Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
We were both in pain the next morning, but we continued our trek along Butler Mill Road.
After a snack break in Ada, we walked on until we made it to Mountain Hill Baptist Church, where we got water from the spigot and took a short nap in the sun with our feet elevated on the steps.
Shortly after we got adjusted, two church ladies showed up to straighten up after the fall fest celebration that recently took place there. One of them was named Susan and she brought along her pet chihuahua named Reese. She welcomed us and told us that they frequently help hikers out as they pass through, and have let them stay there in the past. We wouldn’t be staying there though. Our day was just getting started.
We took W Hickory Grove Road to Pettus Road to Upper Bozeman Road. The asphalt transitioned to dirt, and we listened to gun fire as we made our way to Magnolia Baptist Church where we took a lunch break. A cute dog followed us as we made our exit, and I worried that he would follow us across Route 97 to Burgundy Swamp Road. I didn’t want him to get struck by a car. Eventually he turned around and went back home.
Over two miles of road work followed as we dodged escorted cars and steamrollers. The road workers stopped to ask us where we were heading. When they heard we were walking to Key West, they had a lot more questions for us.
“Aren’t you worried about snakes?”
“Where do you sleep?”
“Do you want a pistol? There are a lot of crazies around here!”
We declined the pistol and kept walking. I was in a lot of pain. It felt like tiny saws were sliding back and forth across my toes as my nails lifted with each step.
When we got to Panola, we grabbed a slice of pizza at the Panola Spirits and Package Store. Then we snuck across the street to hide behind the church. The back side was a little gross and there were roads surrounding it leaving us fairly exposed. I didn’t want to keep walking, but Frisbee told me it was up to me to call it. My feet were killing me, and I worried that I might regret it later, but I decided to continue on.
We walked by a house with three waving children and two curious adults riding them around one at a time on a dirt bike. They asked us about our hike.
“What do you do about the dogs?”
“We just pet them.”
We were also offered a ride from one of the locals who looked like he was getting ready to go hunting. These are the interactions we experience all the time, and why a pistol is completely unnecessary. There are far more kind souls in this world than those with ill intentions.
After passing a field of kudzu, we made it to Meriwether Trail where Spring Creek Primitive Baptist Church stood. This was a far better location than the one in Panola. As we set up, we kept hearing noises that sounded like they were coming from inside the church, but there was no one there.
We were both hurt. Frisbees back was in bad shape and his arm was numb. I drained the blisters under my toenails and gritted my teeth as I doused them with hand sanitizer. I was hoping the nails would fall off tomorrow and that we’d both feel better by then. I hoped.