Weather: Low 60s to start. Low 90s to end. Sunny all day.
Waking up to views of Sharp Top & its reflection in Abbot Lake at the Peaks of Otter Lodge is something we all recommend. All the rooms at the lodge have large windows that face the lake & mountain. It’s just beautiful and quiet and serene and peaceful and green and pretty and… Suffice it to say that it’s a lovely way to start the day.
Heading out of the lodge parking lot, we turned right and climbed. We climbed for the better part of 8.9 miles to 3950’, the highest point on the Parkway in Virginia on Apple Orchard Mountain. Our reward? A 13 mile descent to the James River at 650’, the lowest point of the Parkway in Virginia. The descent is non-technical with some sweeping turns and stunning vistas. After a short stop at the James River Visitors’ Center, it was back on the bikes and back up the hill. After 40 miles and one SAG stop, the riders exited the Parkway and headed down into Buena Vista. The descent was a little more technical and definitely steeper. I also heard it described as quite a bit of fun.
From Buena Vista, we worked our way towards and back up into Lexington. I’m not sure the riders have caught on to this yet but it seems that all roads lead up to Lexington. We’re here for 3 nights so they will have ample opportunity to assess this and draw their own conclusions. We are staying in one location for 3 days with loop ride options and possibilities of non-bike related activities. Non-bike related activities? Let’s sleep on that and see what the legs have to say about this idea.