MO2NO: Day 4 (continued)

I left the New Albany library and rode to the Faulkner Museum. It’s closed on Mondays. I did get a pic of the house where he was born, although I’m not sure it’s the original. I then rode down to Pontotoc on a very busy highway. Pontotoc is where the Chickasaw and Choctaw signed the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek and gave up all their land. Then they went to Oklahoma.

From Pontotoc, I headed south on a very hilly and picturesque road toward the Natchez Trace. I was looking for someplace to replenish the stock of Gatorade, and climbing a steep hill, I saw what looked to be a gas station/convenience store. The sign said “Hilltop Grocery.” Inside, a thirtyish guy was behind the counter, while a preteen girl lounged in an easy chair watching TV. Sure enough, lots of Gatorade. And there at the counter, wrapped in plastic wrap, a stack of home-made fried peach pies. I couldn’t resist. The guy at the counter told me that his mother makes them. We talked a bit about my trip, and then I went out and started putting the Gatorade into bottles in the bottle cages. The girl came out and asked if I wanted some ice, and I went back in and they gave me ice for all the bottles. Very nice.

Fifteen miles down the road, a sign in a yard said “Tomatoes”, and I stopped and walked up into the yard. The old man was sitting on a wheelchair/scooter, and I picked out a couple of tomatoes. We talked a bit about his knee operation that went bad, and how he gardens with the scooter, and then he wouldn’t let me pay for the tomatoes. Another encounter with the good people of Mississippi.

Finally I got to the Trace, and my stopping point for the night, Davis Lake. I’d reserved a campsite, and it was gorgeous. Right on the water, beautiful view. When I was setting up the tent, an older guy in a cowboy hat came by, said “Hi, neighbor.” We talked a while, and he invited me to dinner with his group — which turned out to be home-made barbecue, and I cut up my tomatoes and made an olive oil/balsamic vineagar dressing for them.

The guy’s name is Elbert, and he’s a retired trucker. We talked a good while. He does mission work in Kenya, and has made four trips so far. He was swatting flies, sitting there by the lake, and he said, “You know, in Kenya they won’t swat the flies. The more flies you have, the more cows you must have, and the more cows you have, the richer you are.”

Later I played bingo with several of his group — they’d brought a little plastic bingo set, and a bagful of prizes from the dollar store. I won a plastic squirrel. Eventually it got dark and I went to bed and read some Faulkner.

3 Responses to “MO2NO: Day 4 (continued)”

  1. Cabell says:

    Wow, everyone’s so nice. What did you do with your plastic squirrel?

  2. Erin says:

    ooh, the squirrel should be the mascot of the trip!

  3. Allen says:

    I was trying to figure out how to use cable ties to put the squirrel on the handlebars, but I couldn’t quite make it work. So it’s in the trailer with the rest of the gear.

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