Leaving the South

July 23, 2010

Words by // Photography by Nita Breibish

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.

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I’m a Canadian writer, adventure motorcyclist and world traveller of British and Libyan descent. I’ve spent the past two and a half years travelling the globe by motorcycle as one-half of We Love Motogeo, following a route that makes little sense to anyone else, while supporting our non-profit organization, the Lost for Good Project. I’ve been chased by all manner of animal, detained as a spy in North Africa and waited out a hurricane in the bowels of a ferry. While I’m no spy (honestly), I am a lover of decent coffee and great yarns sewn around a campfire.


  1. Comment by Ann

    Ann July 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Okay – I thought you were stopping in Tupelo for us oldies…..Tupelo Honey revisited!
    Oh oh……your Mom doesn’t remember that song….how sad it is…but she’d sing you Chattanooga Choo Choo?? Is she really my sister??

  2. Comment by Julia

    Julia July 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for the comments you made about me, my co-worker Judi, and our employer Ryan’s. You stopped in Corinth, Mississippi, however, not Jackson. Our visit was a divine appointment. You both are an inspiration. Keep up the good work and of course, drive carefully! I absolutely love to travel myself so I found your traveling experiences to be very entertaining. I pray your service was fine and would love to hear from you again. Tell others about us. God bless you both, Julia.

  3. Comment by Issa

    Issa July 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Julia! Thank you for the correction – we were a little uncertain when we turned into your restaurant. We’re glad you feel that way about our meeting – it seemed perfect to be there at that moment. It felt like we were exactly where we needed to be! You were fantastic – so beyond fine. I very much hope our paths cross again!

    • Comment by Julia

      Julia July 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Rightly said. Exact time, exact moment, divine appointment. You’re both good people. I’ve read your comments about finding some good people still today and I want you to know, I agree, I found some during our time with each other. I was revived to God’s goodness and I thank you for that. God Bless! I’ve also enjoyed your online site. Very well done if I may say… professional. Good job guys! Keep in touch.

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