My plan to begin from Ashley at the crack of dawn Sunday morning worked well. By five-thirty we were packed and walking west to "little Nashville", as I've heard it called. By nine-thirty when I took our first major break where I took off the pack and ate some food, the heat had already become intense. Nice held up very well, finding fresh rain water in the ditches all along the way. He would lay in the water to cool as he drank. He drank so much this way that when I regularly offered him a drink he was full. We had traveled six miles with very little wind and light early Sunday traffic. The rest of the miles to Nashville took 'till after three. And, if we were further from town I would have waited in the shade. The afternoon heat was bad.
We made our way into town where I took off Nice (the dog's) leash and saddle and let him cool in a shaded creek on a hill. At the edge of a well groomed property. Just a we got on the road again the lady of the house pulled in and gave Nice some loving, he wanted to stay but we pushed on the few blocks to the Kroger where I met a nice man and his son who later brought me a spare walking staff for the world that I could not refuse (though the van was still back at Ashley.) Then, it was on a block and a half to the Chinese restaurant for dinner, where the man from the radio station and his girlfriend stopped-in to interview me about our journey. After a good meal and a berating from a dog lover who hates to see a panting dog next to a water bowl, they gave us a ride the eleven miles back to Ashley and the van. He was gracious enough to let us park behind his home where I am now writing.
Before bedding-down in a pouring sweat in the van, we walked to the gas station and got some lemonade and talked to many people as we always do. People who had seen and spoke to us in the previous days were among them. As we don't travel fast some enjoy keeping up, and checking in on our walk.
Now the sun is up and I will prepare for the day. I do not expect to get as far as Sunday considering traffic and heat. Today we will start later and surely find a shady spot. during the hottest afternoon hours.
(Note to self: don't sleep on hat.)