The march through Tennessee continues, 18 miles deeper into the state, this time to Huntingdon, a cute little town designed for cars, and people with cars. Mile walk to dinner, well worth it, another mile to Walmart, and a third to close the triangle back to the motel. Needed more band-aids, and antibiotic cream, and while there, I figured I’d buy some toenail polish so I could even things up. Got the purple-ish for the right foot, will use on toes 3 through 5 in order to match biggest piggie on right. No point in wasting time and polish on nail 4 - its days are numbered. Got kind of a salmon for the left foot to match big nail, days also numbered, along with toe 4 nail. Band aids are for skin altercations that look like funny little bubbles and have really hurt today.
Happy to be back in the country… Jackson was fine, even had one of those places that serves everything in white cups, and I ordered myself a lah-tay, extra shot, whole milk, and drank happily as Rolando drove me to the dropoff spot. But it’s so nice out here, and people are so nice. Codi came out of his driveway, gave me some water. Later stopped for about a 10 minute conversation on camping and hiking with a guy that works for the State, and just an overall feeling of peace.
Early start and beautiful trees along the highway made for a couple of cool hours this morning, and what a difference it makes! Then came the normal hot but I actually had my first chill this afternoon. Nice cloud had blocked the sun, and a little gust of breeze hit my wet shirt and I actually shivered! It was chilly, or so I thought. Looked up the temp on Weatherbug and it was 88 degrees, feels like 94… hardly cool, but all things being relative, it felt great.
Getting used to hills, did another “measurement”… I was sure this elevation change was at least 100 feet, turns out it was only 54! Then I looked at the elevation changes from Jackson to Knoxville… Google says it’s 11,673 feet up, 11,191 feet down, so this little hill is less than one half of one percent of my uphills… gonna be fun.
Was thinking about what I wrote yesterday - didn’t read, just remembered. I haven’t read one word of anything I have written since I left Austin, or the two weeks prior. No reason why or why not, just haven’t.
I was thinking about how I described the postpartum cow/happy calf scene, and realized how many details I was aware of when I was watching the scene unfold. Since I started this walk, I have found myself acutely aware of most everything around me, noticing things I never would have before. I attribute this to the fact that one, I’ve never done this prior, and two, I have no idea what’s around the next corner or over the next hill. There is no predisposition, no expectation, no known outcome, and this in itself has raised my awareness and broadened what I’m perceiving. I alluded to this earlier with the driveways, but not knowing what’s next is really exciting. And the truth is, we never know what’s next… we might think we know, and sometimes the expected outcome ensues, but so much can happen so instantly that we really don’t know, or will ever know, for sure…