Today we are setting up for a steep four mile climb onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We are staying behind the general store at Vesuvius. The owner is a nice man with a thousand stories about the deep valley we are currently in. Behind the store there is a small creek which he encouraged us to drink from; it is spring water, with a source only a few hundred feet away.
Buchanan is a small historic town with a friendly fire department. The terrain is leveling out, but it is still hilly. The climate is warm, humid, deciduous forest, which is pretty, but at times monotonous. The forests are dense and unlike most of Oregon. Autumn here is amazing, though, I can tell that already: a few leaves are falling on the roads as we ride each day, and I can imagine every tree a different hue of brilliant red-orange. I am longing for the Northwest, however, where firs dominate and mountains scatter the horizon.