On the Illinois side of the river we joined highway 3 and followed it south to Cairo. I was not prepared for what we found in Cairo. It was a run down urban wasteland. There were a few people but there was no life here. It was depressing. Every town we have visited so far on this trip down the river has had some reconstruction or development. Not Cairo, IL.
Looking at the location of Cairo you would think this would be one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in America. The town is situated on a peninsula with the Ohio and the Mississippi on either side. The confluence of the two rivers right at the tip of town.
We rode through town and took a few pictures. They tell the story better than we can. Notice there are no people or cars. The picture of the Chamber of Commerce is powerful…all boarded up. It’s like they gave up.
We left town and crossed the Ohio River on the highway 62 Bridge. In contrast to the bridge we crossed over in Cape Girardeau this was one of the oldest and most poorly maintained bridges we saw on the trip.
I was hoping to get a shot of the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers but there was no place where the road and views cooperated. Then a few miles down the road in Kentucky while riding up a hill I looked back to my right and saw this huge cross.
We pulled over and checked it out. This is the Jefferson Hill Cross. Several churches worked together to make this happen. The cross is placed high on a hill overlooking the Mississippi. The cross itself is 95 feet high. If you look upstream you can see the bridge at Cairo.
This is last we saw of the river on this leg. We couldn’t help taking a picture of this sign: Keep in mind we have now passed into the south. We passed through the short section of Kentucky and ended the day in Dyersberg, TN.
Next leg we travel through Memphis to Greenville, MS.