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January 27: Marion, VA to Burns, TN

What a long day! Another car-related challenge - a shimmy/wobble in the front of the car making us fear for our lives on the highway, which we already do with all the damned tractor trailor trucks. So...we spent much of the morning getting the problem diagnosed and fixed. We feel much safer now!


On the bright side, we woke to a quiet setting at Hungry Mother State Park, the sound of the brook slipping by and the wind in the trees. We ate a modest breakfast of hot beverages (using our nifty induction burner for the first time) along with homemade jam bars, Anzacs, and bananas. We converted the car back to its driving mode, stashing sleeping bags, mattresses and all the rest of our worldly goods in the back of the car. Not wanting to take the time to shower in what no doubt would have been a ch-chilly shower stall, I used the bathroom sink, thrilled to have hot water running from the faucet to stick my head under. It would be a good hair day for me. : )


We always forget how grueling it is to get to where we want to be - namely, the desert southwest. There's just so much highway and traffic and soul-less development along the way. A sampling of signs we saw today along the highway that told us we were no longer in the liberal bubble of Western Massachusetts:


GUN EXPRESS USA PRAISE JESUS

MAN TOYS (with a photo of a gun)

FxCK BIDEN


We rolled into Montgomery Bell State Park in the dark - around 8 pm. Less than ideal. Surprisingly, there was a ranger on duty and he asssigned us a site, since it was pitch black and neither of us had any interest in driving around the campsite to choose one. We got a sad little gravel-y site on a bit of a slope. But there was an electric hook-up, so we could charge the car and heat water in the morning. We proceeded to set up the tent, with Mary in a bad mood due to fatigue and frustration.


Our sad, little gravely site worked out okay in the end. Mary rockied a punk hairdo in the morning, thanks to tent-camping!


With the tent pitched, we walked the dogs, used the bathrooms and dove into our sleeping bags - and were out like lights. I woke before light the next morning to the songs of owls asking "who cooks for you?" All fatigue was gone and with the owls' songs, I sprung out of bed and headed to the shower early, avoiding all other humans. Glen, too, hit the shower as I packed up the car.


We hit the road by 8:30 - excellent!


We walked along this creek that flows along the back of the campground, discovering sycamores and sweet gum trees. It was a pretty sight indeed.


Apparently we were on a flight path at the park, though we were not bothered by airplane noise. Where is everyone flying to?



Miles to destination: 284

Forecast: High of 52 / Low of 50

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