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I Go Out Walking

natchez trace

As I prepare to go out walking, I owe thanks to a few people who have helped me put together an ambitious month-long trek through the middle of Nowhere. They’re all worth getting to know.

It’s a bitch to try to plan a trip with Roy, especially when I’m staring down the barrel of sharing a room with him and his lover, I mean, his Sleep Apnea Machine.

Not to mention his gas.

Randy Fought at Natchez Trace Travel has the patience of a dozen saints. He reviewed my itinerary and, rather than rub his hands together and take my money, he actually helped me pick better locations than I would’ve on my own. He even booked rooms along the Trace with properties he doesn’t represent, all in an effort to make my journey less stressful.

Somehow, he got the whole Dad thing. When I emailed him for the hundredth time with questions like, “Will there be somewhere for me to wash Dad’s crusty underwear???”, he always responded with a cheerful ‘yes.’

He didn’t pay me to plug Natchez Trace Travel. Still, I can say I’ve planned three separate trips with Randy (two for book research and my big, fat, crazy walk), and I can’t imagine spending a night on the Trace any other way. He knows everything about the Natchez Trace, and he makes sure his clients are prepared to enjoy the trip of a lifetime, whether on bikes, on horseback, in a car or on foot.

I still can’t believe I begin to enjoy this trip on Wednesday. That’s the day Alice and I drive to Florence to pick up Roy. We head out Thursday morning in his Old Man Car. Destination: Mississippi.

The three of us. On a real adventure. On the Natchez Trace.

Visit Natchez Trace Travel here:Β http://www.natcheztracetravel.com/

74 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh, don’t you DARE hook up that machine so it runs on Roy’s gas. You know he’ll start hallucinating again and it’s ALWAYS this:

    February 24, 2014
  2. Well, you’ve certainly done all the preparation. I’ve been trying to work out encouraging things to say, but the sentiments expressed in “Have a good walk” or “Have a good walk in the wilderness with your Dad whilst washing his pants” don’t seem to do it. So, Bon Courage:)

    February 24, 2014
    • French is always appropriate, Roger. Thanks for the well wishes.

      February 24, 2014
  3. I love how prepared you are. I think you’re good to go. Even with the sleepanator by your side in the evenings, you should have excellent rest because of your exhausted state. Still. May I suggest earplugs?

    February 24, 2014
    • I bought the biggest pack of earplugs I could find, with the highest noise reduction factor. Way ahead of you there, Jessie. πŸ™‚

      February 24, 2014
      • Have a great walk, Andra. As someone who sleeps with a snorer, I recommend Hearos. They are blue and are rated 33.

        Hugs from Ecuador,
        Kathy

        February 24, 2014
  4. Crusty underwear? There you go, weapon for self defense : found. “Step back, I have crusty underwear and I’m not afraid to use it!” πŸ™‚ Enjoy your trek.

    February 24, 2014
    • OMG, too funny… Yes, I think most people would flee at a high rate of speed. LOL

      February 24, 2014
    • That just might be the ticket, Joanna. Ha.

      February 24, 2014
  5. You always manage to give wonderful images (crusty underwear) that I can think about all day long. Thanks! πŸ˜‰

    February 24, 2014
  6. The drones are on high alert and prepared to defend your honor.

    February 24, 2014
  7. I’m so excited for you. It’s going to be a great adventure πŸ™‚

    February 24, 2014
  8. I dreamed of you last night. And my brain was coming up with all manner of strategies to promote the book on Day 1 of the walk. I’m excited/delighted/determined to see you get the cred you deserve/earned for this book.

    Go ANDRA! and Roy and Alice.

    February 24, 2014
    • I’ll let you know what Rowe is planning after we have our phone con tomorrow. That way, you’ll know what to look for. πŸ™‚

      February 24, 2014
  9. This is one for the history books, Andra! I hope you have newspaper interviews lined up too! Good luck to you!!!

    February 24, 2014
    • Rowe’s working on that angle, yes. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Linda.

      February 24, 2014
  10. Again . . . I am inspired. Walk on, intrepid Andra!

    February 24, 2014
  11. Let the adventure begin!! Walk on, indeed, but none of that “after midnight out in the moonlight” stuff! πŸ™‚

    February 24, 2014
  12. Have never really used travel agents. Hmmm. maybe I should give it a try sometime. Cool that you have a knowledgeable person to turn to.

    Is he like the Allstate insurance agents that when you sing the song he will magically appear wherever you are to help out?

    February 24, 2014
  13. I’m so excited for your adventure! Maybe Randy will return the favor and keep copies of your book available for his clients. πŸ™‚

    February 24, 2014
    • He’s doing several things for me, promotion-wise. And he wrote a great review of the book.

      February 24, 2014
  14. I’m feeling so nervous and excited for you! Can’t believe it’s really this week. Will you be taking us readers (fans) with you on the Trace? I don’t want to miss a thing!

    February 24, 2014
    • Yep. That’s part of the plan, Maria. To show you different places and give a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of the novel.

      February 24, 2014
      • Ok then. I’ve got my ugly CROCS all sharpened and my water bottle filled with gin. I’m ready!

        February 24, 2014
      • I’m going to need a water bottle filled with gin. Ha. Would that count as an open container on a long walk???

        February 24, 2014
  15. I hope you enjoy your hike as much as I’m enjoying your book.

    February 24, 2014
  16. tarakianwarrior #

    I’m thinking of the Pointer Sisters this morning: “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!” Although I truly love me some Patsy Cline. πŸ™‚

    You did make me gag on the Crusty Underwear, although I get the Sleep Apnea Machine since I have one – isn’t it just like white noise for you people who don’t use one but have partners that do?

