My eyes pop open at 6:01, ok internal alarm is that a hint? It's perfect out, the slight rain overnight has pushed out and my tent is even dry.
After passing the road it's a short jaunt through pasture where I pass the most mellow cows I've ever had the pleasure to hike by. A few glances and back to their grass, it's picturesque and has me grinning. My first cows of trail, over 400 miles in, what a change.
I love pretty pastureland and cows. Then it's back to weaving up and along ridge lines and down to town.
It's pretty out and I'm in a good mood because I'm heading to town and officially out of Tennessee! I think Virginia is 544 miles so it will be a little while before the next state line. But they are always exciting.
Heading down into town I realize I'm tired. I usually feel pretty good on this trail physically but I wasn't thinking about it and because of the chill and too many swirling thoughts I haven't taken many breaks and I'm feeling beat. 22 miles by 2 pm was quicker than I was ready for.
Town is quaint and full of hikers, I stop at the local outfitter where I mailed my shoes. Only they say they don't have them, frustrated and tired I lay down outside too beat to make decisions. A few hikers I know appear and help me rally. I search boxes and find my shoes, they just hadn't seen my name on their list. Resupply is at the dollar general because I'm too lazy to walk the mile to the real grocery store. Finally it's time to sit, I'm staying at a church hostel with at least 20 other hikers. It's my first hostel and for $7 it's pretty great, minus the very uptight caretaker. Good company and good distraction just what I needed.
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