Thursday, November 26, 2015

The GNJR Day Two: Tears in my Chicken

The pole barn at Seldom Seen
I woke around 6:30 Friday morning to a cold house and an empty stomach. I had ferried some supplies out here Monday afternoon, and now I made my way downstairs to devour part of them and the others I would later load into my pack. I fixed breakfast, two sliced bananas mixed with a can of sardines in oil, and no I did not drain the oil but sopped it all up with the bananas. I then ate a Moon Pie and washed the dishes I used before going upstairs to get ready for the morning's launch. 

The first thing I did was work on my feet, applying tape, duct and kenisio, to critical areas. Then I begin to dress a little at a time. There was in no hurry since I was waiting for the sun to warm things some before I left. I wore my tights for the first time on the trip and put a couple of more layers on up top. I loaded the thirty-two ounces of Gatorade into my pack's hydration bladder and packed the extra Gu gels, Moon Pies, and protein bars I had stashed here for the remainder of the trip. That added probably three pounds to my load. Not good. That was one of the problems I had in 2013: my pack was way too heavy. Although I did not weigh my pack then, I did weigh it Thursday before I left: 11.4 pounds. Not too bad for a five day run. But now it was heavier. My appetite should remedy that, however.

I waited a while longer for the weather to warm, and then left Seldom Seen at a quarter till eight, on my journey for Winona. After making it to McCarley Road, I walked the first long hill leaving Wilson's place and then began my first run of the day going down the other side. I could tell right away it was going to be a tough day. My legs were spent from the start, and things would only get worse as the day progressed.

Fortunately, McCarley was much closer than I thought, and after only four miles, I was downtown, such as downtown is. Although my body felt bad, my brain felt good that I had reached the scene of my 2013 surrender when I was forced to take a ride back to Greenwood, unable to continue my journey. This time I was still in the game. I took a few photos and then headed onto the gravel road that leads eastward out of town.

Those roads between McCarley and Winona were the best ones I encountered on the whole trip. They are almost uninhabited, pretty flat with a hill thrown in here and there, and for several miles one follows the old abandoned C&G Railway line. This was only the second time I had been through here, the only other time being in my truck while scouting out a route to keep me off Highway 82.

One of the neat roads beside the
old C&G Railroad.

I saw precious little wildlife, but I did feel the solace of the silent woods as I wondered the road-trails among the trees which were awash with their fall colors. As the morning wore on, however, I became weary, very weary, maybe a result of a less than stellar night's sleep, or possibly the consequence of a lack of coffee. I normally drink a quart of the liquid bean per day. Seldom Seen had a coffee maker, filters, and coffee, but I didn't want to open a package of someone else's bean so I went without. I should have taken some out there with my groceries.

Two and a half hours into the morning, I checked my Garmin to discover I was walking along at 25:00 minutes per mile! That's grocery shopping pace, but it was all I could do. My feet were sore, my legs were dead, and my energy was low. A nap was all I wanted, fantasized about. 

I found a place in the road where the shade hit and some leaves lay making me think cars rarely rode over that spot. A good place to sleep, I thought, so I stopped and began to take off my pack. Then I had a faint inkling of how stupid it would appear to anyone who heard of me getting run over because I was asleep on the road. 

I should have opened that coffee.

I continued on for what seemed like days but in reality was only hours. Finally, I came to the paved road that runs parallel to I 55 and only a little ways north of Highway 82. I was at Winona. I checked my watch. It was only 1:30, too early to check into a motel. I made my way across 82 to Kentucky Fried Chicken where I ordered a three piece meal. The chicken, I surmised, would give me plenty of protein to repair my damaged muscles.

I sat down with my food and the profundity of my fatigue overwhelmed me. I thought about my great-grandfather who walked from Utah to Louisville, Mississippi when he was but a boy. He was a better man than I when he was only twelve years old. I lowered my head and put my left hand on my forehead to cover my eyes so no one would see me cry. I tried not to drip tears onto my chicken which I devoured with relish despite my highly emotional state.

After eating, I wearily wandered next door to the Magnolia Lodge where I checked myself in. Immediately, I removed my shoes, lanced some blisters, and took a long, warm bath. I put on my night-night clothes and crawled into the bed. I was asleep within seconds.
Tears and chicken were my lunch/supper.

I woke up about two and a half hours later. It was 5:00 pm. I spent the next five hours watching TV, taking naps, and eating protein bars one half at a time. The extra protein would help my damaged muscles recover. Eating one half of one every thirty minutes would give my body the ability to uptake all the amino acids. Or so I surmised. Somewhere around 10:00 o'clock, I slipped off into a sleep from which I am sure not even an F 5 tornado could have awakened me.

Distance for the day was 11.54 miles.