DAY 93 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9

VICKSBURG TO PORT GIBSON The roads between Vicksburg, Mississippi and Port Gibson, Mississippi aren’t great for running or cycling. The Blues Highway (US 61) is a 4-lane divided speedway with narrow lanes, high volumes of truck traffic and no shoulders. The secondary roads made an arc out to the east—not the most direct route but safer than US 61. The road was winding and hilly with poor sight lines and no shoulder, but thankfully traffic volumes were much less and we didn’t encounter any heavy commercial traffic. About halfway to Port Gibson, we intersected the Natchez Trace. Again, the road was winding and hilly …

DAY 92 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8

MOUND TO VICKSBURG Since yesterday was our first sub-90 degree day, I suppose I didn’t hydrate quite as much as usual. The barometric pressure shift likely also contributed to my first impenetrable migraine that started overnight and held fast into the morning and daylight hours. This time Tom let me stay in bed a little longer, bringing me coffee and gatorade to help the situation. Eventually I made it up and dressed, but I had already made the executive decision that Tom would have to bear the entire load to Vicksburg, Mississippi today—thankfully just under 10 miles total. Our new favorite animals, …

DAY 91 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 7

LAKE PROVIDENCE TO TALLULAH TO MOUND I woke up early and let Tom sleep in. Linda fixed me a nice breakfast—almost just like home: an egg over easy, toast, half an apple, bacon… and the additional Menonite sausage that I had to try as well as fresh squeezed orange juice I couldn’t turn down. She also packed us some hard boiled eggs and sausage for our travels, allowing Tom to start his run out of town on an empty stomach like he likes. He would dig into the travel breakfast soon enough though! After a goodbye from Linda and Hal, …

DAY 90 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6

EUDORA TO LAKE PROVIDENCE We woke at Will and Terri’s place on Grand Lake and were treated to a delicious breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage thanks to Will’s handiwork in the kitchen. While Terri went out to teach Sunday School, we got a bit of work done, trying to catch up on our notes, fold laundry, and grab a shower. Before long it was time to leave, but Will and Terri wouldn’t let us leave empty handed—not only did they give us an awesome Arkansas Great River Road mug, but they also packed two gallon ziplock bags …

DAY 89 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5

GREENVILLE TO EUDORA We had some time in the morning to pull out our laptops and write up notes—fueled by coffee from the nearby Double Quick. We hoped to catch up completely but it takes time to process the experiences of a community, especially one as full and engaging as Greenville, Mississippi. We took our homework over to Jim’s Cafe for a quick breakfast. Apparently Jim’s is the oldest restaurant establishment in Washington County, and a good place to grab your bacon and eggs! After our morning start, we headed over to our launch spot on Main Street just outside City Hall about …

DAY 88 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4

GREENVILLE LAYOVER We started the day at the Mayor’s office for a brief conversation before launching into our day. As usual, Kyla was there to keep us on track and deliver us to the library for our first scheduled interactions. We started in with the Mayor, asking how he became interested in civic action after moving back to Greenville, Mississippi! from his time at Howard University. Apparently Mayor Errick ran for city council right away upon moving home, feeling the call to serve his community. He and his twin brother have a history of being involved in “government”—starting in school, serving …

DAY 87 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3

ROSEDALE TO SCOTT TO GREENVILLE We got up early and took our breakfast to go. Today was a long day on the road and we had a group waiting for us in Greenville, Mississippi. James at the front desk wished us well and congratulated us on our recent marriage. He had learned about it yesterday evening as we renewed our reservation—he referred to me as Mr. Tom Bradford. On our way into Rosedale, Mississippi we dropped off a thank you at the Rosedale Freedom Project—a note along with some water we collected from the Mississippi’s headwaters at Lake Itasca. Their stories continue to inspire …

DAY 86 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2

ROSEDALE TO SCOTT Scott, Mississippi is an unincorporated community along Mississippi Highway 1. It sits right on Lake Bolivar—an ancient remnant of the Mississippi River created centuries ago by a cutoff at Bolivar Bend. Today Scott is a small community with a handful of homes and a vast expanse of agricultural land all around. We didn’t have a place to stay in Scott, so we spent another night in Cleveland, Mississippi, catching up on our travel log, which was now several days behind. Day 86 for us was a workday. No running, just catching up on writing, running errands, laundry and even …

DAY 85 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1

DEESON TO ROSEDALE Another hot day in the Mississippi Delta. This 90-degree heat feels especially hot when it’s October 1st and we’re thinking about cool autumn mornings in Minnesota and the approaching cold winter. We should be wearing long-sleeve shirts by now . . . I launched out of Deeson, Mississippi toward Rosedale, Mississippi down Mississippi Highway 1. Andrew Long stopped to meet the Relay van along the roadside. We missed our opportunity to stay with Andrew here in Deeson, which is right along the river, but we took the opportunity to catch up on work in nearby Cleveland—taking advantage of WiFi and modern …

DAY 84 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

CLARKSDALE TO DEESON The day started with Bill’s voice bellowing through the doors and walls asking if we were up, around 7:12am. “Yeash,” I screeched back at him with toothpaste in my mouth. “Come see me at the office on your way out of town,” he said. Mental note and plan made, later to be unmade, as you will see… Our breakfast date with Kinchen “Bubba” O’Keefe started just at 8am. We had already entered the establishment—Yazoo Pass—ordered, and seated ourselves, much to Bubba’s alarm as he had hoped to buy us breakfast after forgetting our appointment to meet the …