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Day 55- Long Wonderful Day

Day 55- Long Wonderful Day



It cooled off during the night, so when we woke up in the morning we weren't miserable. However, the bugs were out in full force once again. We packed up fast and got on the road, passing Middle Tennessee State University. Finally we came across the downtown area where we asked for a recommendation for breakfast. The farmers market was in full swing and the info booth sent us to the Maple Street Grille.

The food was super, but it was the service that really made the experience unforgetable. Our server spoke with us for a while (not only about our trip, but about her life aswell). She was very down to earth and earned herself a large tip (she was in college and we felt it was only right).

Moving on we came into a very commercial area. There was a Starbucks and, although Kira and I usually avoid them, it reminded us of home. We stopped in to get some sugared down coffee and whipped cream. One black lady said that her husband and her joke about how few white people have names that end in vowels. She was really happy with Shikira's name and suprised to have come across a Levi aswell. Two for one deal on white people with names ending in vowels.

Further down the road a very nice man stopped to ask some questions and recommend this little BBQ place. He was so enthusiastic, but we had to tell him that we had just eaten at Maple Street Grille. Just as we were doing so another car pulled in to tell us how great the BBQ was at Papa's little shop. Stealling the first man's thunder Jay offered to buy us some. We politely declined, but he insisted that we at least take some to go.

Upon entering Papa's we were imediatly taken back by the wonderfull smell of vinegar and BBQ. Hotsauces lined all the shelves and Jay coaxed the owner out of the office. We discussed what to get and Papa suggested the sampler platter. Samples they were not! It consisted of pulled pork and chicken, three ribs, meatloaf, wings, cornbread, two sides, and two drinks. At 16 dollars this was a feast, but lucky for us Papa stole Jays thunder and picked up our tab. Sometimes it really does feel like we are leading some kind of fairytale life. We wound up eating a majority of the food right there and just took the sides and bread on the road.

Not even a mile down the road a man named David stopped to give us two water bottles and wish us good luck on our journey. Next came Allison, she stopped her van full of family to chat for a long while about not only our current journey but also about what our plans for the future were. She gave us some cash, even though we told her we didn't need it. A while later a man in a red truck stopped to hand us 20 bucks, no questions asked (a drive by dollaring). Then the mail man gave us a Mountain Dew (Kira had never had one). A different Jay and his wife Jamie stopped to chat for a while.

I looked over at Kira after a couple miles of uninterupted walking and told here it looked like we had a little cheering team coming up ahead. She was shocked to see two little boys holding a sign that read, "why aren't y'all running, congrats Levi and Shikira." I was Davids son and his buddy. Logan and Jackson had been waiting for who-knows-how-long to but huge smiles on our faces. We chatted for a bit and then hit the road once again.

After a while on some rather dusty roads, we stopped to eat some left over cornbread. Across the street from our snack spot was a spicket to wash my dirty feet, which always makes me happy. It was a long way before we saw anything.

Eventually we came upon a Tractor Supply Hardware (reminded me of home once again) and they refered us to a gas station. Refueled with Gatorade, we began the hunt for camp spots. The sun was setting and as nightfall came we realized we were going to have to hop our first fence.

We could tell that the company that had built all the houses in the area had surplus land for miles around, all of which was fenced in. Acres and acres of unused land. We hoped over a fence that looked like it had been chained for years into a field that hadn't been touch for even longer. We knew it was going to rain in the morning, but opted to leave the rainfly off until then.

We finished off Papa's sides and then Kira went to sleep. The moon was bright and I had a lot on my mind. I used my phone to look up how to become a school teacher. As soon as I get home I will take steps in that direction. A combination of excitement and anxiety kept me awake almost till morning. Regardless of the insomnia, the day was wonderfull.

To a great day full of great people and food,