Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stem, NC: I Heart the South

Miles since last blog: 27.4

Well, I didn't make it as far as I had hoped today. In fact, Free had already set up the tent ahead, but who can resist hospitality like this. My experience with the South so far has been tremendous, although I did hear a story about a guy having a gun pulled on him for driving a Chevy today. Nevertheless, I love the South so far in no small part to it's people. I don't know if hill people still exist, but the rest are just so nice.

Frequently people stop to talk to me and tell me I'm inspirational, the news is picking up the story everywhere we go now and tonight I have a roof over my head again, thanks to the charity of some great local people. The short version is, i stopped at a market to buy myself some dinner and just then a guy recognized me from walking in a town up the road (which is usually why people start to talk to me), free pulled up to meet me and so did a police officer. It seems someone had called about "a guy pushing something." Well, all the excitement brought people out of their houses and one of them, Ben, offered us dinner. Another gave us batteries and a toothbrush for free.

We came over and ate, I had homemade wine which was very tasty and we talked for a few hours. Eventually, it was about time to go and I was having a hard time getting moving (from 240 miles in 8 days or two big glasses of wine, i don't know), they offered us a place to stay. Free went back to camp which is about 5 miles off, but I couldn't resist a bed, shower and breakfast.

So tomorrow is extra long, this is an experience I'll treasure for a while. It is nice to meet people who are so openly, and more importantly, genuinely friendly. Often in other places I feel like politeness is a cultural habit or obligation, here it is a part of the people I have met. Truly, I am not sure why what I am doing has meaning, but it seems to, and I feel more human for the experience.

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