The last Tennessee barn…

The last Tennessee barn…

 

Call me crazy, but I was actually a little bit sad walking along today, knowing it was my last day in Tennessee. Four weeks ago tonight, in Memphis, clear on the other side of the state, I had no idea what was in store for me. Things felt comfortable from the onset, and just kept getting better and better the further I went. I haven’t really had the time to digest all this, but know that I will look back on these days as very happy.

I’m a little overwhelmed with all I’ve seen along the way, but what most stands out are all the lovely people I’ve encountered. Thanks for the chats, the talks, the words, the smiles. I’ve described some of them along the way, but the hundreds more would fill many many pages. It’s all about the people, the people at the stores, along the road offering water or a ride, at the hotels and motels, in the restaurants. These last weeks have further reinforced an unexpected lesson about human kindness, which I will return to, as it is the coolest thing about this walk.

The views were pretty cool as well. I’ve tried as best I can to describe, but the hundreds of pictures will have to assist, and even those won’t always do justice to the settings in which they were taken. Too bad you can’t include breezes and smells, and are limited to what fits in the lens. And walking has been the only way I could have seen it all. Driving across the state takes about 8 hours. I took about 20 times that, and suspect I had a better time than you could ever have in a car. And four more weeks without a negative incident, and it appears Tennessee knows the difference between rifles and walking sticks!

There it is! Twenty eight days, two of rest. Every day brought something different, unknown and amazing. Geography changed significantly from west to east, but always nice. Full disclosure here… I can’t report on about 5 miles in Memphis (opted to not walk under freeways and funky neighborhoods), about 8 in Nashville (same) and 9 in Knoxville (ditto).

There it is! Twenty eight days, two of rest. Every day brought something different, unknown and amazing. Geography changed significantly from west to east, but always nice. Full disclosure here… I can’t report on about 5 miles in Memphis (opted to not walk under freeways and funky neighborhoods), about 8 in Nashville (same) and 9 in Knoxville (ditto).

Adding this one in case you get a wild idea and decide to walk across Tennessee sometime… I’ll be happy to come with you.

Adding this one in case you get a wild idea and decide to walk across Tennessee sometime… I’ll be happy to come with you.

Just keep this in mind on the last day, you last mountain challenge! Just hope it’s about 66 degrees - made things really nice today.

Elevation last day.jpg

Got curious about this… if you do the math, according to fitbit, that’s 973,700 Tennessee steps!

So tonight, with Virginia literally a few hundred yards away, to Tennessee I say Thank You… you’ve made for a fantastic month. Thank you Kendra and Jared, Vanessa and Zulu, Tony and Linda, Jimmy, Danny, Carol, Tim, Lisa, Maurice, Youssri, and all those I’ve forgotten or never knew your name. Thanks for allowing me through your place, unscathed and safe. Thanks to all who moved over along the highway, given the narrow shoulders, and thanks for the thousands (easily) of waves. Happy Sunday.