SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2010
The mosquitoes are dead and we aren’t, so we survived the night. (And we’ve agreed to use the bug bomb only when we AREN’T in the tent….ha!)
I got up around 5:15 as it was just getting light, and noticed what I had not seen last night….literally dozens of garden spiders above our heads, hanging from various support beams of the wooden poles holding up the pavilion roof. Some small, some pretty good sized.
Now spiders kind of freak me out, and I had been doing some pretty intense praying before I noticed them, dangling from their webs. My first thought was, “look at all the danger just over our heads, and how God protected us.” My next thought was, “Wait! Don’t spiders eat mosquitoes? Maybe this was a good thing!”
What I have a question about, though, is something hopefully one of YOU will be able to answer: after we packed up our things and started to leave, I rode around in the pavilion looking for the spiders to show Earline, and I could not find one!
When it gets light, or hot, do they hide? Where did they go? (Sounds like a special for “Wild Kingdom” or “Animal Planet.”)
We headed out from yet another hospitable (unbeknownest to them) church grounds.
We appreciate it!
And we always leave a thank-you note and a WiFi Pedaler flyer to let them know we were there. We also always try to leave wherever we stay “a little better” than it was when we came.
Like bending back the tumbler plate on “mom’s” guest bedroom door so the door would close easily, fixing someone else’s toilet flapper so water didn’t waste, or here, picking up the pieces of a broken glass bottle that someone had dropped on the northwest corner of the pavilion.
WIFI TIP – Resolve to leave each place better than when you found it! Good habit.
We rode past the Horseshoe Lake camping area that Bob talking about in the Bicycling Guide. It really is a pretty area.
This also gave Earline a chance to act out Psalm 91:13 (look it up):
One thing we did notice, is that there didn’t seem to be as much standing water here. Along the Mississippi, yes, because the river is so high….but a couple miles away from the river, like this Horseshoe Lake area….dry.
BARN ART alert! (This certainly must be in memory of SOME barn’s passing.)
We learned later in Cairo (pronounced like “Carol” without the “L”), that this area hasn’t had hardly any rain in nearly 2 months! We saw cornfields with browning roots and curled up leaves. What a difference a few miles makes!
We went past the National Cemetery in Mound City, and saw the gravestones of many unknown soldiers who lost their lives in defense of freedom.
They had some verses from a poem by Theodore O’Hara on plaques lining the sides of the driveway. Some of these same verses are on display at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C. Here’s one:
Also saw this interesting sign from The War Department, Adjutant General’s Office in Washington, dated September 1, 1875, that among other things stated:
“Information having been received of the desecration of soldier’s graves by picnic parties in a National Cemetery, and by vending refreshments therein, it is hereby ordered that hereafter no such practices shall be allowed….”
After we left the cemetery, we stopped to rest a minute….it is HOT!
Later, we passed by this place that was……watering logs? Whatever for? Anybody have any ideas about this?
We finally made it into Cairo….(pause for photo-op)…southernmost town in Illinois….
….through a tunnel under an overhead road….[hmmm….looks a little unkept]
….and headed for what we were TOLD were 2 great bar-b-que places. Stopped at Mac’s on the north side….and left. The “spirit’ of the place just did not seem right….and it was empty….not a good sign. They only had pork, so Earline begged hypertension and we left gracefully. (They did let us get some ice water, so thank you, Mack’s!)
Then we stopped by a sign that said Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and met a member who recommended Schemmwell’s. Here’s 2 sistas in the Lord:
Cairo is a very depressing place. One of locals gave us some history….what had been a bustling town of 28,000 is now barely 2,000. We saw many boarded up homes, broken-windowed buildings.
Apparently racial tension was a large factor.
And then there was a mayor who put them millions of dollars in debt which they haven’t recovered from. We were told even the POLICE CARS were repossessed.
We saw one 2-story building burning, gutted out, with yellow police tape around it, and smoke STILL coming from rubble in the center of the ash pile. (I should have gotten some pictures of this, but I was so shocked at the…..the devastation, that I was kind of embarrassed to take a picture of this mess.
