After enjoying our rather rapid descent from the Blue Ridge Mountains we found ourselves at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The campus was gorgeous; there seemed to be quite the amount of money floating around at this private school judging by the stunning architecture all around us. Here you can see a snapshot of the Greek housing, right next door to the amazing athletic complex. Also worth mentioning, the students seemed hyper-friendly (something in the dormitory water supply perhaps?). Between the fantastic people and the delicious food we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
We also stopped at the public library in Lexington to harness some internet power. It was here that Rebecca approached us and offered us a place to stay. We happily accepted the kind offer of hospitality and made our way down to the family-owned Grey Fox Farm. Here we met the rest of the crew: husband Lee, daughter Leila, and family friend Darcy. In no time at all we were feasting on burgers with homemade buns and homemade ice cream for dessert. Yum-eee! All the while we conversed about travel. Turns out Rebecca and family are quite the adventurous bunch - the whole gang embarked on a year long road trip around the US prior to settling down in Virginia. Rebecca had compiled a collection of stories about the journey which she has considered publishing (we wholeheartedly seconded the motion after reading some entries that night). The next morning Lee showed us around his kiln before breakfast; law is his vocation but pottery is his passion. Soon after, Rebecca whipped up a lip-smacking creation that I have never heard of before called eggs goldenrod. The dish passed our tastebud-test with flying colors - yet another recipe to add to the egg arsenal! With full bellies we hopped on our steel steeds and wobbled down the county road.
A little further down the road in Troutville we stopped for a lunch break and some R&R in the city park. Chef Joseph prepares some tuna fish sandwiches featuring Sriracha brand chili sauce, the most delicious hot sauce under the sun. I know nothing brightens my day like a helping of Sriracha. *Note: we are not affiliated with Sriracha and commentary on this website should not be considered opinions of Huy Fong Foods, inc. (though we would be open to a Sriracha sponsorship). Following lunch we broke for recess on the playground. There was something magical about setting three near-grown men without responsibilities free in a children’s wonderland. Most importantly, the bonding experience served to fully incorporate Joe into the circle. A lot of variables come into play when considering riding companions and Joe had shaped up to be a marvelous fit, creating a trifecta of sorts. To give you a little background on Joe, he’s recently finished his schooling and residency to become a dentist (DDS) and is using this trip to figure out the next chapter of his life. He plans to ride with us clear to San Francisco so you can assume he’s along unless noted otherwise ;)
That night we made the pedal to Catawba, home of the “Home Place.” The reputation of this buffet style eatery preceded itself. Folks from miles around talked up the generous portions and down-home flavor. Motivated to investigate for ourselves, we popped in to glance at the menu. Seconds later we reached a unanimous verdict to dine in. Our waitress seated us and offered us sweet tea, coffee, and lemonade. From the kitchen came pouring a seemingly endless stream of plates piled with fresh, hot, scrumptious looking food. Fried chicken, roast beef, pulled pork, mashed taters and gravy, green beans, corn, pork and beans, biscuits, and spiced apples littered the table, nearly concealing the tablecloth leaving nary a place to rest one’s elbows. To think I almost forgot to mention the apple butter and relish for the biscuits! With the eating event well underway, Joe made the wise decision to quit while ahead and sat somewhat slack-jawed at Clancy and myself and our display of gluttony. Determined to drive down our cost-per-bite, we kept the mountains of food coming until we neared paralysis. We didn’t save room for dessert but when the pie and ice cream presented itself we devoured it anyway. Oy Vey! Perhaps I should review my health coverage for a “binge eating” or “obesity” clause that might interfere with a claim filed later down the line...