TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010
Spent a VERY muggy night suffering in our tent. NO breeze, and I understand the low for the night only reached around 85 degrees.
We were grateful for the place under the tree in front of the Methodist Church here in Cayce, and got up with the sun around 5:30 saw that we wouldn’t startle anyone.
Earline mentioned how she was really CRAVING a cup of coffee.
I discovered what happens when you roll up your glasses in the tent!
We left a thank-you note in the church door, and headed west towards Hickman, Kentucky about 7:00am. We had gone 2 BLOCKS, when what did we find but a CAFE….open for breakfast…..with COFFEE!! (Earline says “Thank You, God!!!)
Inside there was a group of about 8 men sitting around a table. I introduced myself, and asked if any of them were members of the Methodist Church. 2 of them were. They hadn’t seen us camped out, but I told them we left a thank-you note!
I handed out quarter page flyers to them, and explained a little about our Mission Possible Tour.
It is HIGHLY recommended that if you are in the area that you stop for breakfast. Excellent food, great prices, and some of the BEST French Toast I have ever had. Truly GREAT!!
THEN, as we were eating, one of the men from the table came over and introduced himself…..his name was Darrell Powell, and he was part of a construction team that goes every year to do construction work for the Deaf in Puerto Rico!!
Apparently the Deaf are very ostracized in Puerto Rico….they can’t get any government assistance, and are generally shunned and labeled as “undesirables” by the rest of their society. Kudos to Darrell and his wife for the wonderful work they are doing for the Deaf!
After we had gone a few miles, the road to Hickman widened……we LOVE roads like this!!!!
Once we arrived in Hickman, Charlotte Smith of the local paper, The Hickman Courier, stopped us to get a picture and our story. Here’s Charlotte:
[Does anybody know if we made it in THIS paper? I wonder….]
While we sitting there talking to Charlotte, a gentleman from Coy’s Place across the street brought us some cold Gatorade…..THANK YOU!!
The bluff overlooking the river valley is pretty impressive, but the view wouldn’t have been possible without some aggressive bluff stabilization work. Great ingenuity!
As we traveled through Hickman, there is like a lower and an upper part of the town. The upper part seemed to have more modern, newer stores and businesses. Some of the lower parts of the town reminded me, though, of Cairo, IL, and they had one area down by the Post Office roped off for demolition.
You can see a flood gate in the back center part of this picture. In bad flood years the Mississippi has apparently been up near the top of this flood wall. Here you can see a barge just over the top of the flood wall.
MOST of these little towns have been hit hard by the economy these past years. I think the economic impact of the 9-11 hit us deeper than we realize. And the ever-growing lack of support, with increased taxes and regulations from the state and nation’s capitals has combined to drive a lot of businesses OUT of business.
We see it just about every day.
Here another part of the town in the lower section.
We finally found the Post Office, and stopped in to get a package of tire supplies that Mark Power from Power On Cycling in Riverview, Florida sent to us. Post Offices WILL hold mail for you that is sent General Delivery for up to 10 days.
That’s good news! Here is the Post Office where I picked up the package.
The BAD news is, it is hard to know what the topography of the Post Office might be. Here is a HUGE hill to the left of the Post Office that I now must go up. [By the way, Earline wisely decided to NOT come back down this hill, after just going up it a few blocks earlier….HA!]
ACTUALLY, the 2-dimensional photo above of the hill doesn’t do the hill justice, because I am at a lower angle taking the picture looking up, and the hill appears kinda flat, which was NOT the case. Let me distort the photo a little to give you a more true idea of what the hill REALLY looked like:
Now THAT’s more like it REALLY was!
We stopped at a convenience store on the way out of town, and again talked with several locals about our Mission Possible Tour. This is a scene that has been repeated day in and day out throughout the trip:
It is SO hot again today….we saw more dried-up cornfields:
What is so weird is to see this condition of the fields, and it is NOT THAT FAR SOUTH of where we saw FLOODED fields just north of St. Louis.
We were out in the middle of the fields, with no shade to speak of:
Ran across the state line sign out in the middle of one of those fields. State #7! (little different conditions than the LAST state boundary crossing, huh??!!) (Could someone please straighten out the sign?……thank you.)
By 1:00pm, because of the heat, we decided to hunker down under some shade we found, and waited there for about 4 hours. So what did we do with our time in the shade out in the middle of nowhere?
Take a look:
We eventually headed back into the Tennessee heat….it felt like an oven! (We learned later that day that the actual temperature reached 105 that day!):
A dad and a little girl named Leia with a cool camera stopped us on the road to take our picture:
As you can see in the picture on the left in back, an officer also stopped us and asked if we needed any help. His name was Eric from the Obion County Police Dept., and he graciously offered to escort us almost TEN MILES into the town of Samburg, Tennessee…..wow! Thanks! Here’s Officer Eric behind us:
Finally got to Samburg, and Reelfoot Lake, and had a nice evening meal lakeside at the Pier Restaurant…..what a relief to be in some air conditioning! We talked with some parents in the restaurant who were teaching their young children sign language. We offered them some resources and encouragement. You can do it!
By now it was dark, and the man at the motel across the street offered us a room at a discount. We are MOST grateful! Thank you, Jesus!