The C and O Canal // Week 3 // On the Road Again, and all alone

Day 15 - Washington, D.C. to Cabin John MD // 16 miles // total: 82m                                                               Day 16 - Cabin John to Swainslock // 9 miles // total: 91m                                                                                  Day 17 - Swainslock to Horsepen // 10 miles // total: 101m                                                                                  Day 18 - Rest day                                                                                                                                                   Day 19 - Horsepen to Leesburg VA // 10 miles // total: 111m                                                                                Day 20/21 - stuck in Leesburg w/ food poisoning ;/

It’s just a few weeks in, I feel as though I have been on the road for months now, maybe lifetimes. This trail is beautiful, the weather is near perfect, my knee is recovering, and I feel…. alone. Most the people I pass are on bikes, whizzing passed at a speed to fast to care, who I am, or what I’m doing, or if there is “a baby in there”.

I stopped in Leesburg Virginia to find propane for my stove and had to ride the last privately owned ferry in the country to get there, cost 2 bucks. I stopped at a local burger joint for food and a beer and got food poisoning. My dear friend and producer Jesse got me a motel room for the night to try and get better, I ended up staying 3 nights. It felt weird and wrong and lonely. I was supposed to be walking across America but at this point I had only actually logged just over 100 miles and I was throwing up in a Best Western toilet.

Day 3 I road over the river and got back on the trail. I couldn't find fuel for my stove so I made one of those alcohol stoves from a soda can from watching a youtube video. I was stocked up and ready to walk.

00:31:15.13        Last night we stayed at the [lock tunnels].  Knee’s feeling fine.  Leg’s hurting.                        But...I’m gonna try taping my ankle. This house was pretty cool.  Kyle asked me if I believe in ghosts.  [Yawning] I only believe in ghosts if it’s dark.  I feel like I probably should not walk today.  But we have to get to the next campground ‘cause we can’t stay here another night, and that is approximately... I don’t know.  Five miles away.  I should go figure that out. I’m gonna be on this trail for 200 miles.  I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into.

Kyle met me. Kyle’s great.  Kyle and I went to high school together.  He’s the one who dances on the Grand Ole Opry that I told you about.  So he dances on the Grand Ole Opry, clogging.  And he met me in DC, and that’s when my knee was hurt.  He took me to the acupuncturist.  And the knee felt so much better after acupuncture. Then we started walking.  He was, he actually only walked with me for, like, one day, because by the time my knee was healed, and we started walking, it was pretty much time for him to go back to Nashville. Um.  But we had a lot of fun hanging out in DC, and we drank too many margaritas one night.  Um, I did some shitty shows.  I did the one good show.   And when we left DC, that was like a new moment.  That was the first moment.  That — ‘cause from Delaware to, to DC, was road walking.  And Delaware’s really nice.  It’s like, a lot of country roads. And when I left through Georgetown was on the C&O canal, and that was it.  Like, “Okay, I’m on this canal now for hundreds of miles.” I think it’s like 200 miles long. Um.  And thinking — I mean, it was kind of the perfect way to start off my trip, because thinking about it now, that was so easy.  I had a place to stay every night ‘cause there were camp, like, hiker-biker campsites along the whole route.I didn’t have to deal with traffic.  You know, I didn’t have to deal with where I was gonna stay.  I didn’t have to deal with, where I’m gonna get water, ‘cause there were water stops all along the way.  But yet, somehow, it was the hardest time for me.  You know, but from the actual act of the walking and the safety element and all those things, it was definitely some of the, the best times. But it was, ‘cause I was alone.  I was really disconnected from anyone else, because, you kn-, when I do road-walking, people stop me.  Or I end up staying with people, you know.  You're around people.  And, um, on the canal, the only people you pass are maybe like a biker or some frigid old lady who’s like walking her dog or something.  And you're just the weirdo with the cart.   So I think that was a moment of reflection, I guess.