I again started early. I was not yet a 100% sure how far I was going. The route I mapped out was only about 50 miles long and I wanted to see how things were going.
I crossed the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau to the Il side:
It was a beautiful morning with light traffic. The break did me well. I really felt good.
I was heading to Cairo IL where Ulysses Grant was stationed as well. Cairo has seen better times for sure. So far the most run down place I’ve seen. It is a pity to see historic infrastructure crumbling.
Shortly after Cairo I first reached the tri-state corner where IL, KY and MO meet:
Then I reached the first highlight of today, the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi River:
They are almost the same size. Very cool.
It was only 10:30 am and I only had less than 20 miles to go. I felt great and started to contemplate the idea to reach the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and then to proceed to Union City TN. That would add 50 more miles to the 37 miles I already had completed. I crossed the Mississippi River to be back on the MO side. When I reached State Road 77 I took a left towards the ferry. It was heating up as usual and I was not sure whether to regret this decision. I finally made it to the MO side of the ferry and called the ferry with a push button. They radioed that they were already on their way. After about 15 minutes the ferry arrived:
In the meantime it started to rain which was very welcome since it cooled down the air quite a bit.
I boarded the ferry and after another 10 minutes we were on our way. I was the only passenger and had the ferry for myself:
The crossing only took 15 minutes. They had a sonar on display and I could observe the depth of the river. It is in the middle about 27 to 29 ft deep. The deepest spot was 40 ft more towards the Hickman side.
After arriving the Hickman side, I made it off the ferry and walked up the steep ramp. I was ready to get back on my bike when a town car made a u-turn right next to me. The driver pulled down the window and asked me from where I was coming and where I was going. He was very friendly and asked me whether I was hungry. I said yes and that my intention was to get something before continuing to Union City. He said: “We need to feed you and we make sure that you can clean yourself up. Follow me to the West Hickman Baptist Church. I’ll lead the way, it is only 2 miles.”
I could not believe my luck. I followed and after 2 miles I pulled in to the church:
They just finished their lunch and I was invited to an absolute feast. Tim, the driver introduced me to Jason the Pastor of the church and made sure that the cooking brigade was serving me lunch.
This is southern hospitality and Christianity at his best. All the food was homemade from scratch and it was the best food I ate in the last 2 weeks. All these southern specialties, homegrown tomatoes of delicious taste and of course homemade pie. I was treated like a king.
Here are the amazing cooks:
You made my day and you are amazing!!! Thank you so much.
While I ate some men including the pastor sat with me and we had a very pleasant conversation. I even learnt some words in Hickmanian (winder is window):
God bless you all and thank you for having me. I will never forget your kindness.
I only had about 13 miles left and after I was fed with all the goodies I was flying to Union City. I crossed the TN state line and entered my 4th state in one day:
I had a long (87 miles) but very fulfilling day. I am blessed with so many experiences I was able to make.
I certainly will sleep well tonight.