Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 7 – Thursday, June 16, 2011 - Muscle Shoals, AL to Memphis, TN

On this fine Thursday, three of us slept in, and one of us did not. Any guesses? You got it, Ronnie already went to the golden arches and got a diet coke for Theresa, again. We woke up some time after that happened, each enjoyed a bloody mary, and cleaned our bikes. Once ready, we headed across the street, gassed up, and got on to westbound 72 hwy and pointed towards Memphis. We were on the road a bit before I saw a Radio Shack. Ronnie had been wanting to find one of these electronic store to get some contact cleaner for his controls. I also purchased a 1-to-2 dc plug, so that I could charge a phone and use the GPS at the same time. We made our respective purchases then hopped across the street for a breakfast snack at Jacks.

We were getting a little thirsty, so we stopped at a gas station for a bottle of water in Memphis Tennessee. Lets just say, there were bars on the windows, so not a favorable part of town. Regardless, we were thirsty, so we chugged and left. Upon getting out of the drive of the gas station, I hit a pretty good bump, slowed down a little too much, and slowly unwillingly let the bike rest upon its engine guard. Though I was embarrassed, to say the least, I motioned for Ronnie to help me lift the bike up, since Kathy was still rolling on the ground a little (she was ok, laughing a little, cussing a little, and trying to get up to help a little). Needless to say, when going over the bumps, remember to gas it and let the butt take the lump instead of lowering your bike to the engine guard. There was also a little traffic coming our way, which led to some of my anxiety to get the bike back up on its two tires. Shiny side up, right? Live and learn.

As I licked my wounds, apologized to Kathy over the intercom, thanked Ronnie over the CB, we motored towards Graceland. It was hot, and we were ready for a cool beverage on Beale Street, but we had to do a Graceland Drive by. As we snapped a couple of photos, we headed on up to Union Street in order to get to our resting spot.

Beale Street
Thompson Square / Frankie Ballard
Tour Bus Line

The warning at our hotel

We found a local parking spot near the Westin, which is just one block off of Beale. We wondered down the street of blues to Wet Willies for a cool refreshing drink. We pondered staying on Beale vs heading out. After the frozen concoctions at Wet Willies, our senses had us headed over to The Hampton Inn to see what a room would cost. The girls approached the counter as I checked rates at The Westin. The Westin was less expensive, but we decided to splurge on a King Suite on the 5th floor, since there was a country concert at WC Handy Park right next to the hotel. Thompson Square and Frankie Ballard were both going to be performing on Thursday evening for the Kix 106 “Kix on Beale” event. None of us really knew either of the performing bands, but after asking a few people locally as well as on facebook, we found Thompson Square to be somewhat famous, albeit a one hit wonder, for their song, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not.”
Thompson Square and Frankie Ballard
Concert at WC Handy Park

Once the room was procured, reserved, and everything else, we wandered back to the parking garage to get our bags, gear, and everything else. We covered the bikes, even though they were already covered in a garage. It’s that added piece of mind of being somewhat secure. We unpacked a little, freshened up, and headed to Beale for a Big Ass Beer somewhere. If you haven’t been to Beale yet, once you get there, you will notice every establishment has a salesperson out front baiting you to come in their place. Most of the pricing is the same, the blue can be the same, but the food is what typically sets the places apart. We ended up landing at The Superior Bar. Shawna, our server, served us a big ass beer for $5 and informed us that the music would start at 5:00 PM. We waited for a while and encountered Guy Venable. This was the same musician who I happened across at the 2010 International Blues Challenge and dug enough to shoot some photos of.
Mr "Sales" at
Blues Street Cafe

Theresa and Ronnie ready for Dyers
We hung out at the Superior for our beer, and then met Ronnie’s cousin, Cindy, out on Beale and then ventured over to Blues City Café, where you can put some “South In Your Mouth!” They have some awesome gumbo, too! Once done with dinner, we ventured back to the room to watch the Thompson Square and Frankie Ballard concert. It was delayed a little due to the storms that ran through town, but once it kicked off, it was quite the spectacle. The rain didn’t scare many of the youngsters in attendance and we stayed out on our covered balcony to watch the scurrying in and out of the park area. That was kind of fun to watch. Anyway, about 2/3 through the concert, the natives were getting restless and needing food. Dyers Burgers was the next stop on our informal restaurant list. Yes, they deep-fry their burgers in near-100 year old grease. The menu is full of choices, but most come for the Dyers signature single, double-double, or even a triple-triple. Add a vanilla or chocolate shake and you have a midnight snack that will rival even the best greasy spoon near you. We wandered back to our 5th floor retreat for the night, had a night-cap, and went to bed.

Some revelations for this seventh leg of the road trip:
Getting ready for
deep fried cheeseburgers
  • A bloody mary a day might not keep the doctor away, but damn they taste good.
  • Ultra Classics are heavy, especially when hot, tired, and going slow over bumps.
  • Goldwings are still quiet, even when started.
  • Graceland is a tourist trap.
  • Beale Street is a tourist trap, but I like it.
  • I will stay at The Hampton Inn near Beale again. Great service and excellent hotel.
  • Even if you are a guy, Wet Willies slush drinks are the bomb, especially when one is hot and needing cooled down.
  • Dyers is to die for – literally.
  • Deep Fried "Triple Triple"
    Cheeseburger - Burp!
  • 165 miles this day - give or take – click here our general route.

1 comment:

  1. That's pretty cool -- Guy Venable is the father of the guitarist in Lucero, one of my favorite bands!