Day 13 – Mechanicsville, VA to Emporia, VA

91 miles, 2500 feet of climbing

Another longer day but with half the climbing of the others. The weather was a little cooler than yesterday. I wore arm warmers until the second SAG. It was mostly sunny with increasing clouds towards Emporia. No rain.Today we saw, if we knew what to look for, our first cotton and a small bit of tobacco. Mike Munk brought an immature cotton plant to RAP. It appears that the cotton begins as flowers, then bulbs. Defoliation eliminates the foliage, leaving the cotton fibers for harvest in truck-sized bales for transport to the cotton gins.

We also reached the halfway point in our ride early on today’s route.

Only a few photos today:

The James River

Waiting to cross the bridge behind a very wide trailered harvester.

You can see a couple of our riders in front of the harvester. We could not figure out what caused the stoppage–the only vessel going under the bridge was a speedboat which is hard to believe would need the bridge raised. Once we got moving the harvester had to crawl along in order to carefully pass some big rigs coming from the other direction, effectively screening the forward riders from traffic.

At dinner tonight the food came quickly, the silverware less quickly.