Let me start at the end, with the moral to my tale: A vacation should be fun. Or, Always have a Plan B. Or even, don't forget to train!
Once upon a time, the plan had been to take a week to explore Shenandoah National Park. I'd start at the northern end, at Front Royal, VA, and ride south for 105 glorious, scenic, hilly miles to Waynesboro. I had the whole week off, so I'd drive down on Saturday, and start riding on Sunday.
Oh, wait -- how am I going to get back? I couldn't find a shuttle service (though there seem to be plenty for folks hiking the Appalachian Trail in the same area). No problem -- I'd start in Front Royal, ride through the adjoining valley through Fort Valley and Harrisonburg. Get to Waynesboro, then ride north. Makes for a 220 mile week. Nice.
Oh, wait -- a must-go-to function at work has been rescheduled? I need to stay in town over the starting weekend? So now I'm looking at "only" a week. 220 miles in a week? I've done 200 miles in 2 days! I've done 90 miles in 1 day on a 90 pound bike!
Oh, wait -- the first motel/hotel/lodge in Shenandoah National Park is 50 miles from the southern entrance? Hmm, I'm not sure I can do a 50-60 mile day through the mountains. No problem though, there's a campground just 25 miles in!
By the time I left home, the plan -- whatever it had started as -- had turned into: ride 220 miles in 5 days or so -- half of that in the mountains of Skyline Drive -- with tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear. The good news is, the luggage came in at about 25 pounds. The bad news is...
Well, you'll see in the next post.