I completed another 40 miler on Sunday – giving me 82 miles for the weekend. Not bad. On this trip I went Northwest to Bristow and checked out a small battlefield at Bristow Station. The battle took place on Oct 14, 1863 in the aftermath of the Gettysburg Campaign. Robert E. Lee attempted yet another offensive operation against the North and through some nifty maneuvering forced Union General George Meade to retreat from Culpeper all the way to Centreville. Confederate General A.P. Hill was attempting an attack on the Union Rearguard when he fell into a trap at Bristow Station. Hill’s Corps suffered 1,360 fatalities and 450 captured against 360 Union deaths. The loss ended the Confederate attack plans. After tearing up some railroad tracks, Lee was forced to retreat and adopt a defensive position.
Regrettably, there isn’t much to see at the park these days. A construction company recently built the park next to a development of upscale townhouses it constructed in the last few years. They have a nice map and some trails that take a visitor to sites of the battle, along with the site of a Confederate encampment in 1862. There are no markers or monuments, so it feels very much like a tour of an old farm, which is in fact what the land was used for before the developer purchased it. The old farmhouse is empty and there is a sign in the window announcing it as the future home of the Visitors’ Center. The old silo still stands in the distance. It’s a nice start to a neat little park and it should be interesting to see how it develops in the coming years.
I left the park and peddled through the immaculately manicured homes of Bristow Station. The neighborhood is built around the above lake. There were ducks on the water and children playing with their parents at the neighborhood playground. Couples were walking together on the path which surrounds the lake. It was all very idyllic!
I then pushed on to Nokesville, where I stopped at a neighborhood convenience store to replenish my Gatorade bottle and eat my Clif Bar. I then hopped back on my ride and started the 20 mile ride home. I diverted onto Parkgate Drive, a street I had not yet traveled the entire length of, and discovered some more pleasant farm country. I also came across this unique home entrance. The owners are proudly displaying the American flag (not so unusual) and the flag of the 101st Airborne Division (quite unusual). Having served in the 101st for four years, I couldn’t help but take a photo for posterity!
I finished my ride in good shape and pleased with the miles I logged. And that’s all I have to say about that because the title of this post says I am only supposed to talk about the good part of this ride. Tomorrow, I’ll share the not-s0-good part, but for now I will leave you with a pic of the pleasant country views I enjoyed on this day!