We spent our honeymoon a few years ago bicycling from San Fransisco through Sonoma County wine country and along the PCH until we reached Healdsburg, California.
As a long time road cyclist, I loved it. Leah, who was not a fan of cycling, actually passed out on the first day’s first serious climb. But, she did survive to go on and finish the tour.
I later asked her why in the world would she book a trip like that if she hated cycling, and had spent about the sum total of zero hours training for it. She said, “Because you love it and I love you.” Okay, point made.
Fast forward to today, and we spent our anniversary on a motorcycle during sun-soaked hours while cruising along the scenic highway toward El Dorado, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee. Good news is, although Leah is sunburned, she didn’t pass out; yet.
Oh, and before you get too worried, we did find a Cracker Barrel in Arkadelphia by lunch.
The ride to Memphis was a mixture of winding back roads and 18-wheeler in left and right lanes interstates. It got brutal for a few hours, but the goal was Beale Street and BBQ by night.
Memphis is a very cool, but confusing city. There’s a giant, Egyptian pyramid in the downtown area. It’s a Bass Pro Shop. Now, I’m not complaining, but it’s a Bass Pro Shop!!!
Okay, back to the run up to the Bass Pro Shop. Traveling cross-country is incredible because you never know what you’ll find. One turn reveals a lake and old train tracks, while another offers sweeping vistas or ancient swamps peaking from the thicket of trees and foliage.
A quick turn Downtown, USA and charming southern homes stand guard over historical buildings and long-ago signage weathered by time and progress.
It’s America, and it’s breathtaking.
Well, it had to happen eventually. Tennessee is a helmet law state, so we swept into a parking lot before the state line to don our new summer bonnets. I was glad because it was a break from the sun bouncing off my noggin. Sure, it was coated with high SPF sunscreen, but it’s still sun.
These are the thinnest, lightest official DOT helmets made. Oddly enough the brand name is Badass Helmets. They also come with a big sticker that reads the same for your helmet. Leah tried to sneak it on mine, but I caught her. She’s tricky, but not that tricky.
Looking at this picture, I realize that my biker beard is ridiculously out of control. But I committed to it, so that rug is staying put until we get home. If you’ll look close at Leah’s eyewear, they are big, bug glasses I bought her in Biloxi for one dollar. They look cute on her.
Folks, I’m going to get serious with you for a moment. if there are kids in the room, you might want to send them away.
Now y’all know it was our wedding anniversary, so I promised my bride I’d take her anywhere she wanted to eat. As long as it was within walking distance, and I wasn’t wearing pants. Shorts yes, more pants, no. Also, we’re a block off Beale Street, so there are lots of options.
We returned to our favorite spot called Rendezvous BBQ. If you’ve ever eaten here, you know how weird it is to walk down an alley, squeeze past the giant dumpster, and walk into a basement. I know, if we were giving directions to our kids, they’d think we hated them. But this place is worth the odd obstacles.
I had chicken breast. My carnivore had meat.
After this amazing experience, she stopped to mug in front of the iconic Peabody, and then onto Beale Street for a quick walk before zipping back to our room to “type” this up!!
Sorry, we missed the march of the ducks at the Peabody.
Ha! I just saw the guy taking our pic as I was taking this. Or he was taking a selfie. Who knows. So we headed back to the room to rest up for day 3. It’s about a 600 mile day, and while we’ve regularly knocked those out, still recouping from a virus and the extreme heat, might have better sense cutting the day off in Nashville instead of our goal of Knoxville.
And off course, what’s a trip to Memphis without running into the King.
Scott & Leah