Giant tree in front of white house on the Potomac Heritage bike route near Heathsville, Virginia.
Drove to Heathsville this morning to drop my car. It’s interesting – I’m not seeing anyone parking on the street in this area. So I gassed up at a station and asked the attendant about a safe place to park for the day. She said I could park my car in their adjacent lot, so I did. And then I began walking.

Today the weather was chilly (45 F. / 7.2 C.) and cloudy. It was windy, too, although my route kept twisting and turning so I never had the wind in my face for too long. The morning passed uneventfully.

Around noon, I hit a tiny town with a gas station/convenience store. I was able to use the restroom and purchase a machine cappuccino, which was great because I was chilled. I should have asked to eat my lunch inside, since it was misting. But there was some mechanical equipment outside with a wooden shelter over it, so I ducked under there and ate.

Leaving Heathsville Behind

The afternoon was a bit more pleasant because the mist stopped and there was less traffic on the roads. I could simply walk and take in my surroundings.

There are daffodils blooming everywhere, plus dogwood. Love those yellow pops of color! Re: wildlife, I haven’t seen any deer yet, but I saw a beaver on Day 1. And on Day 2, I saw the largest flock of wild turkeys take flight – maybe 20! There are lots of turkey vultures catching the thermals, too.

Around 5 p.m. I met my friend Colleen Brush about three miles east of Montross. Colleen was an intern for state Sen. J. Mac Davis at the Wisconsin State Capitol when I worked for Mac, and when we met we clicked. Even though she’s lived in Texas and Virginia for many years, when we see one another it’s like we’ve never been apart.

Do We Have a Cabin?

Colleen and I were supposed to stay at a cabin in Westmoreland State Park, about 15 minutes northwest of Montross. But when she picked me up, we realized the rules said check-in for cabins was 4 p.m. If you were going to arrive later, you had to make arrangements in advance. I hadn’t done that. Oops.

We decided to head to the park just in case a ranger was still there and would let us in. When we got there, we discovered the website Sunset over the Potomac River, seen from Westmoreland State Park in Montross, Virginia.​info wasn’t correct. For the staff left instructions for check-in in an envelope at your cabin door (via keypad), so we could get in.

Unfortunately, this detour meant we now had a 90-minute round-trip back to Heathsville to pick up my rental car instead of a 60-minute trip. Oh, well. I told Colleen there is some kind of misstep every day on the trail, and today, this was it.


Today’s Miles: 26 (41.8 km)
PHT Miles to Date: 49.4 (79.5 km)
PHT Miles to Go: =700.6 (1,127.5 km)



©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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