Day 27 – The Tenn-Tucky Time Machine

I am completely soaking up the moment.

While I may not remember this date, I will always remember the events of this day and where I spent the evening. As I write this; I’m gazing outside of my tent watching two of the largest John Deer tractors work the land only 40-yards from me. In addition; I’m strategically placed next to a large tin barn and the sun is painting a brilliant sunset. Did I mention that I was in the middle of Kentucky and 20 miles from the nearest hint of civilization? To me; an absolutely awe-inspiring moment! I don’t believe I could have a stronger connection to the land, its people, and our country, than I do right now.

Ranch Foreman, Donald Frazier giving permission to camp.

I never heard back from the Police/Sherrif  last night, so my assumption was that they convinced the property owner that it was okay for me to squat for the night. As I had promised, I was up, packed and on the road shortly before sunrise. approximately one mile down the road, there was a busy intersection with several modern places to eat/purchase food. With not much time to spare, I chose the newly built gas station with adjoining Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s. Yes, I was indeed roughing it this morning!

The main reason for choosing the location was it having wireless internet. I found a good spot next to a power-source and posted my blog and added a little juice to the cell phones. Next thing I know, a couple of hours were already shot out of the day. Oh well, I’ll try to rack up some early miles tomorrow.

The weather could have not started off nicer this morning. Actually, nicer is all relative isn’t it. To YOU, it would have been an awesome day! To ME, it was a boiling sauna that beat me up for most of the day. The heat withstanding, it was a gorgeous day for walking! Within minutes of exiting the little town (I-24 Interchange) Pleasant View, I was walking the back-roads for the rest of the day.

It’s amazing how walking through the country can create an illusion of traveling in a time-machine. At 7am I’m trying to decide between Wendy’s or Taco Bell. At 9am I’m walking through back roads and land that hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. Winding, tree-covered roads with fields of Corn, Wheat and Tobacco as far as the eye can see. Barns (and some houses) with the help of new supporting beams, still making up the landscape of the land.

On top of the miles of old and beautiful farmland, the path traveled today was genuinely filled with history. As with a few days ago, I’m walking the same route of the Cherokee Trail of Tears. I have also come across several historical markers dating some of the buildings back to the late 1700’s. Some of the stories talked about the many homesteaders who founded the area. The stories also referenced the line of people before them that weren’t so lucky.

Homesteader arrives one day, Indian kills them the next.(Wash, Rinse, Repeat several times before things settle down.)

After leaving the modern convenience of Wendy’s, there wasn’t another store for about 18 miles. At mile 17.5 I was pooped and finally decided to take a break. After an hour nap, I started walking to only find a General Store around the corner. Well, guess I had better take another break! Upon entry I had only intended to pick up a couple of snacks. Post entry I noticed that the Latino owners had a full Mexican Cocina in the back! There isn’t a chance in heck that I was going to pass up some of the local Carne Asada!

Yip, it was fantastic! For another hour I enjoyed my food, Ice Tea, Cool Air, and even the latest news on CNN about the latest efforts to put out the BP Oil Leak.

After leaving the weather started to appear like it was going to Rain Rain Rain!  Walking across the open fields for miles with only a farm-house now-and-then, I would have been a drowned rat.

6 miles later I enter the town of Guthrie, KY. Again, I felt like I had gone back in time at least 50 years. The town actually reminded me of Mayberry.

Guthrie War Memorial

If you don’t know what Mayberry is, you need to ask your parents.

There was one store that I believe carried everything you could possibly want or order from a catalog. It even came with the guy behind the manual cash register waving and watching me walk down the street. As I passed through town, a young girl road next to me the entire chatting up a storm about everything. There was a small mechanic shop with gas pump outside. I believe about 8 mechanics all walked outside to find out what all the fuss (read: me) was about. Awesome!

Since there was no motel, this cat knew that he needed to keep walking until close to sunset. While exiting the town, and about 2 miles down the road, there was a couple modern convenience stores. Next to them was a big building and a whole lot of commotion going on. People pulling up in nice clothes (tie or dress) and filling up the parking lot outside.

What was the commotion you might ask?

It was Bingo night of course! I saw people arriving from all directions as I walked slowly down the road. I’m going to miss the time machine…


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