We biked 105 miles today crossing from North Carolina into Virginia through Richmond to Ashland. It was a long, hard day complicated by wind, rain and traffic with very little time to experience a moving meditation or contemplate anything other than moving forward and staying alive. Some days are like that.
Road weary, I will keep this simple with a few fun facts and a little history.
Before leaving North Carolina this morning, it was impossible not to notice the 1/2 mile line of cars passing through the Krispy Kreme drive thru—a reminder that Krispy Kreme was born in North Carolina. Pepsi was conceived there too—and the state is also the birthplace of aviation!
Within 5 minutes of crossing into Virginia we passed a peanut farm and shop—fitting, as Virginia is known for its large Virginia Peanuts and was the first place in American where peanuts were grown. We proceeded past numerous historical plaques, battlefields, museums and old homes, all reminders of Virginia’s role in the making of our country—it is literally known as the birthplace of our nation. The first permanent English settlement in North America was in Virginia, the first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia—over a year before the one in Massachusetts!—and both the American Revolution and the Civil Wars ended with surrenders in Virginia. It would be logical to assume Virginia’s motto is be “Virginia is for History Buffs” but instead it is “Virginia is for Lovers”.
It is fortuitous that we crossed into this “Land for Lovers” on May 1—a day historically recognized as a celebration of spring and fertility when young people would gather, mingle, dance around the maypole and choose their partners. If paired by sundown, the courtship would continue for six weeks and a wedding would be had in June. This is actually how the “June Wedding” tradition came to be :)