Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back South

Although I'd barley thought of my bike while back in the northwest, as I returned to Dan's house in Memphis, there it was just as I'd left it, calling to be ridden again. However, I put that off one more day as I toured Memphis.

The mornings paper had an article about how Forbes magazine had rated it the "third most miserable city," I had to try not to let that taint my perception. Not being a bike-friendly city, I took buses. My only complaint was that the bus stops had no numbers and the maps weren't much help. Once downtown, I walked Beale St again on my way to the National Civil Rights Museum, which I didn't have time to go in my first trip. Although it was a very heavy place, it was a good museum and well worth the visit.

Beale St (famous music district). The building shell is left from a civil rights march in which it was burnt down.

As Dan had reminded me, "no trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to Graceland," so I made the trek. I wish I'd been there on some "Elvis holiday" or at least a weekend for better people watching, the place was pretty empty. Tours ranged from $30-$70, so not being a big Elvis fan, I stuck to the fences and browsed the countless gift shops. You can get just about anything Elvis (replica jumpsuit for $3,400?).


The fence surrounding Graceland is covered in people's messages and names.

Yesterday I left Dan's and headed South. Dan was a tremendous help these past few weeks: getting me directions, rides to the airport, storing my gear, info on the city, sharing his stories of touring, even an Adventure Cycling Association membership! Dan, I can't thank you enough.

Dan and Cassy

Rolling hills brought me into Mississippi. My body groaned as I pedaled-it'll be awhile before I feel strong and in shape again. I rode into Holly Springs were I stopped in the town square for a bite and rest. Shortly after sitting down, a women walking by talked to me and showed me where her office was if I needed anything. She then told a coworker who brought me information on the town and a little guide of the many antebellum homes in the area. Then a reporter for the local paper came to interview me. Word sure spread quickly. Everyone was so friendly, this was sure a great welcome to Mississippi, I hope it continues.

Entering Holly Springs, I thought this was entertaining.

Courthouse Square in Holly Springs

One of the 30-some antebellum homes. This is Cedarhurst, built in 1857.

As usual for my first day back riding, I rode much longer then I should have. I'm not sure if I was just being picky last night or am out of practice, but it took nearly an hour to find a good camp spot, resulting in more riding. It's good to be moving though and the weather is fantastic, sunny and warm, though a little windy. I should make it the the Natchez Trace Parkway today, I'll likely ride that out to Louisiana.


  1. Love your posts!

    Media Director
    Adventure Cycling Association

  2. Hi Robin! Nice to meet you! My son David just told me you will be couchsurfing with him down in Baton Rouge. I love reading adventure blogs and wish u luck! I was inspired by another of David's couchsurfers who rode his bike and blogged from San Diego to Key West and then on down to Brazil. So much so that last summer I struck out on my own and moved from Louisiana to northwestern New Mexico!!!! I'm just loving it too! So carry on kindred spirit! You will have a great time in Baton Rouge & New Orleans with David and his friends! C ya!