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Mobile Meals

May 30, 2013

Tennessee – Monday, May 20

I had stayed at the same place in the Knoxville area for the last couple of nights, and I was listening to the news on TV one of the nights (in an effort to not be totally ignorant of what is going on in the world – but I think that effort is only semi-successful!), and there was a plea for help for the Mobile Meals programs for the senior citizens in the Knoxville area. I went to their website and read a bit about them. Over 60% of their clients are in their 80s, and they also have many people who are in their 90s! There are other requirements the people must meet to be eligible for the program, but the bottom line is that it helps many of these people stay in their own homes longer, where they’re the most comfortable. And it gives them a dose of daily human contact too, which is helpful. (When my aunt in South Dakota fell and broke her hip last November, it was a Meals on Wheels person who found her). So I have always liked the meal programs for the older generation, and I was happy to mail them my donation-of-the-day.

Today is my last day in Tennessee, so I packed up and headed north out of Knoxville. Since I had done a little extra walking both Saturday and Sunday, I only needed about 5 1/2 miles to finish off my 56 miles in Tennessee. And I drove up to the Norris Dam State Park to do my walking. There was a big reservoir and I drove across the dam itself – water was only trickling out of the reservoir today. There were several school groups on field trips, but the park was big and I barely saw them. I walked across the dam first, then walked on the pretty 2 mile Songbird Trail down along the river itself. It was very peaceful and shady. There were numerous signs warning if the sirens go off to seek higher ground – I’m guessing that happens when they release a bunch of water. And then the sirens did go off a couple times, but people seemed to ignore it. I asked one local couple about it, and they just said the sirens might have been some sort of signal if some fishing boats were getting a little too close, and nothing seemed to happen. Then I crossed back over the dam, and found the 3.2 mile River Bluff Trail. That was a trail with a lot of climbing up and down hills – I could see the river part of the time, and then the trail moved up into the mountains. Everything was green and leafy and I saw some strange looking colorful caterpillar-type things, and it was a pretty trail to hike to finish off my Tennessee walking.

So, with my walking all done, and all 7 donations given (Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Graceworks, Support our Troops Foundation, Nashville Rescue Mission, Smoky Mt National Park, Bridgemont Camp, and Mobile Meals), I was ready to get in the van and drive out of Tennessee, and into State #34. I’ve been to all the eastern states now, and was using the state of Tennessee as my “gateway” state to the midwest and beyond. At this point in time, Ohio is now the easternmost state to tackle, so I pointed the van north, drove out of Tennessee, through Kentucky, and stopped right at the Kentucky/Ohio border so I can begin State #34 first thing in the morning!

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