A lot can change in a couple of days!
Since my last post we left Elizabethton, TN, did laundry at a laundromat (talked to a kind Reverend there who, without being asked, gave us a small donation to help us out), then hiked 10 miles, got a ride from an older religious man, hiked another 8 miles, and finally got a ride the rest of the way to Greeneville, TN from a nice lady who's husband is also a hiker. We holed up in a cheap hotel room for the night there.
The next day we hiked another 12 or so miles before reaching a gas station in Mosheim, TN where the Greyhound bus makes a once a day appearance to pick up people who want to purchase tickets at the Knoxville, TN station. Not having much luck outrunning the cold snap bearing down on the state we opted to hop on the bus (waiting over 5 hours at the gas station for it to arrive...thankfully we had a lot of nice people to talk to during that time...the gas station attendant, an older gentleman, and a nice lady who gave us a few dollars to help us out, to mention a few) and purchased one-way tickets from Knoxville to Dallas, TX. The bus left at 12:15am EST in the morning and we finally arrived here at 5:15pm CST today (or yesterday by the time I finish this post).
I'm not sure which is worse...walking miles upon miles with 30+ pounds on my back or being cramped on a bus, trying to sleep in uncomfortable positions while being woken up every hour at various stops for the duration of an 18 hour trip.
To top things off we ended up in a crappy part of town (south Dallas, TX in the DeSoto area) where everyone we've come in contact with has told us that this is no place to be walking around. Unfortunately our current destination goal (Austin, TX) means we HAVE to walk through it...unless we are able to catch a quick ride out of here.
When we get to Austin, TX we intend on picking up a few side jobs to replenish our funds, which are getting on the low side given our bus fare to get down here. Hopefully within a reasonable amount of time we are able to do so and our plan is to at some point purchase a cheap mini-van so we can drive to various locations we want to see and THEN hike as opposed to doing the whole thing on foot. It's seeming that the way we are doing things now is hurting our ability to do that so we're taking it as a lesson learned and making the necessary adjustments to our plans.
I am not sure what the morning will bring but so far it seems that when things seem bleak and without chance of getting better it turns around and works out the way it's supposed to in the end. We have had to put a lot of faith in that with each passing day but so far we have not been let down!
Tonight we are in a decent hotel room at a more than reasonable rate thanks to a trucker we met at a local waffle house while getting coffee and trying to figure out our next course of action.