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Manna Mart

December 19, 2012

Kentucky – Sunday, September 16

It rained some during the night, but had let up by morning – the heavy thunderstorms didn’t seem to materialize. In the end, I wished I had camped last night – it was certainly warm enough and the potential campground was nearby. I got kind of a late start since I had arrived late last night, and because I only had about 6 miles to walk today to finish off the Kentucky walking, I thought I would check out the park where I could have camped – there’s often some good walking paths at those places. Imagine my surprise when I got to the park, and discovered the campground was part of a closed-for-the-season amusement park, with a roller coaster that looked like it was beginning to collapse! I don’t think I could have stayed there – I would have had clown nightmares or something! I could have walked a little there, but I decided to look elsewhere. And I’m glad I did! While heading back toward Bowling Green, I passed a really pretty farm lane that went through horse country, and by some nice big homes. It was pretty much just a single lane road that wound through the Kentucky countryside, and Tula and I got in about 3 1/2 miles of walking. Then we drove on for a couple miles and saw what looked like a river trail, and it crossed over an old train trestle, so between the river trail and an adjoining neighborhood, we walked the remaining 2 1/2 miles.

Since I knew I would be ending up in Bowling Green today, I had researched food pantries in that area earlier. One that kept popping up was Manna Mart, part of HOTEL INC (Helping Others Through Extended Love in the Name of Christ), which has a variety of aid programs. I had called them on Friday to see about making a Sunday donation, and I spoke with a very pleasant person. She said normally they would be happy to make arrangements for a Sunday donation, but both people had other obligations this weekend. We had a nice conversation though, and I didn’t want to back out of my offer since I had talked with them, so I said I would send in a donation check, and she was very appreciative – in fact, she said some of their shoppers are very good with the use of coupons, and they will no doubt be able to stretch my donation farther than I could!

At this point, I had finished everything I wanted to do in Kentucky. All 7 donations were done (Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis Foundation, God’s Pantry 12-12-12 Challenge, Open Hands Community Food Pantry, Kentucky Horse Park, the Pet Therapy program at Eastern Kentucky Veteran’s Center, Berea Food Pantry and Manna Mart), and I had walked all 56 Kentucky miles. Now that I’ve been through 14 states, I’m exactly 25% done with my journey, and I can hardly believe that. The time has gone so fast, and it’s been an amazing experience so far.

Now it was time to cut back through the skinny state of Tennessee and head for Alabama! I drove through some rain, and headed for the part of the Natchez Trace Parkway that’s south of Nashville. It continues on into Alabama and that’s how I wanted to drive into the state. The Natchez Trace (which I was also on in Mississippi) is one of the oldest “roads” in the world – first cut by buffalo and other animals, then by Native Americans and the Spanish and so on – “trace” refers to old tracks. It is a beautiful peaceful drive, and then I also discovered there are 3 National Park campgrounds along the Trace, which are free on a first-come, first-serve basis. One of them was just shy of the Alabama border, so I stopped there even though I knew it might rain a little during the night – the price was right! Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) was buried just up the road, but I knew visiting that area would need to wait until Tennessee is the state-of-the-week. I find it interesting that I have inadvertently ended up at the start of the Lewis and Clark discovery expedition in St Charles Missouri, and now find myself at the spot where Lewis is buried. I’m in good company!






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