Walkabout here fresh from the hills.
And by fresh I mean frozen ready to be microwaved..
Today I arrived in Franklin, the last place to formally surrender in the civil war, nominally because they didnt have a telegraph office and didnt know that the war was over but I reckon it was they just werent quitters.
This is going to have to be a shorter update than the last one because I only have a 30 min allocation on the computer (although I'll try and push the limits a little) but I'll try and recount the last few days a little.
Firstly Helen.. I didn't have to hike to and from the town as Southerners are very forthcoming with hiking hitchhikers. In fact the ride I got back to the trail the guy who gave me a lift was very apologetic because he picked me up in a little honda coupe. "I've got a F150 back home but I drive this little fellow around town to save gas" he explained erasing any stigma I may have held to be a passenger in such a small car. Americans love their big cars and Larry was a 5th generation Georgian so he made sure I knew he had a big car.
Anyway I digress, after writing up my blog in Helen, I went to get something to eat. I walked past a number of colourfully Bavarian restaurants but I didnt feel too comfortable eating on my own in there so I ended up walking into a pub. I ordered my meal and a beer, then saw a guy go up onto the stage. Then the TV started scrolling the words he was about to sing and the horror hit me. Yes I'd walked into karaoke night.
The guy finished his song and he was the compere so he urged me onto the stage. I warned him, but I'd finished my first beer and hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast so I caved in and went onstage to butcher 'The Gambler'. After I'd finished the song to the stunned reception of the crowd my meal had arrived and I got to finish it in peace.. there wasn't any calls for an encore.
I got back onto the trail the next morning after doing a little shop and sending some superfluous items that I didnt want to throw away to my parents (Mum, please dont throw away that tshirt) and then I started walking again to warnings that a cold front was coming in.
Walking was good apart from my left hamstring which was giving me grief whenever I went downhill. It got so tender that I started to walk backwards down step downhills and decided to finish my day early at 4pm to give it some rest. Following the RICE formula (rest, ice, compression, elevation) I decided to sleep on a downward slant to give the leg elevation which had the interesting effect of me waking up every other hour and sliding back up the tent. Still the hammy was better teh next day so I think my quickfix worked. If Emmanuelle (my yoga teacher) is reading this I know she would be screaming.. Treeevor, your Humstrings (shes french).
The cold front came through that night and I think that brought the 'ice' portion into medication. I mean it was cold. There was water on the trail which had frozen into frozen water crystals.. without the help of a freezer.. out in the open.
The couple that I camped next to that night. (April and Fool.. they started their hike on the 1st) said that the temperature was around 30. I expressed my disbelief seeing as I know what 30 degrees is like and they explained that they meant fahrenheit which must mean at least -30 degrees celcius.
Anyway my time is up so I'll try and add more later.
Today Franklin.. next town stop is hopefully Fontana which is around 54 miles away