While staying at Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel in Erwin, Tennessee I asked if they had any suggestions for vegan/veggie restaurant options in town and got a hearty laugh in return. “Not in Erwin, Tennessee” is what I was told, to be exact.*
The day before getting into town (randomly while walking through Sam’s Gap, under an interstate), Half Moon and I were taking a rest and contemplating how we could hitch down the road to a diner that might be open. We were about to just keep hiking when an elderly gentleman very slowly walks up the road and says hi. He waved us over to his truck which had been parked there and pointed out how the back was loaded with cases of vegetables! Half Moon and I were laughing at how silly this was… The guy was super nice and sent us on our way with a pile of oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, and some ramps. What ever to do with a huge, raw potato? Munch on it of course. I chopped up a little into my dinner that night and snacked on the rest of it raw.
*Some internet searching shows the closest natural food stores to be in Johnson City, a bit far away. We hitched to the Pizza Hut buffet in Erwin.