First off, let me say I understand how late I am for putting this up. Life has just been a bit hectic and every time I thought I had time to sit down and write… I didn’t.  Not to mention my computer, with all my pictures, messed up and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, until yesterday when I switched out the power supply and everything is now running smoothly. Glad I didn’t lose any pictures!!

Anyway, after I left Missouri I headed into Illinois. A few people warned me about the bridge from Missouri to Illinois that crossed over the Ohio River. They also warned me about the bridge from Illinois to Kentucky which crossed the Mississippi.  Both of these bridges were less than a quarter of mile apart (since this is the area where the Ohio and Mississippi meet) and both of these bridges did not have any kind of shoulder. As I neared the first bridge, I was worried about how I would get across, but I figured I would just go as fast as I could.  Crossing bridges that offered no shoulder was not a new thing for me. I ended up getting to the first bridge when a man with a truck pulled over. He offered me a ride across the bridge claiming that with my cart it would be “hell” getting across. I took him on his offer. I rode across the bridge and he dropped me off on the other side, outside of a small building, a historical landmark/museum. He said he had to go to a near Illinois town and he would be back to pick me up and take me across the bridge that crossed the Mississippi. Isn’t getting a ride considered cheating??? Yes! This is why when he drove off I left my cart outside the small museum and walked across both bridges untethered.  It took me a while and even walking across the bridges was scary. Shoulders didn’t magically appear so I was forced to walk on the very edge, smashed up against the railing.

When I finished I ate a snack and then entered the small museum. It was free to enter, so I walked around, took some photos, and read some facts about the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, and the Civil War.  I didn’t spend too much time inside because I didn’t want to miss the guy who was offering me and my cart a ride over the Mississippi.

I went outside and waited. He finally arrived and gave me my ride across the Mississippi. I’m really glad that he stopped by because it would have been “hell” trying to push my cart across. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have held up traffic for at least a mile since the two lane bridges were heavily trafficked and offered no room.  So I had traveled through Illinois. I was there for about one hour total and now I was in Kentucky. I headed to Wickliffe where I stayed at a small motel. The lady there gave me a discount and the reason I got the motel was because a storm was moving through.  That night I did homework and watched TV.

The next morning I awoke early. I had a long day ahead of me. I was going to head to Fulton which is a border city, half in Kentucky, half in Tennessee.  It was a 37 mile trek but I felt I could make it. Days were starting to get shorter though. I headed down Highway 51, which had no shoulders so I was constantly pulling off the side of the road to let cars passed. This consistently stalled my progression. Regardless, I pressed on. I wasn’t sure where I would stay for the night in Fulton but I wanted to at least get close to the city.  Around 1:00 P.M. a cop pulled over and we chatted a while. He told me to contact the police station in Fulton and see if they could find a safe place for me to sleep, so I did.

It started to get dark around 7:00 P.M. and I was still about two and half hours away. Should I stop walking or press on. I’m hard-headed, so I pressed on.  These are the types of things I would keep from my mother.  I know it’s dangerous to walk at night but sometimes I loved it. It was extremely peaceful and traffic died down quite a bit.  I reached the Fulton police department around 9:45 P.M. I went into the station and called for assistance. A police officer showed up and directed me to a spot of grass behind the police department.  That night a stray cat had approached me and I let him inside my tent (even though I’m allergic). The amount of stray animals I had seen on this trip was heartbreaking but I couldn’t take him with me so eventually I had to let him go back outside.

Oh, I should also mention that this was the first time I had used my new camouflage tent. The fact that my old tent was bright orange didn’t sit well with me since a lot of times I was stealth camping. So my mom had mailed me another tent, along with a few other supplies and snacks.  This tent was not only camouflage but was a pop-up tent making it a snap to set up. Taking down was a bit trickier until I could get the hang of it.

Anyway, the next day I didn’t get very far. It was about to storm heavily. I decided to once again get a motel room (although I hated spending the money). I found a cheap motel and stayed there for the day.  Luckily I did because that night I ended up getting a message update from my Weather Channel App: TORNADO WARNING.  Even warnings popped up on the TV. I was glad not to be in a tent for the night.

The next morning I took off and finally entered Tennessee. For the next 5 days I walked and camped on the side of the road. The highways in Tennessee had wide-open shoulders which made walking a lot easier and more fun.  I walked through Milan, Jackson, Henderson, and Selmer, before I finally reached Mississippi.

Mississippi is the last state I shall talk about in this blog. When I first entered Mississippi it wasn’t more than twenty minutes when somebody pulled over and gave me $20. I was only in Mississippi for about 24 hours, although I did spend two nights there; One sleeping on the side of a highway off ramp, the other at a motel called the Victorian Inn.  The woman working at the Inn bought me dinner (Steak and sweet potato) and Gatorade. She also washed my clothes for me since there was no washer and dryer at their motel (the ones they had were heavy duty ones made for washing blankets and such).

The next morning I took off and finally entered Tennessee. For the next 5 days I walked and camped on the side of the road. The highways in Tennessee had wide-open shoulders which made walking a lot easier and more fun.  I walked through Milan, Jackson, Henderson, and Selmer, before I finally reached Mississippi.

Mississippi is the last state I shall talk about in this blog. When I first entered Mississippi it wasn’t more than twenty minutes when somebody pulled over and gave me $20. I was only in Mississippi for about 24 hours, although I did spend two nights there; One sleeping on the side of a highway off ramp, the other at a motel called the Victorian Inn.  The woman working at the Inn bought me dinner (Steak and sweet potato) and Gatorade. She also washed my clothes for me since there was no washer and dryer at their motel (the ones they had were heavy duty ones made for washing blankets and such).

Mississippi’s Highway 72 was much like Kentucky’s 51, very small shoulders that forced me to walk half on the road and half on grass.  This made me walk much slower, but oh well… On October 12th I reached Alabama. Three states left!!!!