Day three, Thursday, July 25, 2002.
I got up at 7:20 AM this morning to find a voice mail from Linda. She said she was taking a boat to Isle of Aaron tomorrow so she must’ve called me between 10 PM last night and 7:30 this morning. Today is cloudy and overcast. When I leave I will ride over to Bedford and then Appomattox and then back to the Parkway for the last part of the day. I had a big breakfast at the Waffle House at 8:00 AM and left at 8:30. I left the Blue Ridge Parkway as it intersected US 221 and US 460 E. to Bedford and the D-Day Memorial. It was 9:30 AM and the memorial did not open until 10:00 AM. I continued on US460 on to the Appomattox Court House some 42 miles to the east of Bedford. (Figure 7) I spent a couple hours photographing the site and filled one roll of film. I had the chance to see where the Civil War ended, with the signing of the treaty. I have been a Civil War buff as my major in college was history.
I took US 460 back to Bedford to go into the D-Day Memorial. The memorial is set up with a LSD landing ship with open doors. The soldiers were coming out of the craft and crossing to the beach. There were sounds of gunfire and the sound of the bullets hitting the water and throwing up spots of water. A lot of people were at the memorial and everybody was so quiet. It was similar to the experience that I had in the when I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. Visiting The D-day Memorial left a lasting impression on me, like the landing on the beaches of Normandy. (Figure 8)
I left the memorial in a somber mood and took US 460 back to the Parkway. As I entered the parkway I was hit by severe fog that slowed me down to 25 miles an hour. I got off the Parkway and took US 43 N to US 81. I moved off US 81 at Buchanan and took US 74 E. to the Super 8 motel in Waynesboro. I checked in and turned on my cell phone to find a voicemail from Linda. We missed again. I had dinner at a local restaurant, fueled up, and then went back to the motel. I had a nice hot shower and went over to the writing desk to write in my journal.
Today was my last day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tomorrow I will go on the Skyline Drive. I sent an email to Jim and Andrea Althouse who live in the Shenandoah Valley hoping to connect with them but received no answer. I canceled my reservations at Super 8 motel in Font Royal and scheduled the Super 8 in Winchester as it lies on US 50 and I plan on taking US 50 all the way home to Illinois.
I felt better and was getting used to riding alone. I have met some very interesting people today. I met an older couple as I left the D-Day Memorial and talked with them for a while. I met another couple at the diner in Waynesboro and we talked about the comfort of seats and they told me about the Harley dealership just up the road from the Super 8.
I wanted to go but I was just too tired. Once back at the motel I had to clean my bike for the next days ride before I went to bed.
copyright © 2014 James M. Curtis