One of the joys of these trips is stumbling upon unexpected jewels like Johnson City. We only stopped at Johnson because of the rejigged schedule caused by Friday's rain, but what a great place it turned out to be, mainly because we happened to visit on the Saturday night of the annual Blue Plum Bluegrass festival. Bluegrass music is a cross between country and rockabilly music featuring guitars, mandolins, banjos, double basses and violins. The whole of Johnson had been pedestrianised for the event and there were live music stages set up at each end of the main street. And the place was rocking! There were arts and craft stalls, food stalls, corn sack throwing areas and lots of beer. We found a great little restaurant and had some creole type food and did a lot of people watching. A great night. And as a tribute to Timbo (in bed with flu still) the final band did a Blue Grass version of the Who's Baba O'Reilly - superb.
Today's ride (300 miles) was the sort of ride that epitomises these trips - bright sunshine, wide open empty roads, breathtaking scenery and lots of banter and camaraderie. The group has really bonded and it will be very sad when we all head our separate ways tomorrow afternoon.
But that is tomorrow and we still have our last night and Brian's birthday to celebrate. We are staying at the very nice shiny and new Marriott Residences in Staunton Virginia. Each room has a microwave, hob and dishwasher. Thank goodness we weren't staying here on Thursday night - heaven knows what ways Brian would have found to dry clothes with all that equipment!
It has been a great day and we have another in store tomorrow - but first some beer, methinks.....