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A new state and more new friends

Sniff.

Sniff.

Sniiiiiiff.

“Loops, what’s that smell?” I ask.
“What smell?” Sniff. “Hmm. It must be the bathroom, go check and just open the fan back there.”
I unsteadily walk down the moving bus and open the bathroom door.
And gag.

Yes, it seems we have discovered another joy of living on the road – the smell of a partially full black tank being churned around as you drive.

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Small town with a BIG heart…and a long blog post

First things first, I must start this blog entry with an apology. To the state of Indiana.
Indiana, I am sorry, please forgive me.

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As I am discovering with each mile we travel, assuming the whole of the USA is identical just because it is technically one landmass is ridiculous; this simple coincidence of geography certainly does not make all states alike. Continue reading “Small town with a BIG heart…and a long blog post”

A break in our scheduled entertainment

So, today is a ‘me’ post. For me, I mean.

Those of you who know me well enough will not be surprised by this post and its contents, I wrote a few of its ilk while I was on the AT. It is the post I write when things are a struggle and I like to remind not only myself, but the world around me, that sometimes things are not perfect or all sweetness and light; in fact sometimes there are times when life is downright hard and a bit unpleasant, but we have to face it anyway.

The thing I want to tell myself is this, I am not who I thought I was.

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Time to be a Tourist

Needless to say, despite our beautiful surroundings at Cumberland Lake, we were slightly soured on the place by our unexpected stranding and rescue in the wee hours of the morning. Rather than a lovely two day stay, it was reduced to just one, most of which was just recovering from the exhaustion and stress of the previous day. Therefore it left an even more bitter taste in our mouths when Loops asked the campground host if she would consider refunding one day of our stay and she refused; despite the fact it was on her assurance we had driven Belle into the park in the first place.

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The ups and downs of ‘living the life’

With our social engagements in Tennessee finally concluded (UK friends, bus barn friends, family passing through), it’s time to resume our journey north, mostly for the simple reason that the south in June is too oppressively hot for this fair-weather Brit.

That’s right, for me stepping out of my door and having a wall of humid heat practically knock me off my feet is not my idea of fun. Standing outside for five minutes, becoming drenched in sweat and looking as if I’d just emerged from the shower is not pleasant. Nor is having to change my clothes three times a day (especially when my washing machine is so small it then takes me two days to wash them all). And so for these reasons we continue northwards with our eyes glued to the thermometer.

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Mountains, hiking and Dolly Parton

Four years ago I hiked the Appalachian Trail.

I had set out early in 2012 to try and become a famed thru hiker, but sadly missed out on the accolade by 380 miles. Did I fail? Some would say yes.
I however listened to the sage words of my father when he asked me if I felt there was anything else I would learn by hiking those 380 miles, was there anything I had left to gain except to say I had done it, miles for the sake of miles? I thought long and hard at the time and the answer was no.
By then I had learned a great deal about myself, my family and friends, as well as having accumulated some wonderful new friends along the way and a partner with whom I share my life today.

And to date, hiking the AT has been the single greatest achievement of my life.

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Little barn on the lane

Deep in the heart of the Tennessee countryside there is a little country road. Unassuming to look at, not even worth a glimpse as you pass by; it winds gently but briefly through a small, short valley dotted with simple wooden houses and elderly outbuildings.

Near the end of this road, standing atop a small grassy incline, is a barn. Nothing to mark it so very different from the others around it, slightly newer perhaps, but a modest red barn nonetheless.

And it is here, in the virtual silence of the countryside, with trees and fields and birds for company, that we find ourselves still and restful for the week.

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The little barn on the lane

 

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