November 21, 2015
It was another blistering-hot day with temperatures reaching 106 degrees. The heatwave somehow simultaneously refuses to allow anything to dry yet robs everything of water. It’s unbelievable. We both wear hydration packs that we fill with ice water and after 7 litres of water we were both still showing signs of dehydration.
Another reality were beginning to notice is that gear is starting to smell :) It’s not a pretty image but hey, we’re trying to be honest about the trip, right? The mic covers smell, the PUG gear smells and the feet? Hooboy. SIDI makes a good boot, but this one needs vents. I’m looking forward to our first day off just to wash our clothes. That happens in 3 more days, so until then I’ll apologize to everyone we meet in advance.
Day 6 was a straight shot to Cape Girardeau, Missouri from Birmingham, Alabama with most of the riding being done on interstates. There seemed to be times where the road was lined with mile-long convoys of 18 wheelers then fairly quiet roads for a 100 miles. I forgot to mention on day 5 that we passed through Chattanooga – a stop I added simply because mum used to sing that song to me as a young boy (“excuse me boy, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo?”). Today’s sentimental run was through Tupelo just to get a picture for Lorrie, Xerx and Diesel – not that it’s related to the band Uncle Tupelo in anyway.
The day 6 route took us through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and finally Missouri. It’s intensely beautiful in the south both the landscapes and the people. Southern hospitality isn’t simply a trite saying – people have been incredibly kind to us here. We headed north along the west side of the Mississippi River. The river is so wide – if it wasn’t moving as quickly as it does it could easily be mistaken for a lake.
We stopped at a Ryans in Corinth, MS and were looking forward to an air-conditioned sit-down lunch. We started talking with out waitress Julia who was dynamite as was her co-worker Judi. We talked about the impact of the recession on people there coupled with the disaster in the gulf. Judi talked to us about our adventure and told us about her plans for a trip to Yosemite (Judi, keep planning – we want to see pictures when you go!). Just before we left a tall fellow walked into the room and, with a great smile, said “Are you the two on the motorcycle adventure?” He introduced himself as J. Briggs King – a preacher – a perfect line of work since his voice was golden, and was a natural story-teller. All three were wonderful.
With that we were on our way to Cape Girardeau. Tomorrow we’re leaving the south and heading into the mid-west and the loneliest road along highway 50.