Today I made it back to the Virginia Creeper Trail with a bicycle for the first time since my AT thru-hike in 2000. Unlike last time, however, I would be riding the Abingdon to Damascus section, and unlike last time I would not be riding it alone. I had my friend Burke along to ride with.
We met in Kingsport and drove up into Virginia in Burke's vehicle. We arrived at the trailhead, readied our gear and hit the trail. We passed a large steam locomotive at the trailhead
We crossed over the river and found ourselves pedaling uphill. Still, the riding never got too difficult. We passed through lots of pasture land and had to open and close many gates across the trail to keep cattle from getting loose.
We walked around town a bit and got lunch at the Blue Blaze Cafe. They claim to have the "best cheesesteak south of Philly" and they might just be right. I got the Pat and Geno with cheese and grilled onions and it tasted pretty authentic. It actually tasted better than anything Pat's or Geno's might serve (those are the two most overrated steak joints in Philly).
After eating our large cheesesteak lunch we were reluctantly able to get back on the bikes for the the 15 mile ride back to Abingdon.