DAY 3 June 25, 2021 FROM: Lafayette, GA to Iron city, TN MILES: 251 HOURS: 9:21 Woke up at 4am for some reason and thought, “hell yes, I’m going to get a super early start and murder today.” I made a cup of Aeropress coffee and held off my urges to jump in the Jacuzzi and ate a fig bar. Then I goofed off for three hours and left at 7. No clue what happened there. I’d found a possible sleep spot last night called David Crocket campground. When I went on the site though it said full. I figured I’d head that way anyway and beg them to let me pitch a tent behind a dumpster or something. I couldn’t come up with anything else. I figured I’d try to call them on the road somewhere. It took about 20 minutes to get back on the TAT and I didn’t get on where I got off so I think I missed a section. I stopped for about 10 minutes at the intersection of that TAT to make quintuple sure that I was getting on headed the right way. I stopped again in 30 minutes to make damn sure. Jesus. I’ll never let myself live that down. Turns out - I could have made it to Jasper last night no problem. There was no dirt (that I can remember) between Lafayette and there. Could have gotten another hour or two in. Oh well. I stopped in Jasper and filled up with gas and then got pre-made grocery store salad for second breakfast at about 9a. It was nice to have something that wasn’t processed for a change. Somewhere before the Tennessee River I came to a spot where there was this weird thing in the GPS where it went through what seemed like a neighborhood and then right back to where I was. Maybe a mile. I skipped it. Ten minutes later it occurred to me that this may have been a test. Maybe Sam put a box on a post on that little stretch with a TAT logo on it. And if you opened the box, you’d find a golden ticket that said, “You have proven your mettle. Due to your steadfast loyalty to Sam’s vision, you have earned the inheritance to all of Sam’s TAT kingdom.” I figured there’s be a QR code you could scan to get instructions on how to collect your inheritance. I’m positive that’s what the deal was there. I hope the next person passing through will check for me. And split the inheritance if I’m right. The riding was so different today. Where yesterday was all dirt all the time, today was country road after country road mixed with some sprinkles of mellow dirt for good measure. It was gorgeous farmland for miles and miles and miles. Really nice riding. I needed some pavement after yesterday. I stopped for a fig bar lunch in the middle of some dirt road. I saw a billion deer and huge birds along the way. I popped my first wheelie on the CT125 I got through to the campground and as expected, they were full. Shit. Finding a place to sleep is going to be the bane of my existence on this trip unless I figure it out. Johnny Pow sent me a text that if I needed help to let him know. I let him know! He came up with the same David Crocket campground I’d looked at. But then he found Sycamore Campground & Taco Shack. That sounded promising right way. He said it looked “hemp friendly.” I tried calling them but got nothing but a busy signal. It was about 15 minutes off the TAT on 242 so I figured I’d give it a try. Not a ton of action to report for the day. I just rode and rode and rode. I think I got to the campground at around 3:30p or so. I immediately texted Johnny Pow, “You’re a genius.” What a great spot. The guys welcomed me and showed me around and I set up camp. I went down to the river and sat there for awhile doing nothing. Then it occurred to me that they might sell cold beer. Which I’m drinking right now in their air conditioned restaurant/bar/entertainment spot. I also had an incredible veggie taco. So glad I didn’t have to deal with the ostrich stomach gruel tonight. No service here so not sure how I’ll upload this. It’s on my laptop because I can’t type more than a line on my phone at a time.That’s about it. I’m psyched to be camping and I hope I can figure out how to keep finding a spot each night (without driving Johnny Pow crazy). I think there are some big water crossing tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them - unless I go in. Then I’m not. Pow texted that I needed to get a drone shot of the big one. If I fly the drone - there is no doubt in my mind I’ll go in. No doubt at all. So we’ll see.