I’m very close to Virginia now, be there tomorrow. My detour by Tennessee was short but very useful : now I’m riding along with the Appalachians, not against them.
I’m going north west, just like the moutains of eastern US. I shouldn’t have anything too big to climb now. That’s sort of wishful thinking, but anyway I’ll see about that when I join back with the TransAm in a couple of days.
Leaving Morristown, I had a few options. I could go on countryside roads almost all the way. But that meant no supply of drinks, and at this stage I want to carry as little as possible. The other big option was to join back on 11W, that I used briefly before Cherokee lake. But going back north for 6mis/10kms, even through the lake, was not appealing. I try to avoid riding the same way twice.
So I just had to mix both options. I left going east, went through a secondary road that joined 11W some time later. It wasn’t much longer.
Countryside roads are always nicer, of course. A few houses here and there, fields, farms, etc. The usual stuff, really, but I like it. I was starting to think I’d never see dogs when four of them jumped out of their house. But I was just walking at the time, and they were not aggressive. I just went on.
Small roads are also quite hilly, so I was going slow. But I passed the river soon and was back on the highway. Crappy shoulders again ! Plus a long bit with roadworks where the shoulder could not be used at all. So I had to ride on the side on the main road, earning the first couple aggressive honks since Las Vegas. They had plenty of space and almost no traffic though. Anyway, rolling up and down for another 30mis/50kms and I was approaching Kingsport.
On the way I came upon an impressive display of churches offering. That doesn’t even cover all the denominations I’ve seen in the US.
I was also lucky today. There was a large chance of rain at the start (40%, you always get a percentage here). But I only got a bit of drizzle here and there for one hour.