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We left Alvaton on December 26th and quickly entered the cold.

We had just taken a week off after blazing thru Kentucky. We were waiting for packages and a sick Roxy to get better. The respiratory infection was addressed quickly and effectively with the excellent help of a great vet Michael Davison.

For our first day back on the road we did a little 13 miler to Gold City. This was the day the dog followed me from this bridge and stayed overnight with my hosts.

The next morning, dogless, we crossed into Tennessee and decided to be wild and crazy by doing a 29 miler to the Carr Mustang Ranch. Roxy turned up the heat and it was clear the cold was out of her system.

That day, and the next 2-3 weeks WERE COLD. And I’m Canadian. The one constant until I reached Selmer further south was the cold. In some ways it was a blur.

After wisiting with Mr Carr I made it to south of Pleasant View on another big day then took a day off with a great lady Karla.

We went to the east side of Nashville and I picked up a custom orthoflex saddle pad that goes over the panels. They are called booties. It included shoulder shims and when I left I noticed a great improvement. Roxy lifted her head more and went out better, especially on downhills. The next day out we entered some nice hill country and entered down a road that crossed a river multiple times. We ended up at a sweet homestead and had a nice visit.

The next day was so cold and we crossed Charlotte before getting interviewed near Dickson for a TV show in Nashville.

We made it our next destination and took another day off.

Once again I spent my time with my hosts talking farming and homesteading. Thanks Meg and Steve for the visits and keep up the good work.

I then went south to Pinewood to stay overnight at the Pinewood Ranch.

Then we took off west to the Wolfe Creek Lodge and back to dirt roads. The next days ride was almost all on dirt roads and paths and required some serious navigating thru some back woods. Those off road days were glorious but they also require your constant attention to know which way you are supposed to turn and when.

I took another day off and then headed across the Tennessee River. I spent the night camping at a park in 20f weather. As it had been cold for a long time, there was ice all along the side river. Overnight as it warmed up, it kept on creaking as it broke and turned back into water.

The next morning we made it close to Selmer then took a day off and collected some more mail. I had a nice visit with my host Sara.

The next morning after the rain it was warm! I rode to Pocohontas and stayed in a hay barn.

My rear Easyboots had big holes in the front of them. Lucky for me my host was a millwright! He crafted up some metal guards to use until I replaced my boots in Greenville.

We entered Mississippi the next morning and made it to Hopewell. I could tell the border line as it went from pavement to gravel.

A storm was coming in so I took a couple days off. It was a nasty storm, rain, them ice, then snow. Mississippi doesn’t do much about the snow when it comes except wait it out. Thank goodness I had metal carbide studs on the bottom of my Easyboots.

The next two days after the storm were rough going.

We made it Ashland then the Holly Springs Fairgrounds, before making it south a bit, to weather another storm. I had a good visit with Guy Hendrix.

We took off towards Greenville via the Mississippi Delta. We entered the Delta at the end of the next day in Macedonia.

For the next 3 days we camped out behind churches and buildings. Roxy ate grass and some grain.

When we got to Crowder we stayed the next night west of there, staying at various row crop farm stations until we got to Greenville.

The land was flat and the endless fields were empty. The people were hospitable, the terrain, not. Riding the Delta was mentally the hardest part of the trip so far.

We made it to Greenville for a couple days rest at the Fairgrounds. I waited for some deliveries and hung out with some great people. The local news station came by and did a great story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACN8RQnhgNA

I was hyping myself up for the upcoming bridge crossing across the Mighty Mississippi! I had chosen to cross at the Greenville bridge as it was new and extremely wide. It did not disappoint, but the idiot taking video while driving, who blocked the road not once, but twice, going different directions each time, ON THE BRIDGE, certainly did.

I made it across the bridge in 45 minutes. That is right, 45 minutes. I took a rest on the Arkansas side and celebrated a bit before carrying on.

That was Tennessee and Mississippi.