Tandem, An American Love Story

That evening, Bob and Mary Scott Coffey found us looking lost (it worked again) beside the New River, unable to find the elusive campground we had been told was near. They were on their way back from Blacksburg after biking to visit their daughter at college there, a 50 mile round-trip. They had many tandem questions and shared some of their touring experiences including having done the two eastern sections of the Bikecentennial Trail, and two trips on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

They invited us home, which was most welcome. I wanted a shower since we had free-lance camped in the woods the previous night, and the constant short steep hills yesterday had me sweating.

We’ve had a wonderful evening eating Mary Scott’s lasagna and sharing biking stuff. They are both 52 and looking forward to some serious touring after retirement at 56 or so. We think they are good candidates for a tandem, but then we think all couples are good candidates for a tandem.

On Sunday morning. Bob and Mary Scott made us breakfast, and then we rode to meet them at their church two miles up the road. It was a small white church, like those seen all over Appalachia, set in a grove of oak hickory and maples just beginning to turn. Methodist.

They have a part-time minister and it was the off-week, so the lesson was given by the congregation. It was all about the second generation of Christian leaders appointed by the original apostles and called deacons. A very nice older lady was presenting and she seemed glad to have us as a distraction.

She asked us to talk to the congregation with about 20 minutes left. We didn’t mind and enjoyed sharing some of our experiences and our philosophy. They kept us busy with questions long after church let out. Shortly before noon we got away down the road to a round of applause. What wonderful people.

Our ride was short, but again some of the hills were so steep my arms ached at the top from pulling on the bars. Nasty. On the advice of Bob and Mary Scott, we are staying in a Forest Service campground. They are rare around here and this one is a gem, hot showers and all.

We slept late the next morning. Camping back in the woods and ever later sunrises are getting to be a problem.

Met an interesting guy in the campground who does sound work for concerts all over North Carolina. He knows all sorts of famous musicians, mostly in the country genre. He is around my age and seems content with his work. He gets to travel and work with interesting people. Sounds like he has been dealing with the Vietnam war thing for a long time and is finally finding a positive direction. Good luck to him.


Tandem, An American Love Story — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the memories, and the update on your own adventures. That last few days back to Sequim was bitter-sweet after more than a year on the road. We’ve never been the same; a good thing.

  2. What a marvelous and beautifully descriptive article about a simply amazing woman – Karen Landis. I’ve had had the serendipitous experience to create and nurture a friendship with Karen after I underwent a hip replacement and three hip fractures and realized I needed to request the local “Meals on Wheels” service. And of course, if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Karen serves the Chino Valley community two days a week by delivering meals to people in my circumstance.
    I loved Karen the first moment I met her. And when we started chatting I knew I had met a soul mate. I’ve been looking all my life for a role model, a hero, an amazing example of humankind. I don’t know if she realizes what an outstanding example she is of a strong, independent, intelligent, talented woman. Sometimes as women, we have a dentency to undervalue ourselves. But Karen, I want you to know you are the real deal. You are just so beautiful in your authenticity. And I a so appreciative of the value you have added to our environment by caring for the land and the animals under your watchful care. Your abilities and strength simply boggle my mind. And thank you for your loving service to me these past four months. You rock girl!

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