Day 28 – The best water comes from a garden hose.

As I promised the farm foreman (Donald Frazier), I was on the road minutes before the sun made itself visible this morning. About 1/4 of mile down the road I looked back, and there he was pulling into the farm to begin his day. He and his team worked until it was pitch-black last night and they were starting their day before sunrise. Hard working men I tell ya!

Not a cloud in the sky and already quite warm outside, I knew it was going to be hot again today. I know to appreciate the time and the scenery.  Today provided plenty of early scenery this morning.  A couple of beavers walked across the road not far in front of me this morning. They didn’t appear to notice me as they took their time waddling across the road. About 20 minutes later, a deer jumped out into the road and proceeded to just walk down the road in front of me for about a 1/2 mile. It finally noticed me as i approached with 20 yards. When it did, it jumped about six feet in the air and ran off into the woods.

The country from Northern Tennessee to Kentucky has quickly turned  into large production farms. With that has come a wide variety of large and small tractors driving down the road. Proactively I can usually see them coming a mile or more in advance. This morning, I saw a silhouette I hadn’t seen before. It appeared to be an extremely old tractor. It was moving slow and lots of car were passing it coming towards me. As it got closer, I finally noticed that the old tractor, was actually a horse-drawn buggy being driven by a man of either Mennonite or Amish faith. I was so excited at this point! I have never been exposed to this culture except in the movie ‘KingPin’ or the commercials for portable electric fireplaces.

I must admit; the guy driving the buggy was a dead-ringer for the Amish father in ‘KingPin’.

Wanting to take a picture of the horse and man while they were approaching, I stopped and stumbled to get my camera. Almost ready, I started thinking that the flash would scare the horse!

<I’m worried about a horse, but not a monster semi-truck passing me only 18 inches from me every day? Weird…>

 I also started thinking that since the Amish didn’t accept technology, was there a problem with taking a picture? Are they the religion that thinks I will steal their soul with a camera. Crap! Too late, now the horse has passed. I guess I will just sneak a picture of the guy and horse.

I’m pretty sure you can’t steal a soul by taking a picture of their back…right?

The plan today was to walk about 23 miles to the town of Hopkinsville. Not to be confused with the other ‘Villes’ such as Madisonville, Clarksville, Abbeville or Louisville. First stop today was the town of Trenton, KY. Small little town with a lonely stop light, one police officer and an old fire-truck. As with many of the area towns, it had a single general store. I stopped in the store to grab some grub and noticed that it had a kitchen in the back. Sitting at a table was the local Police Chief. I decided to have breakfast the with the locals and just soak up the experience.

As I ordered breakfast, I exchanged salutations with the officer. He was very friendly, but not overly inquisitive. I believe this is a trait I have noticed with people in Kentucky. 10 minutes after receiving my breakfast, the rest of the open seats filled up with 8 local farmers all arriving to have coffee and chew the fat. They all sat next to the officer and told jokes and laughed for the rest of the time I was there.

By the time I left the store, it was officially HOT outside. Walking down the road, the heat was steadily sapping the energy out of me each step I took. Before the next town, several tractors passed me being driven by Mennonites with the same stereotypical well trimmed beard. Awesome!  I arrived at the next town of Pembroke and my feet were ready to quit for the day. I rested about 45 minutes and just massaged my feet. The next 10 miles took about 4 hours to get to my destination of Hopkinsville.  Drinking water rapidly, I was consuming about a quart a mile. The heat not only drains you of moisture, it also kills your will and spirit.

Tomatoes will always fix that though!!

At the 18 mile mark, I passed a fruit and vegetable stand. A woman came walking out and wanted to give me a couple fresh tomatoes. In addition she offered water, which I of course quickly said “YES” to. She walked back as if she was going to grab some water bottles out of a fridge. Nope, she was just turning on the garden hose out front. I filled up my water bottles and was INSTANTLY re-charged! Before leaving, I was able to get her (Jeanine Dew) picture as a reminder of her kindness. She obliged…

The Tomato Angel, Jeanine Dew

  The sore feet and drained spirit were rejuvenated and I made it to town…barely.

I made it to the motel and I quickly realized why it was the least expensive motel in town. I will always be sure to pre-qualify my motel choices with whether it has laundry, internet, clean towels, working lights and a door that closes all the way. I was half way tempted to setup my tent inside of the room instead of sleeping on the beds.

After a shower, it was time to relax, kick-back and enjoy some local TV programming.

Ugh…no.

I barely made it to the motel in front of the storms that quickly covered the town. Once I kicked back on the bed to relax, I enjoyed about 20 minues of electricity in my temporary abode. After that, the thunder and lighning kicked in and knocked out the power until past bedtime. Sure glad I had my trusty head-lamp flashlight with me. 🙂

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jeanne Morris on May 30, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I bet if a Mennonite offered you a ride in his cart you would take it!!!! That would be so neat.

    Reply

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