Journey of Discovery bicycle tour



August 19: Meet June Curry, the "Cookie Lady"—Afton, Virginia. 30-years ago, her father and uncle noticed cyclists riding past (straight up, actually, with two more miles to the top at the Blue Ridge Parkway), and needing water. They subsequently errected a small sign offering free water and set up a hose near the road to make the stop easier. Mrs. Curry noticed how hungry these cyclists were and started serving food, and always cookies. When her uncle died, his house (which is near The Cookie Lady's house) was turned into a free (donations accepted) hostel for through-bikers and hikers. It is complete with a stocked kitchen, bathroom, shower, and plenty of reading material. There is even a big garage where guests may park & lock their bikes. The house itself is a museum. Four rooms with overstuffed furniture and walls plastered with a collection of 24-years' worth of postcards, letters of thanks, newspaper clippings, bicycle memorabilia, etc. from all of the Cookie Lady's thankful guests. Mrs. Curry photographs everyone who stops. There were piles of scrapbooks of photos of her visitors from every state in the US and over fifty foreign countries. The Cookie Lady is delightful—full of energy, happy to chat (with a wealth of great stories), and respectful of the cyclist's need for some space. Displayed in her own house is a model she has created of the old-time village of Afton. This morning we sat on her front balcony and shared for an hour or so, before I headed down the mountain to Charlottesville. Thank you, June. Your hospitality and kindness is an inspiration.

© Ted Phelps * * * Photos captured using an Olympus C-5500Z
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