Ride C2C #4 - Day 18: Afton (the Cookie Lady’s House) to Charlottesville, Virginia

Jul 11, 2023

Date: 7/10/23
Route: Afton (Cookie Lady’s House) to Charlottesville
Miles: 32.1
Total Miles: 712.71
MyZone MEPs: 233 - that’s not much!


The musty smell in the "Cookie Lady's" house was much less with all three doors open and the sweeping I did to remove…debris.  Doug noticed there was some mouse poop in the kitchen - and he was reading a book about the Black Plague and was at the point about how fleas/rodents interact to promote and spread the virus…so it freaked him out a little. 

 We both went to sleep worried about mice skittering about. I was wrapped up in our sleeping sheet and Doug had the quilt.


It was a little bit of a rough night… Cars are zooming right past our front door (literally 5 feet away) and a huge rainstorm came through at about 1am and the rain and winds shook the house. 

Doug and I are sleeping in the same room, but on different couches.  But then, a loud thud-thud-thud-dat-dat-datta-datta-data noise and vibration shook my couch and the rattled the windows and I thought it was an earthquake! 

Doug thought it was just the storm, but that wouldn’t shake my couch.  The noise and vibration stopped after a few minutes and the storm waged on.  And then the noise & vibration came again, then again, then again.  Ghosts I thought? No, probably just a sump pump. Not long after the rain stopped, the noise and couch shaking stopped too.

After all of that, we slept until 7am.  We used the microwave to make instant oatmeal and the hotpot to heat water for a good cup of coffee. 

We ate inside the house in the dining room and by this time, the house is growing on me. 

Instead of thinking is was just creepy, I’ve come to respect all of the hangings on the walls with appreciation for June Curry and thanks from all the many cyclists over the years.

We are so thankful that this kind of a place still exists supported by kindness.


To read more about June’s story, click this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Curry 

Our first stop, literally across the street, is the east portal of the Blue Ridge tunnel.

In the mid 1800’s there was no road over the Blue Ridge so after decades of looking and planning, an engineer name Crozet (who had worked for Napoleon) designed, engineered, and oversaw the hand digging of the tunnel under the “Rockfish” gap. 

Completed in 1850 or so, used until 1944 when a new, bigger tunnel was opened right next to this one.  In early 2000’s, the state of Virginia cleaned up the original tunnel and made it a hiking/biking path. 

It’s about 1/2 mile long, the ground it rutted and it is verrrrrry dark inside. 

We started in with our bikes, but my light was not strong enough to see the ground and where we where going. 

So we head back out to the road and on to Charlottesville.


DOWN Downhill with a few quick turns and we ride up and down gentle hills on small, mostly quiet, backroads. 

 A couple of the roads are so small, they are barely bigger than a paved bike path. 

Thru Greenwood,

past the “town” of Crozet, right at Whitehall, and onto Garth road. 

Quick stop for a snack. 

We start to hit some bigger, busier roads which are mostly OK except for the occasional idiot who doesn’t know how to pass a cyclist (give lots of space and go fast!)


We stop 10 miles out of Charlottesville at Olivet Presbyterian Church for Gatorade in a beautiful wooded setting where we sit on a bench in the shade. 

We contemplate our options for the remainder of the trip and and we decide:

  1. We will ship the bikes home from Richmond instead of riding though all of the Urbana to Washington DC
  2. Take a tourist day in Charlottesville so we can see Monticello (Thomas Jefferson)
  3. Change our reservations to make this all happen.


Yeah! Off we go with lots of traffic and I am in front down a long hill that swoops up - watching in my side mirror for Doug and I see him take a right at the bottom of the hill.  What the?

There was no “76 Route” sign to turn, but Doug saw one down the road and I missed the turn. 

I caught up with Doug (who was waiting for me around the bend) thankful to get off that busy road. 

This is now a quiet 2 lane road up a creek and into the side of Charlottesville onto a main road that takes us right by the University of Virginia campus.

  We stop and visit the Rotunda...

and view the campus grounds - how beautiful and admire the academia campus

that Thomas Jefferson envisioned (modeled after they Parthenon) and built. 

It’s about 1pm, HOT, and an easy ride into the historic downtown with a “walking mall” (pedestrians only) where we go for lunch at Citizen Burger and sit outside in the shade, except for Doug who melts in the only spot of sun. Great big delicious burger, terrible service.


We walk our bikes through the mall and up the wrong way on one way streets 2 blocks to our B&B in a stately southern mansion. 

Carolyn is so helpful to show us around the B&B tell us all about what Charlottesville has to offer.

We shower, relax, and enjoy complimentary coffee and cookies while we write and make reservations for Richmond and decide a little more about Williamsburg and the end of our cycling trip.

Oh - and then it is happy hour with wine and cheese and fruit.  Since this is our layover day, we enjoy a glass of wine and chat with another couple (Jerry and Helen) from New Jersey as we head back to the pedestrian mall for dinner.


The Whisky Jar has live music but too long of a wait so we stroll up to Bizou restaurant and can still hear the music as we enjoy a dinner of a very delicious beet salad (Robin), salmon croquettes (Doug who said they were more like deep fried goo), and a mushroom risotto with some of the meatiest mushrooms ever. YUM!  Their Old Fashioned drinks were too sweet so we had to order an extra shot of Whiskey to mellow them out. :-)

We ducked into the bookstore next door and picked up our next books (Doug said he needed something a little lighter than the Black Plague to read about), strolled around the mall (most businesses closed by now) and ended up back at the Whisky Jar to hear the last few songs of the band.  They were fun!




If you like this travel journal (which takes a lot of travel time on the road) please help us to raise $10,000 for these three charities:


  •  Whatcom Community Foundation (local): CLICK HERE
  •  Arthritis Foundation (national): CLICK HERE
  •  World Bicycle Relief (international): CLICK HERE

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