For those of you just tuning in, the TAT stands for Trans America Trail, a 5000 mile dirt route across the United States. From Tennessee, we'll follow the trail all the way to the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast. Follow us here as we document our adventure over the next six weeks. More info on the trail at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tennessee in the mirror

One down. We are still alive, no thanks to the heat and humidity. The rains found us again today, and we have yet to experience a day without it on the trip. If I was to be positive about it I would say that the great thing about life threatening storms while you're out camping is that they tend to cut down the humidity while the fronts converge. My recounts of Tennessee are many, namely calendar worthy lush green countryside, toothless locals, and warnings about "copperheads and pillheads". It's tough to determine with any certainty the cause of the widespread toothlessness. In my humble opinion it is either from a lack of general dentistry or rampant use of meth. It seemed worse in the eastern part of the state, nearer to Appalachia. More than once we were warned about 'pillheads', and on a trip of this magnitude it is important to take only calculated risks. The chance that a sole drug crazed fiend could bring this adventure to a screeching halt by crawling into our tent with a knife in his teeth is not something that Luke or myself have time to calculate. This is why there is a loaded gun under my pillow every night, something that Luke has grown accustomed to already.
A factor that I am, and always have been calculating is the constant threat of snakes. This area is apparently filled with copperheads, and I am happy to report that today there is one less in these woods. I looked down at the road below me, and there it was. A tail with a face. My tires went right over the face portion and ended it's horrible life. Luke heard the commotion via the helmet coms and insisted we turn around for a photo. Yes, I am afraid to get close even to a dead snake that I proudly and accidentally killed.

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