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Friday, July 5, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Friday July 5)

Day 10 Memphis

Overcast and in  the 70's, as we pull out this morning.  We hope the rain has been left behind.  Heading to Memphis today, and continue our trek westward bound.

We make our way to Elvis Presley Blvd. and stop in the parking area across the street from his home.  No plans to tour today.  The lines are already very long, and it isn't even noon yet.  We walk around some of the souvenir shops, and guess none of us needed anything Elvis, as we walked out empty handed.

I had been on my phone app earlier looking at Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives, and found this restaurant and we are pretty close to it, so we decide to try it for lunch.

It is 11:35 when we pull into the parking lot.  The large sign on the front of the restaurant says it opens at 12.  It is already pretty warm, so Chuck parks under a tree.  Notice that people have pulled up and gotten pictures in front of the place, but aren't waiting for them to open.

The waiters motion for us to come on in around 11:50, so Chuck pulls his bike over by Chris's and we go in to eat.  Can you imagine that this place is decorated with all Elvis stuff...Imagine that!!!  Elvis music and videos playing on all the TVs in the place.

Checking out the menu, we decide to have the plate of ribs for 2.  Glad we did, because when it came, it was a rack of ribs.  Plenty for us....and cole slaw and beans too!  The food was really good.  Glad we were able to stop and check it out.   We even got to see Elvis...and get our picture taken with him.  Who knew he was still alive!

As we walk back to the bikes, Diana show us their little friend they caught along the way.  Seems a bird has gotten caught up in their chain that is on their trailer.  YUCK!!!! Road Kill!!!

Next on the plans is to drive to Beale Street.  We do a drive by, and find no parking, so we opt for a parking garage.  At least the bikes will be in the shade.  Since it's early in the day, and the day after the 4th, it's not that busy...but there are some guys playing some blues in the park area.  We walked into a few stores, and I found a great shirt for myself.  Found one for Chuck as him a "You don't know Schitt" funny!

The Peabody Hotel is only a couple of blocks away, so we head there.  I want to see The Peabody Ducks . Reading about the duck online, we find out that they only are in service for 3 months, and then they retire and go to live at the farm they were born at.  The flowers on the top of the fountain the swim in, are changed every 2 days...It was really beautiful..would have been fun to see them march out at 5pm, but we had to get on the move and make some miles.

Back at the bikes we are on the road by around 4pm.  We notice a lot of fields that we finally decide are rice fields.  They are growing a lot of rice here!!!

The skies are looking really dark as we go over the bridge out of Memphis towards West Memphis.  I have on the weather radar, and it looks like we might be able to skirt the storm.  Or so I thought.  If the road wouldn't have curved to the north, we would have...LOL   Rode right into it.

We pull off at the closest exit, and take refuge under the bridge. It is really raining buckets.  The water is really getting deep...and as the cars come off the highway they splash us as they go by.  Chris says he is going to make a break for it and get under a canopy at an old gas station.  We sit awhile longer, and then we about drown from cars as well.  We have had 2 other bikes pull off, and one lady was putting her rain suit on under the bridge.  We make a break as well, to another canopy at a gas station next to where Diana & Chris are at.  Safe and out of the storm for a minute.

The winds are blowing so hard, it is raining sideways, and our bike, although it is under the canopy, is getting soaked.  Our seats aren't covered, and you know what that means....we will have wet bottoms for awhile.  They are mopping water out of the station, as it has blown under the door....terrible storm.  One man stopped when we were under the bridge and said they had spotted a tornado at the beginning of the storm.  Hey now...we  aren't in Oklahoma!

Texting back and forth to Diana,  Chuck and Chris think we need to make a run for it, as it has let up, and we are in between storms.  I make a mad dash to get my rain suit on.  Ready to get out of here, we have to find a place that the water isn't' 2 feet deep just to get out of the parking lot...LOL...I said it rained!!!

Back on the highway, and sure enough that storm we are trying to miss, is only about a mile away from us.  You can see all the rain, and it just looks like a straight parallel line to the highway....we just hope it stays there!  We did hit a few spots of heavy mist, but nothing like what we were in earlier, or what we are seeing to the south of us.  So very glad we left when we did, as it looks like we would have been there for quite a long time.  This storm is big, and it is bad....we want nothing of it.  Go away!

Looks like Memphis got the rain as well.
When it is finally safe for us to pull off, we make a quick exit and I for one am so glad to get out of the rains suit, or should I call it a sweat suit.  Only bad thing about taking off the rain suit, is the seat that is wet!  The leather seat is fine, but those seams....nope, they have water in them.   Another couple pulls up and they are getting their rain suits off as well.  They are heading to Corpus Christi...they were from Pennsylvania.  They too had gotten caught in the storm.  We are off again, and the weather has cleared up and we have sun again!!!

Our next stop was for gas, and the couple that we talked to at the gas station during the rain storm was there getting gas.  They had skirted the storm as well.  I think they left just a few minutes after we did.  He commented about the storm as well....he thought they had gotten in some hail...sure glad we missed that part.

We take a slight detour, and drive towards Lake Dardanelle.  It was a beautiful ride.  Was hoping that the town of Dardanelle would have a motel, but we only saw one, and it didn't look that nice.  Got to see the only nuclear power plant in Arkansas.  Arkansas Nuclear One...It is on the northeast shore of Lake Dardanelle.  The lake is HUGE!!!!  and so is the power plant.  Think there are any three eyed fish in that lake!!!???
Since we can't find any motels we head on into Russellville.

   It is about 8:30pm by now, and it is time to find a place to stop and get some food.  Long crazy day!  We get the last 2 rooms at the Best Western....and walk to a restaurant that is just about a 1/2 block away.  Glad to get some food, we walk back to the motel parking area, and sit outside for a few minutes...I think we are all tired, and it is time to get some shut eye.  Tomorrow is our last day of this vacation.  Good night world.