06 Aug TAT Day 6: Walnut Flats Campsite VA to Mortimer Campsite TN (290km/181mi)
Deer +6, TAT riders +3
A good nights sleep does wonders. Sims knee still looks swolen, but there is no pain unless he tries to kneel on it. The plan for today was to stick to the tarmac for the rest of the MABDR and get to Damascus to start the TAT. Although Sam keeps updating the TAT, and the start keeps moving, we chose Damascus as our starting point as it conveniently ties up with the MABDR.
We met a group of three other TAT riders in Damacus. Two guys and a girl on XT250s and a CRF250 L rally. Hi Layers63, Leevil and Spitfire. Their ride report on ADVrider is titled LLC -Triple Threat.
We rode around town for a bit trying to find the mural JMo had mentioned in her report, but no luck, so we settled with getting a pic with the farmers market sign across the road. At least its something that says Damascus on it. (We later found out that the mural we were looking for is in a completely different town). Too bad its not an epic start picture.
The other three riders left Damascus around 10 minutes before us, so we were surprised when we rounded a sharp corner to see them again. Unfortunately one of them (spitfire) had had a bad off. We helped drag the bike back from the edge of a very steep bank with a long drop off. Emergency services were there pretty quick and we left once we saw they were in good hands. Nothing life threatening, could have been a lot worse. Hope they manage to get back on the trail.
Pleasant mix of gravel and tar. We stopped off at mystery hill to have a look, but it didn’t seem interesting enough tot pay an entrance fee, so we kept going.
Part way up Maple Grove Road, we got flagged down by a construction worker to tell us that there were a bunch of dump trucks headed down and he suggested we wait till they were down. I’m glad we did because, there is not a lot of space and it could be quite nasty meeting one of those when you come round a corner. They were quite large.
Found a camp ground (Mortimer) with a shower. Luxury. Apparently there are also bear, copperheads and rattlesnakes around. Also the cobwebby things we keep seeing in the trees are silkworms and not spiderwebs. I am much relieved.
Two areas of concern for us right now is Sims knee and our lack of progress on the easy stuff. We had originally thought that we would be doing much higher milage on the first few days out of New York, but these little twisty roads are quite slow going.