Up and out by 730, I  was  determined, as Young  Blood  suggested, to begin my hike, to BEGIN MY HIKE. And  so  we hiked out, talking  along  the  way about his  new job  and his reluctance  to leave the trail. At the crest off the  first  hill I  called  my wife to wish  her a  happy  mothers  day .  I  hated the  thought  off her being  alone on this ,  the first  off many  bitter  sweet holidays. Aaron  always  called, he never forgot and  was always  so grateful  for  his  mom. Again  the weather and   the trail were mild  compared  to  the  previous. Again I  was celebrated with free soda, snacks  and  sandwiches  from  a  local church .  After  saying goodbye  to Young Blood  at a  shelter  with  a real shower  near Marion, VA, I  trekked  onward. I  met a young  hiker  who asked a biz zillion  q,s about  the  Navy while keeping  a torrential  pace. Eventually  we broke and       I ended  up  here, in Atkins where nobody  would  give an old bearded  hiker a ride to the Dollar  General  for  resupply. I  about  lost my religion  as I  watched motorists  in their  comfortable  seats pass by  my thumb  on their  way  home  from their  Sunday  celebrations. Eventually  I  begged a ride from  a local about  my age  who wore the stars and  bars on his hat but  listened  to MnM  on CD. The  fella even  gave me a ride  back to the trail head with my 5 day  resupply.

With  20 more miles on my dusty  self I  settled  in  a tick infested field  within  ear shot of I 81. It’s been a  while  since  I  thought  off Geoffrey  Dahmer  and  now  is not  a  good  good  time to  start. Don’t want to   be  all by myself . ….but  I  am. And  I  am hiking  my  hike.


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