Sunday, August 9, 2009
Athens, TN to Winchester, VA
I was feeling very good about my schedule getting to Pennsylvania. With only ~700 miles to go and two days to do them in, there was no rush.
My SPOT was flashing a low battery light that morning, so I decided to look for a Radio Shack along the route (I also needed another stereo extension cable). I found a likely exit near Knoxville and pulled over in a strip mall to consult the GPS. A shouted question to a man who happened to be walking by resulted in a point at the large shopping center just across the street. I thought that I couldn’t get any luckier until I rolled up to Radio Shack and found that it wouldn’t open til 11:30 (over an hour later) on Sunday. I ended up finding everything I needed at the adjacent Walmart, but the gear-down and lock-up required for shopping at a large store delayed me more than I had really wanted.
I felt a little silly stopping for lunch at Hardees (Western Bacon Cheeseburger, WOOO!) less than 100 miles into my day. At least I was on I-81 (the interstate that would take me all the way to Pennsylvania) at that point.
I encountered some of the worst traffic of the trip on I-81 in Virginia. The interstate was congested and hilly. This translated into abrupt slowdowns that made this section of the trip one of the least relaxing. I was forced to cover my brakes more closely than usual.
I had been hoping for a cool down in temperature as I got into the mountains. Instead I had another crazy hot day. It was so refreshing to walk into my air conditioned motel room in Winchester, VA, only 230 miles away from tomorrow’s destination in Pennsylvania.