#HOGWild18: Day 2 – El Dorado, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee

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.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

 

 

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#HOGWild18: Day 1- Dallas To Magnolia, Arkansas

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Well, it’s here! The official start of #HOGWild18. Scott and I didn’t think it was going to happen because we first had an issue at the house and had to wait on a contractor (and you know they never do anything fast), and then we caught a stomach bug that would have made things very awkward if we weren’t married. As it was, we staggered our illnesses so we were able to take care of each other. Yay marriage!

Speaking of marriage, it’s officially our anniversary. We pulled up to the hotel in Magnolia, Arkansas one minute until midnight. We kissed, high-fived, and thought about dancing under the carport, but we were both hungry and tired, so we’ve put off dancing until tomorrow night (uhh…later tonight since it’s past midnight).

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(this is us after the kiss and high-five)

I should go back to the beginning of the day, since we didn’t just arrive in Magnolia by magic. We had no plans to leave today. We had no plans at all since we weren’t sure how we were going to feel coming into this trip. But we’ve got tickets to see Harry Connick Jr. in North Carolina, and my will is strong where he is concerned.

I went to get my nails done before the trip, and while I was sitting in the chair I had an epiphany. Since neither of us were no longer vomiting, we should head out immediately. Like tonight. While it wasn’t 5,000 degrees outside in the midst of a Texas summer.

I immediately sent a text to Scott saying we should leave at 7:00 and just ride until dark, just to beat the heat and take some time off our ride. He said okay, and then I immediately sent him a frantic list of all the things that needed to get done before we left. He didn’t seem impressed by my list, and he didn’t seem in a hurry. I was perplexed.

I sped home with the list on my mind and was grateful to see he’d read his texts. He was pulling out shirts to wear so I could get the bags packed. But there were still so many things to be done. I told Scott to leave the packing to me (because otherwise he’d leave the house with a pair of underwear and a bandana, and forget all the stuff in between), and I asked him to go take the sheets out of the dryer and put them back on the guest bed.

I was chugging along, ticking things off my packing list, and I needed to ask Scott if he was going to pack his flip-flops. So I went off to find him. In the guest bedroom. Where he was supposed to be putting sheets on the bed. Mind you, he’d been in there almost half an hour. When I stepped into the guest room, there he was, laying in the middle of a bed with no sheets on it, watching Fox News on his phone.

I gave him the same look I give the kids when I catch them doing things like that. And he gave me the same grin the kids give when they know they’ve been caught. Scott is very good at getting out of trouble. All I know is we were suddenly dancing in circles and I was helping Scott make up the bed. I’m not sure how he does it.

Anyway, we were behind schedule so I went back to packing and laying out my clothes for the night ride. That’s when he asked me if those were my clothes for the next day. I told him, “No, those are my clothes for tonight.” He looked confused and then asked why I was wearing them tonight. I told him it was because we were leaving to go on the trip tonight. He seemed very surprised by this information.

I asked him if he actually read any of the texts I sent, or if he just responded okay out of habit. But to be fair, I did just say 7:00 and didn’t specify whether it would be a.m. or p.m. (though I personally thought it was self-explanatory enough, but whatevs).

But I did discover why he wasn’t in as much of a hurry as I was, which made total sense considering he thought we were leaving the next day. Somehow we managed to get packed, get the house straightened, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t forget anything too important.

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We were treated to a beautiful sunset over Rockwall Lake, and the weather was perfect into Arkansas.

It’s about an hour and change into our anniversary, so I’m going to wrap this up by saying I’m so thankful to be married to a man like Scott, and I look forward to many more amazing years. We’ll let you know how anniversary day went in tomorrow night’s post.

Until Tomorrow! (I promise I’ll take more pictures tomorrow, but it was dark most of the trip tonight)

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 2 – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Wow! What an incredible day 2 of our adventure.

Sleepy Heads vs. Motor Heads

I thought for sure when our heads hit the pillow last night that we’d be dead to the world for a good while. But I rolled over and looked at the clock at 6:17am and knew I wasn’t going back to sleep. Scott was still snoozing, so I grabbed my phone and sat in the tub with the shower running while I did my morning prayer time and bible reading.

Scott eventually woke up (3 hours later) and we spent a lazy Sunday morning together, eventually getting our church on with the Live Broadcast at Gateway Church. Jimmy Evans is doing a 5 week series on defeating the enemy, and he’s one of our favorite pastors. But we lost connection somewhere along the way, so only got to listen to half the message. We haven’t had great wifi luck in Arkansas, but we’ll finish it at some point. And thank goodness for late checkout at the Marriott, because we have yet to get on the bike before noon.

More Road Show Video!

The weather was gorgeous as we left Fort Smith and headed toward the infamous Pig Trail Scenic Byway along AR-23.

Scott and I have bluetooth in our helmets so we can talk to each other, and we had a lengthy discussion on why it’s called Pig Trail, and why anyone would purposefully build roads that look like scribbles on a notepad when they could be perfectly straight. Scott gave an excellent explanation as to the why. I guess that’s why he’s a doctor.

There’s a scenic view about halfway through the trail so we pulled over for a photo op. It was also a good place to stop and stretch. My behind was starting to feel the ride at this point.

Fashion vs. Function

When we got back on the bike, I had the opportunity to take this photo with my new Chanel Wallet on Chain, which I’ve decided is the perfect handbag for biker ladies, and clearly they need to market it as such.

Pig Trail was a fun ride, and we followed AR-23 all the way to Eureka Springs, where we decided to stay for the night. Eureka Springs is a super cool town. They have a population of just over 2,000 people, and more than eighty restaurants. I’ll let that sink in for a second.

Gorgeous Town

What’s been fun for me (since I’m new to the motorcycle world) is that this is a heavily populated motorcycle town. The hotels and restaurants are all biker friendly, and it’s such a great community of people. I’ve enjoyed talking to random riders at stores and restaurants. Everyone is on a journey, and it’s so cool to listen to their stories.

We’ve bunked for the night at a place called The Lodge. It’s owned by a very nice husband and wife who live here on the property and do everything themselves. The whole place is a throwback in time, with real keys that open the doors and old school phones with a cord in the room. They made it very homey for us, even setting out wine glasses and an ice bucket for our stay. Plus our room has a jacuzzi, which was perfect for soaking after riding.

After a little down time in the room, we got back on the bike and decided to do some exploring. This place is a biker’s dream as far as the roads go. There are twists and turns, different elevations, the roads are canopied by towering trees, and creek waters rush over rocks beneath the bridges. The town is quaint and surprisingly sprawling, considering the size of the population.

Big Jesus

One of the winding roads led us to Passion Play Road, which is a replica of a Jerusalem marketplace. They do a Holy Land Tour as well as perform The Great Passion Play. There’s also a 67 foot statue of Christ of the Ozarks, which we had to stop and take a picture in front of. Thank goodness Scott brought the tripod and remote for the camera. He’s always thinking ahead!

We explored the town a little longer, not bothering to look at a map, and we eventually stopped for dinner at a place called Myrtie May’s. They’re famous for their fried chicken, so that’s what I got. Scott ordered a club sandwich for some reason. The fried chicken was delicious. He missed out.

Fried Chicken Brings Rain

A few minutes before we paid the check we heard the first rumble of thunder. We double-timed it out to the bike while the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. Lightning flashed and droplets of rain fell sparsely, but it was only a matter of time before the skies opened. We made it back to The Lodge just in time, and now we’re cozied up in the room listening to the thunder and the rainfall.

It’s been a great day for adventure and romance.

Until tomorrow!

Leah and Scott