I’ve spent lots of my life waiting for my dad. We could never leave church until he talked to everyone in the lobby. If he had to retrieve me from any event, I was always the forlorn child, the one whose parent forgot her.

Yesterday, I heaved up to mile marker 135 on the Natchez Trace. I’d passed him a mile back.

In the car.

Talking on the phone.

“Damn,” I muttered to myself. “If he’s distracted by the phone, he’s going to forget to pick me up.”

Now, let me digress for a minute. I’ve been at this 15-miles-a-day walking thing for double digit days. The last two miles are an excruciating slog to the finish. Every. Single. Day. It doesn’t get easier. Time stops when I can sense the finish line.


I arrived at my mile post.

And, I waited.

And waited.

And stretched.

And waited.

And cursed.

And waited.

Finally, I stood on the side of the Natchez Trace Parkway and cried. It was like I was nine again. That forgotten schoolgirl. The last person my father ever wanted to talk with or pay attention to.


Click here to see the best photos from Day Ten of my Natchez Trace walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr


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