Day 3: What a day of contrasts! Started off as a cool, gorgeous morning, walking along a beautiful creek in a very forested, hilly region of Eastern Tennessee, with zero traffic. At one point, an undercover sheriff came on the very lonely road, to warn me that there’s was a manhunt for a violent person that they were looking for in the area! It turns out, 3 other people told me the same. So, I’ve heard that story ñ before, and a tad bit later, before entering the busy highway, was the magnificent deer, unbothered by an old man wearing a backpack and reflective gear.
Deb and I had to make an executive decision on part of today’s route. Deb suggested I go the longer, but less steep route, or the other option was steeper, and 2 miles less distance. I chose steeper. Deb chose the other. Turns out, she was right!
I walked 2 miles after the fork, and when I got there, found out there that there was no road. The steeper route was beautiful, but I had to backtrack and go an extra 4 miles! I hate when that happens!
But these things can happen. I just have to try and be smarter next time! It’s important to shake off the disappointment and keep going!
Then, I travelled about 12 miles of nothing but trees, wide shoulders and beautiful walking, and got several offers for rides!
On one of the last roads, a 2 lane road, with no shoulders, a sheriff pulled off the highway to tell me that I was walking too fast, just kidding, but seriously, a few people called concerned about me walking on the highway. Interesting, on the same day, 3 people stopped to offer me a ride, while others called to more or less, complain. I told the sheriff, people should slow down! I told the cop to be careful and be safe out there!
Just before ending my 24 mile+ day, I met a man, Justin, who’s been to hell and back. He broke 13 bones in an accident, got addicted to pain killers, lost his wife, kids, and is now homeless.
We need to walk in the shoes of him also, and all of our suffering sisters and brothers! Jesus called them, in a non-pejorative way, the “least of our brethren.”
Stay safe. Have a great Memorial weekend! You know where I’ll be, crossing into Kentucky!

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