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Our walk from Brookneal today encompassed 26 miles...first on Highway 501 for 22 miles...then on Highway 24 West to Highway 29, 4 miles distant. We encountered a number of rather long steep hills, but using our restraint to rush, we rose up and over without rest stops or delay.
Today was especially memorable, in that having walked this way one year ago, we again came upon "old" friends...and a few new ones.
Highway 501 leaving Brookneal, Virginia. The first 5 miles was relatively flat...and we made good time.
Then the hills started...slowing us a bit.
Please say HELLO to PETER (and Peter's reluctant wife, Sandy). We met both Peter and Sandy last year when we stopped in at their Convenience Store in the small village of GLADYS. In celebration, Peter gifted a two-for-one of my Power Drink selection.
Saying Goodbye was a bit easier the second time 'round.
Abandoned Log House.
She just wrote me a "comment"...her name is TONYA....TONYA....TONYA.
This is a very special lady...and for the life of me I cannot remember her name.
Let's call her Princess: Princess did a "U" turn in front of SAM and ME, stopping her car facing us. She got out carrying a large bottle of water...walked up to me..."Hi, Bruce...I have a case of water in my trunk, but I knew you were thirsty for ice water, so I drove on by you a few minutes ago, stopping at Peter's in Gladys to pick up this ice cold bottle..."
Flabbergasted...Hugs...glug glug glug...another Hug. Your picture is filling up FACEBOOK...so many are following you...hey...he's coming into OUR town..."...and on and on goes Princess, gazing at me in wonder...
Princess lives in Phenix, the town I slept in two nights ago...you should have contacted the Church...they would have taken good care of you...
I was driving home from work and could not believe it was really you...just had to stop to meet you...after getting the ice water.
Princess and I chatted, hugged, hugged some more...then, reluctantly, after inviting her to come to the great Northwest city of Bellingham for a visit...SAM and ME walked on...not looking back...parting is not easy...especially from one who is so obviously taken by this old man.
Off to the left runs railroad tracks...which ran parallel to Highway 501 all the way to our intersection with Highway 24.
Highway 501 - Highway 24 interchange.
Trailer Court next to Highway 24.
Friendly Cows...sacked out under the shade of trees.
SAM is sitting only inches from a caved-in section of roadway...six feet below the edge of the asphalt (macadam) is a small creek.
Highway 24 leaves a bit to be desired in the "safety" department.
I often comment upon DOT roadway design. This photograph graphically shows one of my most feared features.
This pic is taken near the end of a sharp left hand curve. SAM stands on the "high" side - NOT facing traffic...which has a berm (bicycle lane) of at least 5 feet wide...while in the "bottom" of the curve, there is absolutely ZERO berm.
If SAM were rolling legally; i.e., facing traffic, she would have NO PLACE TO GO if a vehicle - say a large 18 wheeler - should come blasting around the curve.
Roadways the Nation over are designed like this...absolutely WRONG !
On Route 24, we get our first look at the Blue Ridge Mountains...that long narrow mountain range running from Northwest of Washington D.C. into and beyond North Carolina.
On the West side of the Blue Ridge Mountains runs the famous valley SHENNENDOAH
SAM and ME will cross over the Blue Ridge Parkway just before reaching the city of ROANOKE, Virginia...some 48 miles from where we sleep tonight.
A "Stump Grinder"
Please say HELLO to DARRELL...Darrell is really a "tree man", but has taken on this job to grind a row of 25 tree stumps...for the price of $2,500.00; i.e., a100.00 per stump...good money, says Darrell.
Darrell has tried to find a "competent" employee...or to "Lease" his stump grinder...but has been disappointed at the available choices...so, he has put his stump grinder up for sale at the price of $11,500.00...includes a new 4-cylinder diesel motor installed in November at the cost of $8,000.00.
Please say HELLO to SABRINA and ANNA (Sabrina wrote down their names)...who teased me while trying to park SAM at the local Convenience Store. Taking the opportunity to chat with two lovely ladies, I asked where I might find a place to stay the night...was already approaching 5:00 pm...
Sabrina (in blue) pointed out the COLONIAL Motel / Restaurant diagonally across the 24 / 29 highway intersection...and flashed her rather LARGE tatoo..a butterfly in full flight...
Not at all disappointed, I thanked them for the information and art display...as they drove off...pointing to the Colonial.
Please say HELLO to WADE.
Wade is Owner of the Colonial - Restaurant is closed until Tuesday morning...and the motel has been bulldozed to the ground and "ain't no mo' ".
Wade offered SAM and ME, however, to bed down on the front veranda of his CLOSED restaurant for the night, which I quickly accepted.
It is supposed to rain tonight and 40% chance tomorrow as well. Since the restaurant is closed all day tomorrow, SAM and ME may sit tight right here for another night before moving on West on Highway 24 for the city of ROANOKE, Virginia.
This entire blog update has been built in absolute darkness...it being now 9:00pm.
Now to "Post" it and link to FACEBOOK...then to listen to the pillow !