One of my favorite loops from Sperryville takes me to Charlottesville for lunch. Permanista Crista always wants route names; we settled on Buck Mountain Meander, after the prominent molehill in the northwest of Albemarle County.
Perfect weather for photos, if not for everyone’s idea of biking. An overnight rain gave way to breaking clouds as I pushed off from Sperryville on a Sunday morning about 9:30. I figured that barometric unsteadiness would bring thunderstorms in the afternoon. I caught some showers as soon as I left Charlottesville, but dodged the thunder. The hanging clouds, combined with the luminescent green of mid-May, evoked a smile around every turn.
Or the occasional melancholy. Up by the Blue Ridge in a corner of Albemarle are the abandoned villages of Boonesville and Nortonsville, now only names on a map and white-
on-green signs on a country road. The same scene plays out all over rural Virginia and rural America: entropy everywhere, if you’re moving slowly enough to observe. For example, along one creek, the two sides of stone foundations for a bridge, except no evidence of the bridge itself. The wood washed away long ago, and the roadway was moved to a nearby hilltop. At 16 miles an hour over nine hours, you can see a lot of ghosts.