Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Million friends on Facebook

Once again I am a day late (I have often stated I try to post from every new location), and my excuse this time is an unexpected visit in Memphis yesterday with good friends.  This morning finds us at the Walmart in West Plains, Missouri (map).

We arrived in Memphis Saturday afternoon after a fairly short drive from our digs in Hamilton, but not until after I had rebuilt the water pump two more times.  Unfortunately, the symptoms are still with us, even after putting in a half tank of water at the Mississippi Welcome Center, where we also availed ourselves of the dump station.  While we were passing through Mississippi, we also put in 100 gallons of fuel, enough to get us to Kansas City where it will be somewhat cheaper.

We parked in an undisclosed location just a few blocks from the Crescent Club, in East Memphis near Germantown.  We had a nice dinner in the bar, as the dining room had been rented for a wedding.  Notwithstanding Memphis' reputation for nightlife, especially on a Saturday night, we actually made it an early evening, settling in for the night in our stealth parking spot.

No sooner had I sat down at my computer than I noticed a couple of posts to Facebook from our friends Mark and Mary Million who were just across town from us on Beale Street.  I knew Mark had just wrapped up the Isaac relief operation in Hattiesburg and was heading home; what I did not know was that he had a rental car that needed to be returned in Memphis.  Mary had come down to meet him and make a weekend of it.  Had we known they would be in town, we might have angled for a parking spot downtown so we could meet them on Beale Street.

They, of course, did not know we'd be in town either, and when we finally connected on Facebook Saturday night, the best we could do was to plan for brunch Sunday morning.  They met us at a big-box parking lot not far from where we spent the night, and we went to the Blue Plate a few blocks away for a hearty breakfast.  The place is packed on Sunday mornings, but we only waited a half hour to be seated.  It was great catching up with them; regular readers will remember we spent a week in their driveway in June.

The Millions were spending another night in Memphis, but we needed to get rolling, and we got under way after saying our goodbyes around 1pm.  We left Memphis on Interstates 40 and 55, but turned northwest off I-55 onto US-63 in Gilmore, Arkansas.  Eventually the huge breakfast got to us, and we ended up taking a nap at a truckstop in Jonesboro, next door to the Post plant. The smell of toasting breakfast grains drifted in through the window as we snoozed.

In Imboden, US-63 joins with US-412, a route we had taken on our touring motorcycles a dozen years ago.  The road is better suited to bikes than buses, and I got my steering workout for the day.  We were again on new ground from Hardy to Mammoth Spring, where we briefly retraced our route from 2009 as we headed north to Thayer.  The grade and alignment on US-63 improved in Missouri, and we had an easy drive the rest of the way to West Plains.

As challenging as the driving can be, the Ozarks are simply beautiful.  We are not yet in fall color here, but the temperature has been dropping rapidly.  Last night it got down to 45 degrees here, and today I am back in long pants for the first time since finishing our relief operation in Orlando.  It's hard to believe that less than a week ago we were running the air conditioners 24/7 and I was jumping in the pool daily.

Today we will continue northwest on US-63 until it meets US-60 in Cabool, which will take us west to Springfield.  From there we will again head northwest on MO-13, and I expect we will end our day somewhere between Collins and Osceola.

1 comment:

  1. If you guys need a driveway to park in south of KC, we have one! Come on over!


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