Made it to Memphis Tennessee
October 8, 2015 – Day 35
Blytheville, AR to Memphis, TN. 75 miles. Total Miles 2,250
Weather 86 degrees, sunny and cross wind
Today was a long day, not as much mileage but the ride itself. The first 40 miles were on Hwy 61 and we were dealing with a cross wind the whole way – not real bad but it definitely added to the challenge of the day. It also was hot – close to 90 and we are not used to the heat so that took it’s toll on us a bit.
We left Blytheville, AR early to try to beat the heat a bit. 17 miles down the road we came to the town of Osceola – really neat town with lots of historic markers and significance. The people in town were also great and very friendly- they even were interested in doing a story on us in the local paper – but we just could not get it organized. Stopped at the local Chamber and they were very helpful and told us about a great café in the Town of Wilson 11 miles down the road. So we did not stop for a snack in Osceola and planned to have lunch at the recommended café. We were glad we waited the food at the Wilson Café was very good – a grilled cheese sandwich with salmon and other goodies – Yummy!!
The owner of the café knew we were coming due to a phone call from the woman at the Chamber in Osceola – he was pleased to meet us and wanted the scoop on our ride – him and his wife also bicycle. We spent a little extra time talking with him. But all to soon had to continue on.
We continued along Hwy 61 to the town of Joiner. The route actually went about 40 miles to the west but we decided to continue the 7 miles down the road to Joiner rather than take the 40 mile loop – we wanted to get to Memphis. The rides between Wilson and Joiner was interesting because it had a cotton processing plant on it and we saw rows and rows of bailed cotton getting ready to be processed, also lots of cotton laying along the road edge. Tracy finally picked up some cotton from the roadside and put it in a bag to bring home – I am sure the locals thought she was nuts!!
The ride continued to Marion on Hwy 77. When we reached the city we realized we were in need of water to finish the ride to Memphis. Peter headed down a side street and Tracy found the Parsonage Bakery and Deli to get water and also a couple of cookies – which we ate tonight they were so good – Tracy had a lemon coconut cookie which she said was amazing – she wished she bought another one!! The café owner asked where we were going and Tracy told her to Memphis but the route to cross the bridge seemed really messy!!
Her husband said I can give you a good route and then explained to both of us how to get there on less busy roads. The route they gave us was good but we still had to push the bicycle thru a construction zone and farmers field to actually get to the pedestrian bridge. We actually had to push the bicycle for about a mile thru dirt and construction equipment to get to the access point. Then we had to ride on roads under the freeway we were crossing the Mississippi on three different times and then when we finally got to the point where you could actually access the pedestrian walkway – we had to push the bicycle across the grass to get to the access point. The walkway was very narrow (we had to walk the bike across the 2 mile bridge) and extremely dirty – it appeared everyone who drove over the bridge saved their glass bottles to toss them onto the pedestrian walkway – the amount of glass was unbelievable. It was not a very nice crossings and we would not recommend it to anyone. Fortunately they are in the process of building a new bicycle and pedestrian crossing – in fact they were pouring cement on some of the new trail as we pushed our bike along – it is suppose to be done in 2016 – it will be a much needed improvement. We will have to come back to try out the new trail!!
We finally made it across and needed to find somewhere to stay in Memphis – Tracy worked on that, while Peter took a nap in the park. We found a room in the downtown area and can take the trolley or just walk out of our room to access all the action in the downtown area Beale Street, Front Street and Riverside Drive. Tomorrow is a day off and we plan to sleep in late – at least Tracy does and then explore the city and maybe go out to check out Graceland. Looking forward to checking out the city and plan to check out the Cotton Museum.
Attached are some pictures and a video from the past few days.