Ashland, VA

Ashland is a small town just out side of Richmond. While I haven’t really seen Richmond yet, if its 1/2 the size of any other city I’ve been in its amazing how big a differance 15 miles can make!

My first stop was the bike shop. I told the guys working there that I was on a tour and that I just needed to stop for groceries. We talked about the tour a bit and then they said I could leave my bike there while I walked around town.

Next was the library. I walked around the place and then put my name on thewaiting list to use the computers. Again I explained my trip, and asked if I could charge my phone while I was there. The librarian plugged it in behind the counter so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. The line for the internet was still 25 minutes long so I went food shopping.

The grocery store was a small, locally owned store, just three doors down. I like shopping at these places because the prices, for what I’m buying atleast, usually aren’t much more, and I’d rather my money go to these people than corporations. Anyways, this was what really made this place really have that small town feel. The lady in front of me buying food, the cashier, and the man baggaging the food were having some of the most stereotipical small town gossip I had ever heard. I founf out that one couple finnally hand a baby, another couple got engaged (and after all these years…no one thought that was ever going to happen…), as well as a few other things. After they were done checking out her food, I asked where the tortillas were. Both the customer and the baggage man walked me over to where they were, the woman commenting how they were on sale as we walked. Just the small things like that, that you could tell the town was filled with nice people.

So back to the library I went where I picked up a copy of the Mac World magazine that they had, and read all the articles I was interested in. This actually took some time. I must have taken too long at the grocery store, or been really involved in the magazine because I never heard my name called. So I went up to the desk and sure enough my name was crossed out, but there was no one else in line by this point so I was able to get seated right away. The librarian knew I was on the trip so she gave me an extra 10 mintes.

I usually don’t like being on the computee for more than 30 minutes at a time now, but I used the full 40 without even noticing it. It had rained off and on while I was doing that so I hoped that itd be clear for the rest of the day.

I went back to the bike shop and I could tell from the look of the sky on the walk over there that there was definitely more rain coming. I bought a tube to replace the spare I used yesterday, and made some lunch with what was left of the foos I had previously. Boy, did the skys open up! When I thought it was done I said goodbye and started off for the town pool.

Now I had heard that the pool cost $4 if you were a town member, but that they also had showers to use after you swam. swimming would have been fun, but with the storm coming and leaving so much, it’d be a while before they’d open back up. That didn’t really matter though because what I really needed was a shower. I’d ridden somewhere around 200 miles in the three days since my last shower, so I was definitly ripe.

The pool couldn’t have been more than 10 blocks away, so it was only a two minute ride. Unfortunatly, about half way there it started to poor again, and I got drenched. When I got to the pool, all of the life guards were in the office staying dry. when I entered I told them my story (im a pro at it by thos point) and I asked if I could just take a shower. They said I could so off I was.

Somewhere along the trip I misplaced my camp suds, so I was soapless, but managed to borrow the bottle of hand soap from the sinks. I don’t know how long of a shower I took, but it felt long, and it felt good! I brushed my teeth, shaved, and I felt like a new man!

When all was said and done I had been in Ashland for near four hours!

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