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Atwood, Tennessee

Hank – We we’re told The Front Porch, which is next door to the motel, has a great breakfast. We went there to get our day off to a good start and it started better than we hoped. This is Armed Forces Week and the Madison County Veterans Association was providing free breakfast to veterans. So Kathy and I got to eat for free. We chatted with a couple of the guys and they were impressed by our bikes and what we’re doing. Had they been handing out awards we would have won the Traveled The Greatest Distance For Breakfast Award.

Next we got back on to US Hwy 79 heading north. Today was going to be hot and humid so we decided we’re stopping somewhere between Atwood and Huntingdon depending on how we’re feeling.

We had a town every six miles to Atwood so we stopped in each to cool off and stay hydrated. The people we met at each convenience store were so nice to us and mostly incredulous when they heard about our adventure.

Just outside of Milan, not far from Atwood, we found the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum. The place is loaded with exhibits of farm and home implements and appliances going way back. The homemade devices, such as a corn planter and a one-man saw were the best. Some ingenuity went into those things.

The only two other people visiting the museum chatted me up. Mark and Linda are from Washington, D.C. Lynda is researching her family history and told us how they finally found the graveyard where her great grandfather is buried. The graveyard is hidden in the trees somewhere in Kentucky. There’s no sign or church or anything nearby. Mark is a musician and he gave me his card. The card says “International Rock Star”. He says he should add “retired” to that. He still plays and he also produces and records acts. Very cool. The band he was in back in the 80s was The Slickee Boys, a punkpsychedelicgarage rock band. Mark was the lead singer. How awesome is that? But it gets better. The Slickee Boys also formed a rockabilly group called the Wanktones. At some venues the Wanktones opened for the Slickee Boys. How wild is that? Forming a second band that opens for your first band. Mark is now a hero of mine.

Kathy and I covered the last few miles to Atwood, where we decided to spend the night. The heat and humidity were brutal today. But we didn’t know where we were staying just yet.

We stopped by The County Line Mobile Hone and RV Park where we met Carl. Carl has an accent thicker than molasses. Plus he has no teeth so his speech was even more difficult to understand. And he’d been drinking. But we managed to gather that we could camp there and we were welcome to join him and his neighbors when they lit a bonfire tonight. We politely moved on.

We noticed a clear area behind a convenience store in town and asked the proprietor if we could camp back there. She said that was fine. Outside the store we met a couple of local children who were fascinated by our bicycles. They were blown away by our adventure. Hopefully, we planted a seed to go on one of their own some day.

We went across the street to the Camo Grill for dinner. We ended up staying there for three hours. Sherry and Leon, the owners, chatted with us. So did nearly every other customer. We asked if they knew how to contact either of the churches next to the convenience store. They have nice lawns and we wondered if we could camp there. The numbers I found online for them are no longer in service. Sherry knows a woman who knows everybody in town so she made a call. A few minutes later Leon was on the phone with someone from the Baptist church and we had permission to tent overnight. We appreciated Leon and Sherry helping us out like that.

We crossed back over the street and set up the tent. It’s supposed to get down to 66 degrees tonight. I think today’s high was 87 with a killer humidity. We’ll be sweating tonight, too. But what a great day we’ve had.

Kathy – We enjoyed meeting a few of the local veterans during our free breakfast. What nice guys! Thank you again for the wonderful breakfast!

Our ride today was only 34 miles due to getting a late start and the heat and humidity. It was sunny in the high 80’s but with 90% humidity, the heat index was up in the 90’s. We rolled up and down hills most of the day but we did have three short sweet flat spots for a mile or so which was nice. Our landscapes were the same as they have been the past few days, swampy land and farmland with an occasional house or mobile home scattered about.

Most of our day we had no shoulder to ride on so we just took the lane. The cars and trucks have been super polite waiting to go around us until the other lane is clear. They have been giving us lots of space when they pass too.

We are in the sticks of Tennessee and it is really hard to understand a lot of the folks around here because their accents are so thick. I’m tired tonight so I’m gonna keep it short. We met so many great people today. The southern hospitality is totally amazing in this part of Tennessee. We also visited an excellent museum. I really enjoyed reading about women’s roles and work 50 – 100 years ago. I am so thankful I was not alive back then. It sounds like such a hard life.

So, it was a good hot day of riding along with meeting lots of good people from this area. 💗

A couple of notes…

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