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Saturday’s ride from Richmond to DC provided us with ideal weather – high 60’s to low 70’s, mostly clear with a couple cottony clouds breaking up the uniformity of the bright powder-blue sky. After back-tracking on 250 West from Richmond, we picked up 522 North.
The first 20 – 25 miles on 522 wound and wove their way through an ever-changing pattern of landscape – thick deciduous forests with cool shady stretches of road are broken up by miles of warm and sunny fields and farmland. It felt almost like the area’s residents couldn’t decide exactly how they wanted their heartland countryside of Virginia to look…. but in a good way. The dynamic nature of the scenery left you perpetually curious about was coming around the next bend.
After passing through the crossroads village of Mineral, epicenter of 2011’s Virginia Earthquake, we reached the northwestern finger of Lake Anna right around the end of dinner time. This was decidedly fortuitous for us, as we were able to walk right into the obviously popular Tim’s at Lake Anna and immediately get a table on the back deck. Live music (a Jimmy Buffet cover band, of course!) perked up our ears and drew us outside, where we found an incredible view of the lake (and the first picture of this blog, down at the bottom of the post!) and some delicious Southern (read: fried) food. After stuffing our bellies with beers and grub, we noticed the sun was rapidly settling into the horizon, and figured we should get back on the road.
Crossing over Lake Anna provided one of the more beautiful (albeit pretty brief) sunsets of the journey – fiery oranges, blood reds, and deep purples blazed out across the evening sky and were mirrored by the metallic grey water of the lake. From Lake Anna to Culpepper, the landscape settled into a more even routine of farmland. Traffic got more dense after Culpepper, where we got onto the merged Routes 15 and 29. Shortly thereafter, night fell, and sadly we lost most of our views of the landscape.
After merging with Route 17, the now Route 15/17/29 got busier and busier, especially after passing around Warrenton. The scenery became more and more clearly suburban, and we began to lose interest in the things around us. Not long after, though, we reverted back to disappointment that this portion of the trip was occuring at night because as 29 passed through Manassas Battlefield National Park, it was painfully clear that the views would’ve been incredible. Rolling hills on both sides of the road, bordered with frontier-style split rail fences.
Not long after, we made our way into DC, where we stayed from Saturday through Tuesday morning and participated in the Rolling Thunder Run for POW/MIA. Short post with lots of pics of Rolling Thunder to follow shortly! And, of course, the epic Part 3 of our amazing journey is coming soon.