We started our day in front of the Kentucky Nut Corporation (the nut house).

I ran down through old town Hickman and out of town past the ferry landing. Things are quiet on a Sunday morning. Everyone waves to me as I pass. We’re in the South now . . .

We’re running through Mississippi bottom land—levee protected with lots of agricultural fields (corn and beans). There’s a beautiful pecan tree grove just south of Hickman. And it’s hot—mid 90s and humid. We’re in the South now . . .

Victoria crossed the Tennessee border into the Reelfoot Lake region. It’s mostly about hunting, fishing and recreation around here. Lodges and boats. Lake access. People need to make a living, too. We saw our first cotton fields just past the Tennessee border.

Officer Shelby Barker of the Tiptonville, Tennessee police met us downtown on a hot afternoon. He showed us around the downtown museum and talked about his life. He and his wife are both natives of this area and they have no intention of leaving. They live right on the river in the Kentucky Bend.

Sportsman’s paradise, he calls it. Hunting, fishing, trapping, mussel diving, (and football, too). He’s got three kids, with the oldest just starting her college career as a freshman at UT-Martin. His sons are still in high school.

We asked for a lunch recommendation and Shelby suggested either the Dairy Queen, Sonic or the Mexican restaurant where his son John Harris was working. Needless to say, we chose the local place and ended up very full with leftover fajitas in the cooler.

We stayed overnight at Boyette’s Resort and were served a complimentary dinner in Boyette’s Dining Room. Sisters Fran and Jan welcomed us and made sure we had plenty of catfish, hush puppies and onion rings.

One last thing – as we left the restaurant, we passed an enormous catfish mounted on the wall. It was caught in 2001 by a couple of local anglers. Both were named Shelby. Father and son. Their picture was hanging below the mount. One of them looked very familiar . . .

Life on the Mississippi.