Day 5: 9.2.23 (yesterday)
Yesterday, will always be remembered. Don’t ever mention Daniel Boone National Forest! Ha! Never was I so happy to get out of a forest that I would normally love. 18 miles of nothing but trees. That’s fine if you’re driving, but when you’ve become accustomed to convenience stores, it becomes a little nerve-wracking.
My pack is too heavy to carry much water. So I’m dependent on stores to get ice water. Some don’t have ice, but plain water is better than nothing.
There was a picnic area in the DBNF and was elated. I walked to 2 different group picnic sites, both places people said, this is reserved, like, “get out of here.” I asked a woman if they had any water, and she said, probably not, but a little kid came over and gave me the bottle. Love that kid!
Then after walking around from table to table, a woman from those tables ended up being really nice, said she loved natural medicine, and we promised to keep in touch. I give out Walk business cards wherever I go. Even before our conversation, she offered the water probably she had compassion for an old man, and didn’t want me on her conscience, so she pulled out 3 bottles of cold water!
Just after the convenience store, ice water and all, down the road a piece, I ran into Caleb, a 30 y/o amazing young man. He is now a certified personal trainer and came back to a very poor part of the state to help his family. He’s a very sweet guy that loves the walk. I asked about coffee and his aunt took some from her house that was still on the burner. When desperate for coffee, any will do! So after hugging each other and taking a selfie together we promised to stay in touch!!
A few miles later I reached the town of a neat little town 6 miles from Somerset, called Burnside. I stopped at a wonderful coffee shop which was awesome. They told me about another guy walking for peace from Chattanooga to Chicago. More about him later. As I was about to leave, two young women were sitting next to me. We exchanged glances. As I was about to leave, I asked them if they would mind helping me w the back pack. And enthusiastically they said yes and wanted to know about the walk. We ended getting a nice photo.
With about 3.3 miles until my hotel, and sweating like no tomorrow, I stopped in a Toyota dealership for water and had very long conversations with 2 sales people who had tons of questions and were extremely interested in health equity! One gentleman was part of the Kentucky National Guard, and the other Edwin, is married to an MD and works 7 days a week, and she is involved in, and very concerned with issues of health inequities in Kentucky. Edwin would’ve liked to talk the rest of the evening.
I couldn’t wait to get to hotel after what would be a 29 mile day, climbing 130 flights of stairs.
I made one final stop at a Starbucks. After just sitting down, Scott, the guy walking for peace that 3 people told me about, was there, and came over and introduced himself! It was a fantastic experience. I asked him about Peace Pilgrim, he said that he has modeled his life after her and will continue to walk for peace and live a very simple life of few material possessions! It was an awesome experience meeting him!
After walking on narrow shoulders on a very busy Somerset street and waving to hundred of drivers for miles, hotter than heck, I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel. 2 miles, then 1.8, etc to where I could finally see the Red Roof. After giving the woman my ID, she told me that they didn’t have any reservation for me, and they were all filled. My heart sunk to my feet. I was exhausted and couldn’t believe it, but tried to stay as positive as possible. My credit card account showed I had paid, but something technically went wrong. I couldn’t get a hold of hotels.com. So, I walked down the road and found another cheap hotel.
I hope you are having an adventuresome or restful weekend or whatever you want it to be!
I appreciate you. Thanks for reading and caring! It means a lot!