THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2010
Special message for NEW readers of this blog:
[For those of you new to the blog, please pardon our dust!….er, ah, grammatical and technical imperfections!]
[Most nights, we do NOT have wifi – an internet connection – except thru my Blackberry – which I just got a replacement for [that story is coming up in a couple days] tell God thank-you – but still lost ALL my contacts – still CHOOSE to tell God thank-you – I read this morning in Psalm 50:23, that:
“giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me (God)”….
…actually, that would be a great thing to pray for….if you ALL could pray that I somehow get all my contacts back!] [Or even better, continue to THANK HIM in ALL situation!]
[So what I’m TRYING to say, is that I will upload text about the events of each day to the blog here, and when I do have access to the internet from our laptop, I will upload the photos that go WITH the text….whew!]
Now, to Day 73….we stayed overnight with Bill and Carrie north of Helena / West Helena (yes, that’s the official name now). Bill and Carrie were great hosts, and in the morning Bill even helped me do some repair work on my semi-truck-and-mini-cyclone-damaged umbrella (see yesterday’s blog). Ha! We actually taped wire hanger pieces to the damaged grooved arms of the umbrella (I think we’re on to something….this will work!) Carrie had a chance to try the I.C.E. trike….she’s a natural!
[Did we tell you that Bill and Carrie have a grandson name Eli?!]
Miss Loretta came by, and we got her picture as well.
Hey, Miss Loretta in Orlando…Carrie and Bill’s Loretta reminded us so much of YOU!…she was great!
Said our goodbyes, as soon as Bill checked that we hadn’t forgotten anything!
Actually, we tried to get lost heading to Helena / West Helena, but Bill checked up on us, and pointed us in the right direction. We even on the way met Eli’s OTHER grandfather.
[Did we tell you that Eli has grandparents named Bill and Carrie?!]
In fact, Bill checked on us one more time (I think we are appearing a little scatterbrained these days).
[Oh, did I mention that Bill AND CARRIE have a grandson named Eli??!!!!!!!] [Ha!]
We finally got into town, and stopped at Walmart for some supplies (wow, is it hot today….over 100 degrees again. We have our umbrellas on again.)
We stopped at Wendy’s, explaining our Mission to them, and they were so nice. They gave us a whole bunch of ice (that is like gold to us these days!). Tried to get their picture, but some PEOPLE were NOT cooperating.
While we were still at Wendy’s, Kevin Smith stopped by….he was our original point of contact from warmshowers.org.
It turns out that not only did he ALSO bike the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca to New Orleans, but his wife works with the Deaf! (Definitely a couple that we need to come back and spend more time with!)
We headed for the bridge across the River into the state of Mississippi. On the way we saw some lush hills…the vines completely cover some of the trees and create odd shapes of foliage. (and there’s hills down HERE along the Mississippi….who knew??!!)
We went thru some of old Helena, and saw a LOT of closed stores and shops.
Most of the town and cities along the Mississippi River are displaying similar financial hardship – it has been very disheartening to see the economic hardships that so many are experiencing. America…wake up! We are in a mess!
One other note (Florida take heed)….the hardest hit communities (Helena, AK, Dubuque, IA, East St. Louis, IL, etc.) coincidentally seem to have a gambling establishment close by….is it possible that good money that could have been spent on establishing and promoting local businesses has gone instead into the hands of those who establish and promote the game of gambling or lottery, the amusement of casinos?…..just asking.) (see Proverbs 28:19, and Proverbs 23:19-21).
We called ahead to the local police, and made a request for assistance across the bridge…and I’m glad we did. It is a L-L-L-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-N-N-G-G bridge. Here’s Bridge #40 (wow, we are WAY past 36 bridges!):
Of course, one reason it was long, is because the Mississippi River is getting wider the further south we go. Compare this picture to ones of the river up in Minnesota [Days 1 through 25]:
Here was our escort, and Earline appearing to be running away from him (oooo, it’s HOT, running from all these cops!!)
Thanks, Helena / West Helena…we appreciate it!
One thing that was interesting about this escort that had not happened before, is that everybody went AROUND the police car and us….cars, trucks, even semis, all the way across the bridge, even when the no passing line was on our side!! (This did NOT seem to be a safe situation to us.)
Were the police telling them to do this? Not sure…..hmmm.
I DID get a picture of him waving the vehicles around! Whoa!
Even saw this semi barreling down on the police car as he turned around (this does NOT look good).
Our man DID get turned around safely, however…..whew! THANKS, AGAIN!
New state! [Signage tomorrow.]
By the time we got over the bridge, it was getting late, and Earline saw RVs across the way…there was a camping area next to the casino! We checked it out, and for $16 we were able to pitch our tent, and had full access to the amenities, including showers, indoor pool, and wifi! Sounds great! Whoa!
Well…..REALITY is a little cruel sometimes.
Yes, there was a pool and showers…but the showers and pool area were NOT air-conditioned or dehumidified….apparently the unit had been busted for some time (but we STILL appreciated the pool), the wifi was VERY weak – the computer couldn’t see it, or if it did, there were ZERO bars, and it was unusable, AND the blacktop that we had to set our tent up on stayed HOT ALL night, and even our air mattress picked up the heat, creating a hot air sauna for us to sleep on (I worked on photos until about 5am, but even then, the air mattress was still miserably hot….rough night.)
VERY rough night.
We WERE grateful for the CASINO accommodations. (Proverbs 13:22 says that “….the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the godly.”)
And, we learned a few things – (do NOT set up on black asphalt that has been exposed to the summer sun) (let me repeat that…..do NOT, EVER, NO WAY, NOT EVER set up on sun-exposed black asphalt) (Ha, do you think we mean it??!!).
But like the wonderful Merlin Carothers always taught, we can truly thank Him in ALL situations, because HE is worthy of our praise and appreciation!