In a short time after leaving a glorious and warm sun rose but too late to avert the havoc of the night for there had been a heavy frost and as I walked along at several way side houses saw the debacle of a frost after vegetation and budding had advanced to dream of a fruitful crop. Vegetables had blackened during the night, under apple trees buds as large as peas covered the ground and all the labor of the gardening and the sun’s healthy giving life to vegetations and fruit was blotted out in a few hours of the night. The sights of these people surveying the wreck of their hope the night had been one of bliss compared with the losses of these people and it enable me to carry further troubles with a lighter heart. I tramped along with lighter tread and was given some breakfast at a farm house where they were already preparing to replant.
The day was hot and not having had much sleep for a couple of nights I stopped to rest occasionally and get a little sleep in the shade of the trees. Had some food at a cottage along the road and along in the afternoon came to Speers Ferry. Two railroads crossed here., one at grade and the other over and as there were some empty cars about called it a day and passed the balance of the day under a tree a good part of the time talking to a couple of boys who came along and sat beside me. They sensed me for a tramp and one of the boys leaving said, “Come to my house for supper – Mom will give you some” and pointed out his mom’s house. I told him I would come and thanked him. Along about 6 o’clock as near as I could judge I went over and the boys were awaiting me saying, “I’ll bet she’ll give you a good ounce for she told me “I was good boy to ask you, but not to set up with every tramp who comes along.” about that time his mother, a real good looking mother, came to the door saying… Take a seat on the bench.. we had an early supper and thought you would not come, but have saved some for you and she not only saved some but a plenty and it was all to the good. I stayed with them until dusk listening eagerly to my words. On leaving the mother said, “You don’t look like the common tramp and i would take you in for the night but we have not room for you.” I said, “Madam thank you very much for your kindness and good will. As to the night I can sleep in one of the box cars and be comfortable as the night is warm”, ” I will be glad to give you breakfast if you will stop on your way by in the morning” said she. Thank you but I will be off early so no doubt I will want to be moving by daylight to get the night kinks out of my legs” and bidding them goodnight went to my box car and slept much more than the previous night but the base floor was just as hard. At day light I was away and was soon crossing the river on nice suspension bridge only wide enough for two persons to pass each other and that at my close quarters. i required care to cross as there missing pieces of flooring here and there and the bridge swayed considerable. Had expected to follow the railroad by there was a long trestle crossing a valley and no place to walk except the tires, hence my taking to the road. The sun had come up warm and there was prospects of a hot day. There was a ferry under the bridge and a few trains were awaiting to cross, our load being… over as I came over on the bridge. I was about three miles to Clinchport on the railroad and arriving at the point asked for directions to Big Stone Gap. From where I received the information I needed to make a 2-3 turns to come out on the Gap road and finally was following a well traveled and dirty road. . It was very warm by this time… to be continued….