Guns N’ Toasteds – 19 May

Let me be honest, today was (physically) a horrible day.

I got up with lots of energy looking forward to the day, completely forgetting that during the last few kilometres of yesterday I picked up a problem underneath one toe. As soon as I started walking it says hi-there-remember-me….

Trevor wore a new pair of socks which didn’t work with his new shoes so his feet were giving him hell too.

We pushed for 34/35km again today, to enable us to arrive in Pearisburg tomorrow by mid-afternoon (re-supplying and laundry run). Sore feet, an extremely hot day, 1350m ascent and 35km – you can see this wasn’t going to be fun.

In Virginia (it seems) the trail crosses roads almost every day and at every crossing (it seems 😀) is a “general store & Deli” within a mile of the trail head. And you know by now, if there is a place selling cold drink then Trevor wants to go there.

I thought today would be different – that with Trevor’s sore feet he would rather just push on. Wrong – his feet were sore and he was thirsty and all he wanted was to sit and drink a few Fantas with his boots off at the General Store…even though we had to walk 800m down to the store (and later 800m back to the trail).

Today’s store (“Trents”) was tripple the size of yesterday’s with 6 times more stock and much more reasonable prices. The shopkeeper’s very young, very pretty daughter made our toasted cheese sarmies (toast the bread then slap a slice of processed cheese and a slice of tomato between the 2 pieces of toast and voila: you have a Toasted Cheese…..)

But that wasn’t the most surprising aspect of the store. You could, on top of buying a Fanta, a packet of Lays chips, a KitKat and a Toasted Cheese, also buy a gun at the General Dealer…..????!!!!!

This is NOT a joke, as you walk into the store there is a stand-up black board with 2 Bible verses written on it, against the one wall of the store you have the till counter and kitchen section, against another wall you get the cold drink fridges, against the store front you get tables and chairs for those ordering food from the Deli, and then you have rifles hung against the fourth wall and a cabinet with pistols and revolvers and knives in front of the rifles!

We did spend an hour there doing some very interesting people watching. The store keeper (she must be 35) called me sweetheart (or sometimes baby). Some of the guys dropping in looked quite rough. As if they were there for the guns, not the Fanta. But then there was Junior – who must be 90yrs old, who wore beige pants and a blue collared shirt, an expensive watch and a dress ring and chatted to Trevor about the trail for quite long. And the guy who pulled in on his motorbike with a small plate under his number plate saying (sorry Mom) “show me your tits”.

Small town America is an interesting place

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