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Saturday, July 26, 2014

SHE LIVES! and She's Posting. And there WILL be knitting soon.

Summer always looks so long and carefree, stretching out across the calendar when you hang your new one in January. Alas, when it actually gets here it can zip by in a twinkling, leaving you sitting by the curb in September wondering "What happened?"

We're all busier than a one armed paper hanger at the library in June, July and August. And we had a 4th of July picnic earlier in the month followed immediately by construction on the house. And there has been DRAMA in my life - and TheQueen does not like DRAMA. Even without all the extraneous stuff, it takes a concerted effort on my part to participate in summer as well as to serve the needs of all those others seeking summer enjoyment.  Yesterday I made that effort and what a glorious day it was.

Somewhere on the Internets I saw a photo of a bike, parked along a country road, and I had a lust to go bike riding.  Himself and I have talked, now and then, about biking down one of the old railroad beds that have been turned into bike trails. A little research turned up a Rails to Trails park within an easy drive from home.

High Bridge Trail State Park.

Not owning a bike didn't deter me a whit. I found a wonderful bike rental right in Farmville beside one of the trail entrances.

High Bridge Rails and Trails Bike Rental
The fact that it was still under construction didn't keep the owner from renting us very VERY smooth coaster bikes. They're 3G Beach Cruiser Bicycles and my goodness what delicious bikes to ride. Himself hadn't ridden a bike in a decade and though I use the stationary bikes at the gym - they are just that. stationary. You don't need balance to ride a stationary bike. So we were both a little nervous about riding away from the rental shop, especially on such brand spanking new bikes, for fear we'd topple over. But the adage holds true - once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. Off we pedaled onto the white gravel path.

We'd had a heavy rain the day before and the sky had that washed clean look to it - fresh, cool breezes wafted scents of pine, greenery, moist earth all about us.

The star attraction of this 31 mile trail is the former railroad bridge over the Appomattox River. It's half a mile long and I believe, 120 feet high.

This is the 4th bridge to link Farmville to Prince Edward county. The Civil War era bridge was built on brick pilings and had a double deck - with the train on top and a wagon road below. You can still see some of the brick pilings.

We could hear the river rushing as we got closer to it - and then suddenly there it was, sparkling over some rocks.

There didn't seem to be any other rapids along the river so I wonder if these are artificial ones, created by the rubble of previous structures. Mostly the river was a smooth brown snake weaving through the green treetops.

There are many places where the old railroad crossed highways and country roads so you can pretty much ride the trail in 4 mile chunks. We went about 8 miles from Farmville to Rice - which is a pretty little railroad town of about 30 19th century houses

and a brick church

We took our time. We stopped often to have a snack or sip some water. We peered over the bridge for a bird's eye view of the Virginia countryside. And we had some quiet time of just being where we were, pedaling easily, in no hurry, just soaking up the feeling of summertime and peace, unscheduled, un-driven, and un-organized.

The quiet ride back gave us many treasures, not the least of which was riding up on these two babies, out for an afternoon browse.

It was a perfect afternoon. Just what you dream of having on a golden sunshine summer day.



  1. Beautiful scenery -- and great to see you out on a bike that looks like one you have to actually pedal and doesn't have complicated gears or brakes that will throw you over the handle bars! Glad you've taken some time to enjoy summer where you are. Hugs!

    1. Thanks, T & M. We came home flushed with a desire to purchase a bike but upon reflection we decided we'd rather keep renting. Somehow it makes it more special.