……The room felt a little more empty than usual, it was missing a body…..Jeffrey was gone! It was strange waking up this morning without Jeffrey, it was our first day without him after a good four months walking with him. Ray in the morning drove just the two of us to a cafe for breakfast in his golf cart. He had a lot of stories to tell about his life and journey being a christian. In the national guard, Ray served in the Vietnam war and stepped on a land mine that blew him up a bit. His leg had to be repaired with some steel and metal within his joints, and he continues to take care of his ministry called “The Garden” where he does a lot of manual labor, like building the sanctuary, ponds, bathrooms, mostly by himself. His wife, Monica, works at the cafe where we ate breakfast. She served us really well with some good Ol’ southern biscuits and gravy, home fries, and excellent sunny side up eggs. After breakfast Ray took us to the main road where we started to walk towards the next town, Sparta, TN. A lot of the time we were adjusting to the missing Jeffrey piece to our three man trio, he would usually walk behind Jonathan and snap a photograph here and there. It was surreal, it was like he was there but he wasn’t. We continued walking until we came across a Church of Christ, which was a couple miles outside of Sparta, towards the evening. We felt the Lord had a place for us there for the night. No one was there, so we felt like we should wait on the church steps. Down the road we saw a man mowing his front lawn and felt God leading us to talk to him about camping out on his property. Turns out it was the right choice! They were planning to have a cook out which blessed our stomachs greatly. It was pretty funny because at first the wife thought we were mormons or something, but we assured her we weren’t. She was a fellow christian lady who was from Mexico. They had a lot of dogs, two in the house and about three in the backyard and they barked and barked and barked, but eventually they burned off settled down. They invited us in for dinner and we got talking for a while until we made our way to our tents on their front lawn.
In the morning we were fed breakfast and thanked the family for their kind hospitality and great food! Not to far down along the road we ran into a gas station where we ate breakfast. We ended up eating cheeseburgers because we were a little too late for a morning meal. It was tasty though and hearty! Leaving from there, the road started to slant more downward and we came across an overlook where you could see for miles. The local people said you see a couple of towns within the vast forestry and mountains and I think a neighboring state. After that quick beautiful detour, we continued walking down the hill into the town of Sparta, TN. We took a break at the Cats Raceway gas station where we met a group of bikers who were from Canada and making their way towards Georgia. They bike from Canada and visit some pretty neat places in , like Nashville, where they were coming from that day. They do this every year. After the break we decided to get a meal at Hardies for dinner and then made our way into town because we saw a church that we could possible stay at for the night. Unfortunately no one was there, so we asked some town folk. Two elderly ladies offered to help and went to the town hall to ask if we could camp at the park for the night. While they were gone we met a very kind man who used to be in the military. His name was Donathan and he was very keen with his surroundings due to his military training. So, we hung out with him for a short time until the ladies came back with some good news. The town’s police station allowed us to camp out on their property! Thank you ladies! Donathan offered to walk with us to the station and carried some of our gear. He was a huge help and he showed us the quickest way to get there. After arriving we said goodbye to our new friend Donathan, and set up our tents for bed. It was our first time camping out at a police station and we felt really secure sleeping there….