Saturday, April 18, 2009

Erwin TN !!! (a long time coming)

I am in Erwin Tennessee. Jeremiah Johnson and I have pushed hard, big mile days for nearly two weeks to get here Friday to meet his friend. My left knee is bothering me a bit, but I am taking a day off from hiking today to rest and hang out. I went absolutely huge last night and slept in a king size bed at Holiday Inn Express (thanks grandpa!) and JJ's friend Rex even drove us to Johnson City for dinner! A broccoli Cheese, butter, sour cream baked potato and bbq baked beans went down well as the waitresses cruised around in Firehouse- ish suspenders. The miles and smiles are coming quicker and easier than I could have hoped. All seems well with the dream of a Daleville return before May 15.
After leaving Holiday Inn Express JJ and Rex dropped me back at Uncle Johnny's Hostel. Joe Kick Ass and his girlfriend are graciously grillin up burgers, and hot dogs along with other snacks (candy bars, cookies, chips, cole slaw, beer etc) as some amazing trail magic. The crew I was hiking around in the Smokies have caught back up; Truckin, Wendy, St. Patty's etc, and an afternoon of food and fiends in the sunshine makes me feel like perhaps, finally, the AT is as it should be.
My cornrows are still holiding up. It's strange to be in town showering, but not washing my hair. Dancruff is definately setting in, but having them tight, reasonaly snag free, and hair out of my face seems worthwhile to keep them in longer. As long as bugs don't stat crawling around.... I should be set to keep my hair up till.... dare I saw Daleville?
I beleive the count down is 260 more miles from Erwin-Damascus + Bland- Daleville. I can scarce believe I'm so close to finishing this journey, but as always, am embracing and accepting the principle of not counting my chickens before they hatch.
Low and his girlfriend Erin sent me an incredible Easter- themeed goodie box to Standing Bear Hostel. In his card he said "when it don't come easy, pray for strength, and when it does- ask for humility". I keep thinking of that, journeys coming full circle, and the most exciting part being just around the river bend.
I used to think Erwin would be bittersweet and sad for me, it being one of my first trail towns visited during Hasty's 2007 hike. As it turns out, that is a pale memory to the vivid dream I'm currently living.
Life is lovely, companionship is fufilling and delightful, the music is jamming, and the weather is brilliant. Happy and grateful, I couldn't ask for more =)


Linda Lee said...

Hey PenMar AT Girl,

Good to see you in pictures.
My! My! What memories and stories you will tell when you are 80 sitting in a rocking chair Somewhere, USA.

Thanks for sharing, I am seeing more then I will ever be able to see. I turned 60 several weeks ago and you have seen more on your AT hike then I have seen in 60 years.

When you are finished you will need to think back and list your top 100 moments.

I love the Boston Terrier picture. My favorite dog in the entire world.

Keep being safe. Say your prayers!

Luv ya,
Linda Lee
Your PenMar family!

Anonymous said...

Love the photos! They share your story so well and show the beauty of the AT.

I'll hopefully see you when you return.

From your Roanoke Times friend who'd see you at Outdoor Trails. I betcha thought I had forgotten :)

-Mae said...

Glad to see you are back on the trail! I found your blog on BlueCountry Magic. Enjoyed reading your recent posts this morning. I love a good journey. We are on our own sort of journey in the shadow of the AT. You can see our farm from McAfee and Tinker Cliffs. It's funny, but part of our journey to the farm involved hiking on the trails with the kids on short stops between Texas and New Jersey, dreaming as we looked into the valley, wishing we could live down there. Now we do! Look us up when you get back to this valley.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Miss McDonald!! "Can I go hiking with you? Can I hunt Easter eggs with you?" Wesley
"Can I find Easter eggs with you? Look out for black bears and brown bears. They can climb up trees." Evan
"Can I go hiking with you? I love you!" Kaitlyn
"I went to TN last week to swim in a pool and ride rides at Pigeon Forge." Chaney
"I like the snow pictures and the yellow rabbit." Eben
from Eagle Rock