Bar none: "The Cookie Lady" delivers

The summer of 1976 ushered in a new era in cross-county bicycling with the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, aka "Bikecentennial Route 76." Thanks to one Afton woman, that summer also saw a new era in cookies.

Since 1976, June Curry, known to her fans as the Cookie Lady, has been providing sweet sustenance to bicyclists who pause in the quaint village of Afton.

Curry realized the need when droves of struggling bicyclists began stopping near her house on the steep slope up Route 6 near its connection to Route 250. The once-thriving town's only grocery store had closed months earlier.

At first, Curry just left cups of water on an old plank, but her ministrations soon escalated. Before long, she had opened an old family house from April to October so bikers and hikers could spend the night. A cookie jar accepts donations.

"This has been a good year," says Curry, smiling.

Born and raised in Afton, Curry, now 81, would like nothing more than to see bikers cross the mountain more easily through the Blue Ridge Tunnel. "This," she says, "will put Afton back on the map."