We did stop at Schemmwells, and got some sliced bar-b-qued beef….
…Earline and I didn’t want to eat too heavy because of our triking, so we split an entree and each got two sides. It was….how shall I say it….very disappointing.
The place wasn’t much bigger than a Waffle House. There were only 4 customers in there when we got there, and 1 when we left (granted, it was 3 in the afternoon).
But the spirit of excellence was lost somewhere. Our server was pleasant enough, but we had to request her to come clear off the table. When the phone rang, she seemed upset that it was ringing, and that she had to answer it.
The portions were served on styrofoam, and were minuscule. Each of us got a half slice of bread with 2 little strips of beef on it. Together the sandwiches would have barely made a kid’s meal at Subway, and this meal cost us over 9 dollars. (and we drank only water.)
Say something nice!……..okay, well, the sweet sauce they gave me in a bottle was good.
I think the spirit of the town has put a damper on everything here, though.
Pray for them….Cairo, Illinois.
Since we had no T-Mobile phone service in town, we called the local police and asked for police escort across the bridge. (Apparently someone from FLORIDA donated them some cars.) They seemed reluctant, but agreed to help us.
We headed down to the very southern tip of Illinois. The bridge to the right went to Missouri, the bridge (our bridge) to the left went to Kentucky.
Bridge #37.5 to the right:
Here we are, waiting for our police escort:
Bridge #38 to Kentucky:
Looking to the right from the bridge, just past the barge, you can the see the Ohio River we are going over, where it runs into the Mississippi River coming in from the right:
How many more bridges over the MR? Three that I know of, but we’ll see. We had 1 or 2 more ferry rides planned, but those might not be in operation, as we found out up at St. Genevieve, Missouri.
As we were going across the bridge, it started to rain!
Can’t stop here to put on rain gear. We prayed it didn’t get too heavy….and by the time we got across (long bridge – like the Chain of Rocks bridge) the officer was gone….not sure where he turned around. HAD to have been the little side road of the northeast side of the bridge….we think. Anyway, no picture of him except this.
THANKS AGAIN Cairo police for help making this Mission Possible Tour POSSIBLE!
It was starting to rain hard now….Welcome to Kentucky! State number 6!
(Notice the narrow shoulder and rumble grooves? ACK!)
…..ON with the rain gear….mile later, rain stopped….OOO, this is hot; off with the rain gear. Whoops! It’s starting to rain again. On with the rain gear….WAIT! It’s stopping! Off with the rain gear….(what kinda mess??!!…HA!)
Eventually it did stop….and we got to Wycliffle, Kentucky. We met the John Kinder family from Cape Girardeau. John said he used to play tennis with “mom’s” son, Matt. Small world! HA!
Thanks for your encouraging words that you sent through the web site, John! Yes, Psalms 121 and 91 are turning out to be big hits with us this summer.
Looked for a place to camp in town, but nothing looked acceptable or safe (guide us, Lord!). Here’s the bridge we just crossed from the Wycliffe river front.
We saw a big cross through the trees, and thought there might be a church just south of town.
We had 2 four-legged guides follow (guide?) us from down by the river front.
Earline thought they were going to get run over, and they almost did a couple times, once by a semi that burned MUCH rubber to avoid them.
Finally were able to find the cross, and realize it was just….a cross. On a scenic overlook.
Interesting story…..(Link to the cross at Wycliffe, Kentucky).
It was about an hour before sunset. There were some great views from up on this hill:
We decided to move on. We rode past this factory…..
….continuing thru some dense woods….
….saw a sign for a Beech Grove Missionary Baptist Church, and……THERE IT WAS, between a cornfield and a soybean field. We decided to camp under a tree on the north side of the church.
(So, let’s see….is this a Black congregation or a White congregation?….we’ll see.) (Either way, we figure we’ve got it covered! Ha!)
We found a faucet on the side of the building, so we were able to take sponge baths. We figured that if someone stopped to ask us what we were doing……we would tell them we were just a little early for church!
Thank you, Lord, for a place to camp, for bringing us safely through the day.