The only thing better than getting into Dallas was getting out of Dallas. This state is huge and takes forever to get through. When I finally see that Welcome to Arkansas sign, I am relieved!!
We get some rain most of the day but only drizzle that is mostly just annoying. There are tractor trailers further than my eyes can see. More trucks than cars. We constantly pass these behemoths all day long and the wind that whips around them make each pass challenging. The road to Memphis starts to turn greener and greener as we put on the miles between Texas and Tennessee. Texas is as flat as a pancake with no trees lining the highways, but a lot of open space, mostly pasture for steer and cows. As we get into Arkansas the roads begin are heavily lined with trees and clear views of mountains in the distance.
Riding the main highways gets boring because the distance between towns provides nothing else to look at. You can actually find yourself daydreamingÂ but having music helps keep you awake and able to rack up the miles. Today we stretch the limit some and pile up a total of 475 miles, which is some 200 more miles that we have been averaging each day, This puts us at 9 hours on the road for the day and when we finally find our hotel, I feel a sense of relief as the heat, rain and miles in the saddle have taken its toll.
I always say that the hardest part of the ride is finding the hotel because they never give you the right directions over the phone. Looking out for street signs is hard enough but when directions are poor conditions get dangerous. Being on a bike its hard to look at the road and for signs of a hotel at the same time. Road conditions inside city limits are often horrendous as is the case in Memphis. Couple that with a trolley system that has rails running all directions and its pretty scary. Those rails are buried in the ground and bike tires don’t cross them as well and as safely as a car tire does.
We hit Beale street andÂ can’t help singing “Walkin in Memphis” as I marvel at all the neon and music that overloads my senses. This place is amazing and it reminds me of Bourbon St in NOLA but much, much nicer. Very clean too!. The music is just pouring out of open doors at ever turn and you don’t know where to go first. We make our way up and down the street and check out the motorcycles as it is bike night on Beale every Wednesday evening. Music from the bands and the bikes fill the air along with the enticing aroma of BBQ.
Having eaten just a few hours earlier, we all decide to have a slice of pizza and stop by Pizza on Beale, a brick oven joint run by a cool dude named Cole. He hooks us up with the history of the place and how he and his wife now run the business. He makes his own slow cooked pork for his pizza’s and generously gives us a sample to try. He also does catering off premise which by the taste of the pork is probably deadly good. Stop in and say hi and tell him NJREGULARGUY sent you. Try the pulled pork or buffalo chicken pizza, and remind him he needs some hot sauce or he’ll cut you up some pepperoncini’s!!!
The next day we set out on a tour of the city and stop by the Peabody Hotel( to watch the ducks march),Â Â Graceland, Sun Studios, Bass Pro’s Pyramid store( amazing with fish ponds,alligators archery range and bowling alley) and the Motel Lorraine, where Dr. King was assassinated. This site gives me chills as we approach the site and I see the walkway that is so familiar to me from seeing so much of it in television and print. It made me think about the color divide we so have in this country. I know it still exists but for the everyday people in this town it seems that black or white is just fine. Being a visitor to this town you will be among a population of mostly black people who treat us wonderfully and share in our excitement of their town without any discomfort pertaining to our race. I really believe that most Americans don’t care what color our skin is as long as we respect each other as human beings.
This town is incredible and everyone who lives here should be proud.
Our last night in town and its time for some BBQ. We wind up at Blues City Cafe on Beale and 2nd st, where we finally get those ribs everyone here talks about. Staying away from the chain restaurants, we seek out local places where the portions are always better and the service is friendlier. Blues City offers food, drink and entertainment with tonight’s band playing the best of Buddy Holly, Cash, Elvis and others who roamed the streets of Memphis back in the day. The food is exceptional and the music awesome, and so a fitting end to our stopover here.
Just One Man’s Opinion
The Regular Guy