I reach Caruthersville Missouri near noon. Nice, an accessible town two days in a row. As I approach I see cars sitting in a small shaded park facing the river. Its seems they are just there to watch the river. As I get out of the boat, a friendly, skinny man with bad teeth comes down. “Can I take your picture?” I pose proudly then ask the usually questions. Where can I eat? Where can I get water? Where can I get groceries? Though I realize I just resupplied yesterday. He’s excited and tells me about the town and offers to drive me to the best restaurant in town a mile upriver. He is with his fiance so I take the offer.
The roundhouse restaurant is actually round and inside is a typical small town diner with white formica tables. A sign says ‘meat and 3 veg $5.99’ The busy waitress looks at me with suspicion and takes my order. I ask for a dinner salad too which she nicely says she can make one for me. The place is full of working men and a few older people. As I check my phone one of the older couples approaches me. “Are you riding a bike?” I’m wearing my electric blue performance fishing shirt and have a waterproof shoulder bag and get why they ask. “Actually no, My name is Dave, I built a boat I’m rowing…” They tell me that bicyclists, single and in groups, pass through from time to time riding the length of the Mississippi. They wish me luck and tell me to be safe.
When I ask for the bill the waitress says it was taken care of. Was it that couple who talked to me? I ask. Yes, was all she said. I left her a good tip.
I walk back along the flood wall to the park where I get water, charge my phone and sit in the shade of a pavillion. Cars come and go to look at the river and see what’s happening. I sit and watch the river too.