Chris and I set out on a ride this past Sunday into Augusta County. Augusta has roads that are some of our favorite in the valley. However, we usually don't head down that way too often because cutting across town and avoiding traffic can be an irritating experience. After this ride, though, I'm going to be pushing through that irritating stuff at the beginning because what follows is more than worth it!
We headed from Harrisonburg into Grottoes to start. I had never actually been through Grottoes before this ride, so discovering this whole new section of riding was really fun. Our plan was to go southwest from Grottoes so we could hit Moffett Branch Rd (a favorite road of ours), and head home by way of Parnassus, to Stokesville, to Hburg.
To get towards Moffett Branch road, we ended up just kind of picking and choosing our way as we rode along. This is when we found the road that turned this ride into what I like to call a "magical experience". We even nicknamed this road "The Secret Garden."
As we were rolling along, this road caught our eye on the left. It was gravel. And it looked GOOD. Many of you know by now that Chris and I love to ride gravel/dirt roads. So when we saw this, we didn't even care if we had to turn around because it might lead to a dead end. We new we had to take it.
We dropped down the gravel and passed a few newly built homes sitting out in the open.
[Side note: I always think it is funny that when new homes go up, no one plants trees around them - it looks empty and odd]
As we continued, the road flattened out and trees started covering us overhead. A wooden fence popped up on either side of us and, as we rounded a right hand bend, a beautiful plantation style house with a lily pad pond in front popped up. Add to the picture - Middle River is flowing right next to the house and flows next to us for the remainder of the road! And the gravel was awesome! We couldn't stop exclaiming what a great road this was that we had just taken on a whim.
Lucky for us, the road dropped us out right where we needed to be to get us to Moffett Branch Rd.
The weather that day gave us some much needed sunshine and warm temperatures. Even with the head wind, as we made our way towards Stokesville and home, we couldn't complain about anything. With almost 2 full weeks of rain behind us, this day provided some necessary relief.
I'm pretty sure my next ride will take me down to these roads again. And I'll probably do some more exploring to find more amazing places. It's the new discoveries and adventures that keep riding (or anything in life, really) fun.
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" -Helen Keller