Day 20: Henryetta OK to Memphis, via I-40, McDonalds and the Resurrection.
Last night (I hope) on the Road. The wind has been kind today and the bike has just hummed along, the engine sounds reassuring like a familiar hymn. Feeling gratitude and worshipping on a motorcycle speeding down the interstate. It’s been great. I’m definitely leaving the desert. The fields more verdant, forests of tall and waving green trees chaperoning the highway, wildflowers along the road. Hard to tell what they are as I zoom by. Some I recognize: queen anne’s lace, black-eyed susans, pink poppies but there’s also violet colored flowers trailing through the grass. Can’t make out the types of trees until we come to a flooded area and I recognize the unmistakable bald cypress trees. The air is fresher, there’s a scent of jasmine and of the sea (!). I was starting get back into the South and I remembered how much I loved it. Still no Spanish moss yet but that will be coming soon. After a couple hundred miles I was fatigued and stopped at McDonalds. I order some iced tea and for the umpteenth time on this trip, as I stand there with my motorcycle helmet, I’m asked: “Do you want that to go?” I just smile and say: “No thanks, I’ll have it here.” I sat down in my bulky motorcycle clothes, relaxed and listened to the conversations floating around the place. I heard a couple discussing the logistics of the resurrection. How it worked, would work for them. Yep, I was back in the Christ haunted south where folks talk about Jesus in bars, restaurants, and truck stops more than they do in church, as it should be.
Despite a few complete stops on I-40 for “road work” I made it safely to Memphis and the Econo Lodge downtown. It was a great location, within walking distance to the Mississippi River and Beale Street. I had a great evening starting with dinner at Charles Vargos Rendezvous restaurant. The best ribs and brisket I’ve ever eaten. Then I walked down to Beale Street only to find out that it had been closed off to traffic for motorcycle night! I’d guess there were over 300 motorcycles there, coming and going. Everything from old Indians, to BMW’s from the 60’s, to Ducati’s, Harley’s, Guzzi’s, custom made bikes and even scooters. Almost walked back to the hotel so I could ride Big Red over here. Blues music was belting out of the bars. I spent about an hour just walking up and down the street admiring the bikes and looking at the eclectic group of riders and passersby.
On the way home I passed the baseball stadium and I thought: I’ve got to do this! I bought my ticket went in and watched about 5 innings as Memphis thrashed Albuquerque.The south beating the west. You’ve got to love it! By this time it was 10 pm and I headed back to the hotel. So far
I’ve covered over 5000 miles. Tomorrow I have the last 350 miles to go