Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 10: The Cookie Lady's House

  Daily Mileage: 29.4
  Total Mileage: 568.1
  Daily Time: 2:32:55
  Total Time: 2 days 5:51:59
  Top Speed: 39.6

 Snapchat @MSquaredYE Day 10

 I started the day off with the snooze button, although my watch doesn't actually have one. I just shut it up and went back to sleep. Woke up naturally around 7 and started my packing. This campsite had showers and laundry so I did both. Both of which I thought were really needed, until the Appalachian Trail hikers started walking through. I smelt like fresh flowers compared to those guys.

 Today's mission was to get out of Shenandoah Park and to the "Cookie Lady House" made famous by June Curry. I was originally only going to stop in to see the place, but due to my late start and wanting to upload my last few days of blogging, I have decided to spend the night. I truly couldn't be happier about staying either. Like I said on day 1, each little decision I make shapes this trip for what it will become.   June Curry is known for taking in cyclist who have traveled the Transamerica route (even in the times pre dating the official route) and became famous for baking each one of her visitors cookies. People took such a liking to her, she was flooded with postcards and countless items of memorabilia by the people she welcomed into her home as a thanks for her kindness. Throughout the years her popularity grew into becoming the most popular destination on the trail. Unfortunately for all of us late comers to the game, June passed away July 16th, 2012. We will never get to exprience her warm generosity and to-die-for cookies that made her so famous.  

Hand picked in Shenandoah for June
  Luckily, Hope Wood bought the home and has kept the place just as it was and continues to let cyclist like myself stay for a cookie or even spend the night. Unfortunately I missed the cookie train... They still must be that good!

  It's hard to put into words or even show with a few pictures what it's like to walk through this unofficial museum of bicycle touring. Or maybe it is a museum of June. Every single item has something written on it and all that writing is thanking June for her hospitality. It is a true testament to the kind of woman she was. 

Flowers for June, my note and my sticker
  It is not easy to make someone feel at home when they are so far from it. Even with June missing, this house alone does such a great job of making you feel connected to everyone who has come through. I imagine we all smile and stare with awe as we walk the rooms filled with postcards, water bottles, hats, tubes, flags, maps, shirts, jerseys, newspaper clippings, and on and on. Each and everyone of us feels a belonging in this house because in here, there isn't just one persons story, but everybody's story. You feel compelled to leave behind anything, even if it's just a sock. And you would write, "June, thank you for all you have done," on it even though you never met June and know that she will never read it. You do this not just to say you did it, but because you are truly thankful. June created a little world inside this house that makes you feel connected with true reason for taking a bicycle touring trip, and that is the wonderful people you are destined to meet from all parts of the world.

So thank you, June. And thank you Hope for keeping this small world alive!  

PS. There is a guitar!!!!! I'll be up all night. This is magical!

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