Day 11 – Chance Encounter

Day 11 – Chance Encounter

This morning we woke up in Tennessee at a campground called Reelfoot State Park. We got off early and were soon in Kentucky. As you probably know, this is a very hilly state. We spent the day going up and down large hills. I don’t know how many feet we climbed, but we climbed a lot, certainly in the thousands. These climbs, of course, gave us a nice downhill break afterward.

The wind abated as well – we rode the fastest pace of the trip today despite the hills. I don’t have any pictures of the hills – too tired to snap them.


As we entered the town of Hickman we were sweating hard and working a ton. In the center of town is a significant hill. At the top is a stately old Methodist Church building. As we finished the climb a man was jogging by and he said, “It’s quite a climb, isn’t it?”

I replied with, “Yes, but you have a lot of pretty old buildings here.”

“Yes, my wife is the pastor here and I am the pastor in the next town over.”

“Oh, well, I work for a missions agency,” I replied.

“Which one?”


“Really? I went overseas with Pioneers in 1992!” he exclaimed.

It turns out that the same summer that our family moved to Croatia was the summer than John V. had been in S Asia. The team he had been on were exploring a volcano when it erupted, and John was injured.

So, here we are in the middle of nowhere and I run into a Pioneers’ summer teamer. Amazing.


We stopped an hour or so later to post a package. I was carrying a camera that I hadn’t use (the phone is so convenient) and a small coffee press. That lightened our load by another six pounds or so.

We were warned against stopping in Cairo, Illinois, so we stopped short of where we wanted to end up. Safety first, I guess.

FYI, we have decided to go up the Illinois side of the river as it appears to have more camping options and is a bit flatter. We also had some campaigning going on by friends to “Go Illinois” so we are.

One last thing. We stopped at a gas station in Clinton, Kentucky. They charged us each 25 cents to refill our water bottles. Boycott Clinton if you have the chance :>)

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