Day 21 – "T" is for Training or perhaps Testosterone

Waking up this morning, the weather was on the edge of raining with low-level clouds floating through the area. To get back on my route, I had to walk 2.3 miles on the back side of town just to get back to the small downtown Jasper area. As expected, there was several large dogs that I awoke as I was walking through the side streets. Yes, they scared the crap out of me as they ran towards me, and then suddenly, were jerked to submission by their long chains still attached. Whew! One gal came out, gave me a dirty look, and then proceeded to yell at the dogs and tell them she was going to bring the mop out???? I’m not sure about the mop, but I know I didn’t want any part of it. 


After passing the many Bail-Bond businesses, I had about a 2 miles straight stretch out-of-town. At the end of the 2-mile stretch was something that I wasn’t quite prepared for. Yip, the big hill that I had been informed about by Lonni the mailman the day before. I’m not going to lie, the hill was a bear! About 3 miles of steady climbing with nothing but switch-backs and very little shoulder. If there was a shoulder, it was filled with the rumble strips that I hate love so much! It took me a couple of hours to make the climb and gain about 1200 ft of elevation. Once I got to the top, it was quite the feeling of satisfaction! It was also cold as heck, since my shirt was soaked and the temperature had decreased about 20 degrees. 


From this point, the road had become a steady winding road with very little hills to it. While an easy walk, the atmosphere was a bit eery with the misty clouds and dark ominous threat of rain. No worries…I was ready for it. 

My original plan was to take it very easy today and only walk about 16 miles. I figured there would be a place to stay in Tracy City, but unfortunately, the next place with accommodations was Monteagle, another 9 miles away. Okay, I bucked up, planned my route and knew I was going to walk an additional 9 miles. 

One of these days, I’m gong to only walk 5 miles in a day…and be totally happy with just that. 

While walking through Tracy City, a man by the name of Delbert Partington pulled up beside me. Delbert asked what I was doing and offered to buy me a drink. While very grateful, I told Delbert that I had about 5 quarts of water on my cart and didn’t need anything. He asked several more times, but I declined. He then asked “Is there anything I can get you”? I said; “Yes, how about a Steak Dinner”! Delbert proceeded to tell me “that… might be a bit much”. 🙂 

Mr. Delbert Partington


Before leaving Delbert offered to give me a ride to Monteagle. As usual, I told him that I couldn’t accept any rides. We shook hands and Delbert drove off into the sunset. 

While this entire trip has been absolutely fantastic, I can’t ignore that this port of road has been WAY different. Yes, it has been a tough training day of walking up the southern side of Monteagle. Very good training for my eventual hump over the Rocky and Cascade mountains. But as I mentioned yesterday, the dudes are hopped up on something. The amount of hollering and yelling out of their cars while passing me is measurably different. measurably meaning….”The Only Place Since Jacksonville That It Has Happened”! If they aren’t hopped up on something, I believe they may be supplementing testosterone instead of fluoride in the water. I don’t know… 

I really need to examine my policy of not accepting rides. The 9 miles to Monteagle was some of the hardest of my trip. The rumble strips, lack of shoulder and 45 degree pitch on the side of the road almost destroyed my feet. The next time I do this, I shall label my trip: 

“Walking and Hitchhiking 3000 Miles across America”! 

Once I reached the city limits sign for Monteagle, it was still another 5 miles until I reached the small town. A beautiful little town with a well landscaped entrance. I took advantage of the many benches along the way and rested my feet when possible. 


I had walked to the top and all the way across Mount Monteagle. Tomorrow, I will have to go back down the other side…yuck!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lorien on August 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm


    A friend of mine had mentioned your blog to me because I’ve been talking about doing something similar. I’m planning on hitting the four corners (Washington, Maine, Florida, and California). I have one MAJOR obstacle though. I have sleep apnea and have to figure out how to provide electricity for my equipment at night. Anyway, I’m truley enjoying your story and can’t wait to read more.

    Oh yeah, before I forget…I hope you don’t mind a few questions. First, how did you prepare for this trip financially? You said you planned $25/day but only started considering the trip after getting laid off. Did you have the money in savings or were you planning on using a portion of the donations?

    Keep on walkin!



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