New RUSA Permanent # 1055 - "We Can See Clearly Now"

Several weeks ago, in an email entitled "We Can See Clearly Now," Bennett Minton posted some really fabulous photos from an impromptu ride he did starting from his weekend getaway cabin in Sperryville.  In case you missed them, here's the link:

The photos were so stunning that it inspired me to design a permanent route incorporating many of the roads from Bennett's ride.  This latest addition to our local library of permanents starts in Marshall, Virginia.  It heads west to Front Royal, then south through Fort Valley, over Edith Gap, and down into Luray, which has many interesting lunch possibilities as well as a friendly bicycle shop, Hawksbill Bicycles.  The views descending Edith Gap when the trees are bare are truly spectacular!  Leaving Luray, the route climbs over Thornton Gap and then takes the beautiful "back door" into "Little" Washington via Gid Brown Hollow Rd and Harris Hollow Rd, perhaps my favorite part of the entire ride.  It includes 1.4 miles of hardpack, no problem at all for road bikes, and the descent on Harris Hollow is entirely paved.  Washington – Flint Hill – Orlean and back to Marshall is all on lovely roads familiar to most of you.  While I agree with Bennett that the views are really best in winter, the cold temps and short days can make this ride particularly challenging, so it won't be available in January and February.