“You’re going to have to detour an hour and a half around I-40 because of a rockslide,” Dan, our hostel angel warns. We opt for a scenic byway detour tucked in the Great Smokies; it runs through a vortex of disturbances. A truck doing 80 in a 55 zone passes us on the double yellow; ten minutes later, the truck is a permanent addition to a cliff. (Hope you’re okay, sir.) Shortly afterward, a crack-head pulls into a gas station behind us after running another driver into a ditch and queries us about directions with his pants unzipped. We reply with screeching tire marks. Fast forward to Asheville, North Carolina. PHEW!!!
We pause between purchasing yoga mats for each other and wandering to soak up the energy of dancers and a drum circle. A girl swooshes in tie-dye next to a purple-clad hula-hooper while a lad in tatters trips out with his eyes closed, hands swaying. Clark takes us out for Wedge Beer, Ruby Slippers jazz band and Portobello Burgers. We hear a young man playing a saw with a violin bow as we head out of town.
Driving through a myriad of confederate flags on our way to Greenville, South Carolina, we are in dire need of a life maintenance day. Sue overlooks that we are dirty hobos and makes us at home in her grand loft. We scrub our bodies and clothes, drink sangria (why are we always drinking?!) and cook stuffed peppers together. We are rejuvenated. All systems go for Georgia!