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.
Sunday, August 09, 2009