Day 217: The Cookie Lady in Afton, Virginia

8 08 2010

The Cookie Lady - June Curry. Photo: biketouring.net

 

In a recent post by cycling blogger Janeen from No Direction Known, I learned about The Cookie Lady of Afton, Virginia. Janeen is currently doing the TransAmerica Ride, a journey from Virginia to Oregon. If you’re not familiar with Janeen’s blog, I highly recommend it. She’s very entertaining. 

Since I will probably never be in good enough shape to do the TransAmerica Ride, I’ll probably never have the opportunity to meet the Cookie Lady, so I did a little poking around on Google to learn more about her. Here’s what I learned about her: The Cookie Lady is June Curry of Afton, Virginia who, since 1976 has welcomed over 11,000 cyclists into her home for refreshments and a place to stay. Her house is at the top of what sounds like a rather brutal hill climb in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Adventure Cycling Association awarded Curry with their first “Trail Angel Award” in 2003, a program the Association started in order “…to recognize the contributions made by individuals and organizations in America who promote bicycle touring and improve conditions for cyclotourists.” 

The Cookie Lady’s house has become a shrine to cyclists. Displayed on the walls are photos, postcards, letters and other small mementos people have left. Janeen shows some of Curry’s house in this video (about 2 minutes in). Curry started feeding cyclists in 1976 when she baked cookies for the Bikecentennial riders as they passed by her house in Afton. According to an article by the Adventure Cycling Association, “cyclists are welcome to stop by any time, spend the night, take a shower, and even make themselves a meal with the supplies Curry stocks in the kitchen. For many years, Curry offered her refreshments and accommodations free of charge; over the years, small donations from the passing cyclists have helped to keep the hostel operating.” Update: Curry has suffered various ailments in the past few years, so overnight stays are no longer being offered as of March 2010 (as stated on this website). However, she still welcomes visitors during the day. 

Here are some additional links I found on the Cookie Lady: 

A collection of June Curry’s bike anecdotes by Bev Haven
Cookie Lady and the Blue Ridge by Nate Crimmins (includes a great video)
Video of the Cookie Lady’s house by wbenpackard
Legends of the Trail: The Cookie Lady by Liz Barry, Lynchburg’s NewsAdvance.com 

What a fantastic person to meet! She seems to enjoy meeting the cyclists as much as they enjoy meeting her. 

Today’s food journal: 

Breakfast:
— Chocolate mint Builder Bar = 5 points
— 1/2 banana = 1 point
— 1 cup LF chocolate milk = 3 points 

Lunch:
— PB&J = 4 points
— Whole wheat double fiber bread = 1.5 points 

Dinner:
— Soft pretzel = 3 points
— Salad with 1/4 cup ranch dressing = 4
— Iced tea = 0 points 

Snack:
— Smart Ones Weight Watchers peanut butter ice cream sundae = 3 points 

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride! 

          _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )    

Thanks for visiting.

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3 responses

16 08 2010
gersemalina

Thanks for this post! My husband and I actually rode by her place on the way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on a ride late last month. Unfortunately, we were unable to stop for cookies, but we did take advantage of the water hose. I didn’t really know much about her so thanks again for writing about it.

17 08 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Hi Mary, Thanks for visiting and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. That’s great you and your husband got to stop by her place. The ride up the hills to her place sound horribly brutal, so it’s great that such kind people offer help, support, food, water, shelter, etc., to complete strangers. She sounds like a fantastic lady. And I bet it’s a beautiful area in which to ride! Congrats on your ride last month! (I’m doing good to just get up the small hills in my neighborhood!) 🙂

18 10 2010
Day 288: Janeen completes TransAmerica Ride for LiveStrong « Cyclingproject365

[…] mentioned a while ago (here and here) that cyclist Janeen McCrae (a.k.a. “Noodle”) was in the process of the […]

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