    February 24, 2014
    • I could not sleep if it were not for white noise.

      February 24, 2014
    • MTM snoring is my white noise, though I’m not sure I’d call it white……..since it’s pretty loud…….

      February 24, 2014
  17. Jim Kane #

    As I started reading your post Audra, I was thinking Patsy Cline and “After Midnight!”
    Have a great trip, be safe, and looking forward to your posts of the experience

    Regards

    Jim

    February 24, 2014
  18. I would have sworn that said CRAP machine, had I not read it a second time.

    February 24, 2014
    • It is a monster unit, to go with Dad’s ancient monster hearing aids he doesn’t wear.

      February 24, 2014
  19. Carlos Ovalle #

    I once wished a safe journey to my very good friend and world traveler, a petite and rather defenseless-looking lady and MS patient, as she was headed out on a long journey. To which she replied with a smile, “Safe is sorry”.
    Have a great adventure Andra!

    February 24, 2014
  20. It wasn’t that long ago that I knew very little about the Natchez Trace, Andra. Now, I know much more thanks to you, and am about to venture even further down the trail with your book, which is now in my possession, and your upcoming stroll down the Trace.
    Great song, and great link.

    February 24, 2014
    • One of the things I hope to accomplish was education about the Trace, Penny. It’s a jewel, and it’s ours, and so few people seem to know about it.

      February 24, 2014
  21. he sounds like a gem, just the kind of resource you need for these adventures. it’s so close now, i’ll bet you can smell it )

    February 24, 2014
    • I have too many things to do to smell much right now. ha.

      February 24, 2014
  22. I am so excited for you and the great adventure. πŸ™‚ this is the sort of thing memories are made of. I know that you and Roy will have a grand ole time. Be safe and enjoy. I will say a prayer or two for you. Hugs

    February 24, 2014
    • I don’t know about grand old time. I just got off the phone with him, and in the midst of everything I have to do to get ready, all he can think about is whether I’m going to get his taxes done………….

      February 24, 2014
  23. I can’t say more than to add my voice to all the others to wish you the trip of lifetime–with your dad, too, and his lover. It’s an amazing opportunity and journey, and I just think everything about this trip is steeped in something very special. I will be thinking of you all along the way, my friend. I expect you will encounter many “voices” along the Trace that will inspire you to keep going. ox

    February 24, 2014
    • I hope lots of things will inspire me to keep going. I’m going to need all the inspiration I can get. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your lovely review, Debra, and for your encouragement.

      February 24, 2014
  24. Oh, I say … do enjoy the ramble, dear girl, what!

    February 24, 2014
  25. Have a Great Time!!

    February 24, 2014
  26. I’m so excited for you Andra and really happy to hear you’ve received such thoughtful help planning this trip! Believe it or not I was loading an old Patsy Cline CD into my iTunes library before clicking to open your post. πŸ™‚ Does that count as a “jinx” if we didn’t say it out loud?

    February 24, 2014
  27. You head out on Wednesday…Oh Mah Gah!!! I am so unbelievably excited for you to start this journey. You have trained hard, you have prepped to the nth degree. You are all set, Andra. Go get this!!

    February 24, 2014
    • Will do. I may call you crying when I need a pep talk. πŸ™‚

      February 24, 2014
      • Do it! I’ll channel my inner football coach. They always give the best motivational speeches!

        February 24, 2014
  28. How many times will Fats Domino’s I’m walkin’ run through your head. I would like to start a pool. Any one? Bueller?

    February 24, 2014
    • I’m going to do a whole playlist based on readers’ ideas for walking songs. You should submit this one.

      February 24, 2014
      • I’ll bet no one else will submit that one. :-0

        February 25, 2014
  29. I’m so excited for you. Such an adventure, and I can’t wait to experience the Trace though you now that I’m immersed in it myself. Ahem.

    February 24, 2014
    • I hope my walk can live up to the book. It’s sort of daunting to think about right now. πŸ™‚

      February 24, 2014
  30. Redneck Garage #

    Andrea,
    Here is one from left field…the world just got a little smaller today. I did not have to lookup your friend Chance…I’m now working on a job for him. When Chance introduced himself in a meeting this afternoon something fired in the memory cells and I mentioned your name. As we talked, the other two in the meeting wondered what in the world happened to the meeting agenda. Enjoy your hike.
    Patrick

    February 24, 2014
    • He’s still freaked out that I’ve written an existential novel. He NEVER would’ve pegged me for that, having known me since fifth grade. I won’t hold my breath that he’ll read it. Glad you’re working together.

      February 24, 2014
      • Redneck Garage #

        Chance mentioned you were his “oldest friend” and then tried to rephrase the statement to the fifth grade. We take no prisoners. Chance talked about your book and said he would most likely read it (I won’t comment on the facial language). I will hold his feet to the fire on this end. At the very least you will “sell” him a copy.

        February 24, 2014
      • I’m sure his facial language was about as animated as mine is when he tries to puff himself up with the importance of his scientific accomplishments. YAWN. Yes, you can even point him to this comment reply.

        You are a more discriminating reader. I’m confident of that. πŸ™‚

        Chance is more like my brother, and I love him dearly. I also want to throttle him regularly. I’m sure he feels the same about me.

        February 24, 2014
      • Redneck Garage #

        I think it is cool to see two people who have been friends for so long. I have one friend from elementary school too. Unfortunately he is in the same boat as I concerning our marriages. I’m just farther along in the process. Tomorrow I get the experience of going before a judge. This was not on my list of thing to accomplish in life…how in the world did I stray on to this subject? I was suppose to be ignoring this problem. Sounds like Chance is going to be fun to work with. I did have to ask him to explain several different acronyms/words beyond my present vocabulary.

        February 24, 2014

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