The Alabama Road Walk – Part 4

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

We ate the complimentary breakfast, packed up, then met Chris downstairs. We had met him at the potluck on Flagg Mountain and he offered to take us to get resupply once we reached Montgomery.

On the way to Winn Dixie, Chris told us how he had recently had a cancerous growth removed from his torso that weighed ~15 lbs. This was his second time kicking cancer’s butt. He wasn’t just a survivor, he is a veteran who used to work at a high adrenaline job in the E.R. He would help 2-3 gun shot victims a day, on top of burn victims and people involved in car accidents. That job was far more stressful than his current one at the V.A. (Veteran’s Affairs) which he said was more or less like urgent care. I asked him if he missed the excitement of his last job.

“Sometimes. I really miss the team work. Everyone worked together. That’s not the case at the V.A.” He told us that there were a lot of government workers that had been there a while who seemed to avoid helping patients and their co-workers. It wasn’t all bad though. He shared that some co-workers exchanged paid leave with him when he was first dealing with his cancer treatment.

We talked about paying it forward, and Chris displayed his kindness further. A guy leaning against a car on the side of the road with a gas can by his feet waved us down, asking for help. Chris and Frisbee gave him a few bucks. He might have been hustling, but if he actually needed help, it was a start.

“At the very least we bought him a beer,” Chris joked.

He told us his plans of hiking a section of the Pinhoti Trail with his two young sons once his health was stabilized, and was curious about our resupply.

We were incredibly grateful for Chris’s help, but now it was time to end the car ride and start to walk. Frisbee was dealing with a spider bite and back pain while I had a bruised ankle and was losing toenails, but we’d have to push through the pain to get out of Montgomery. A lot of people warned us of West Montgomery, and so we kept anticipating riff raff. All we came across were pretty Victorian-style homes followed by a short stretch that was a little down-and-out, and everyone seemed friendly. I guess being from the Baltimore area and seeing some truly poverty-stricken and crime-ridden neighborhoods, this one didn’t make me feel uneasy.

We took Route 331 out of the city, and were surprised how the city just ended and switched abruptly to rural scenery.

When we got to Snowdoun, we got some pizza at Z-Mart before continuing along Butler Mill Road. We saw a lot of dogs, goats, horses, and cows as we walked by farmland and residential neighborhoods. We debated stopping at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, but it was still daylight. I decided to fight through the severe foot pain I was experiencing to go further.

We saw a nice sunset and I was getting mad at myself. I should have called it at the last church. There wasn’t anywhere to stop.

Suddenly we approached a cemetery with what appeared to be a church. There was no sign, but Frisbee said it appeared to be one room, or in other words, not a residence. Once a car passed by, we ran to the bordering forest and tucked behind some bamboo.

Once again, we’d experience an angry deer who was mad that we were trespassing on his territory. We also listened to the dogs barking, cows mooing, and coyotes howling. I struggled to sleep and ended up watching the moon move across the sky, then disappear as I dozed in and out of consciousness.

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