Hello from Memphis, where BB King and Elvis are both kings. Apparently.
I left St. Louis after hustling a restaurant owner about not putting pickles in his bloodymarys. Pretty good veggie sandwich and tasty fries at the West End Pub and Grill. Then I had to stop and take a nap since I ate bread and felt incurably tired. Later I got gas in Scott City.
They were big fans of inundating you with signs as you get off the highway.The gas station was also blasting the smash hit “Quit Playin’ Games with my Heart” by the one and only Backstreet Boys like it was still in the top 40. Needless to say, the soundtrack for the next stretch of driving was instantly selected.
I rocked out to BSB all the way to Arkansas. Where I stopped at the Ritz Carlton of rest stops.
I’ve become sort of a connoisseur of rest stops, having slept at many in my day. I took one of my famous (and much needed) rest stop sink showers (Sinzi knows about that), which was extra pleasant as there was a sink in the handicap stall. After that I decided I wanted to eat delicious baked beans for dinner. So I gathered my camping stove, pot, and essentials to find a wind-free zone to set up shop. I sat down with everything and discovered I neglected to pack one essential tool: a can opener. I nearly admitted defeat when I decided that modern technologies need not determine the fate of my dinner. So I started banging the can on a sharp rock. No dice. I thought “if only I had some pliers.” And, being a maker of tiny wire bikes, I of course did. I gathered some tools and came back to my little dinner spot. After hammering my car key in the side of the can and then slicing the can with wire cutters and prying it open with pliers, I was in business. Maple-y, savory, beany business.
Here she is, a’cookin. Thank you to b-side records for that book of matches that’s been sitting in my purse forever. Came in handy.
Then I sat… clean… triumphant… and happy, eating my tasty bean dinner. I should have slept here, but I continued on to Memphis. Set up shop at a truck stop/travel plaza and slept. Well sort of. I was up frequently worrying about torandoes and listening to the pounding rain and thunder. I’ve had better nights sleep. I’m missing those nights right now. Woke up with a slightly more sore throat and pulled into Memphis at 8am. Then it started to pour. Again. I may have mentioned that I could do without the rain. No, really.
It let up fairly fast and I got some information and I’ve started to tool around. Here’s Beale Street:
And now I’m at a breakfast joint called Cockadoos. I ate breakfast which included a biscuit that will certainly make itself known again shortly in some form of illness or fatigue. But it was delicious.
Now onto the rock ‘n soul museum and the Stax museum. For those of you who don’t know about Stax Records… learn about it. Then it’s time to make all this Paul Simon dreamin’ a reality. I’m goin’ to Graceland.
Headed to Baton Rouge tonight, Louisiana here I come! Strep throat can suck it!
Thanks greaat blog post
Excellent trip so far! The rain is a nuisance but makes for good pictures.
that soda machine shot is basically installation art
very nice account of what im sure was a very memorable first stretch of your journey. you are missed