in 90°F heat, 85% humidity and rush hour traffic.

We will be in the DC suburbs for 10 days before heading northwest to Pittsburgh.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Hampton, Va. and know Williamsburg and Jamestown quite well. You are getting really close to your destination before you take a bike trip to Europe. Enjoy