The open road: 2010 summer trip day 9 & 10

Day 9-10: Bumming around Memphis, TN, and then off to Beaver Dam, WI — 722 Miles

If you are just finding this, go here to start at the beginning.

The date was July 24th, a Saturday. The big air show (remember, this trip has a real destination!) started in 2 days on the following Monday. With 700+ miles to cover, we figured it’d be doable in 1 day, even though it’d be a little bit of a stretch. That gave us a free day to bum around Memphis and see the sights.



[click to go to an interactive map]

The Peabody Hotel — the duck ramp is in place, and the crowd is gathering.

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/8sec, 18mm focal L., map

The Peabody Hotel is famous because some hunters played a drunken prank and dumped some ducks (used as live decoys) into the lobby’s fountain. It drew so much attention that the hotel owners decided that they should always have ducks in the fountain and a bellman volunteered to tend to them, thus, giving rise to the first Duckmaster.

Every day, the Duckmaster escorts them from the roof to the fountain and back again, much to the delight of the kids. They are certainly quite the happy ducks, but, you know, they are just ducks.

The Peabody Hotel — the full mob in force.

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/3.5, 1/4sec, 18mm focal L., map

Beale street is a requisite tourist trap for chotchkies and, apparently, beers to go. It’s closed off to traffic allowing the street performers to use it as a veritable stage for with to display their talents to those with generous pockets.

That’s one bored bartender — not quite noon yet. The day is young.

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/13.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., ~803ft from prev photo, map

Frank’s Bar-B-Q Shop

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/13.0, 1/125sec, 31mm focal L., ~2.9mi from prev photo, map

I have vague memories from my youth of eating at Frank’s Bar-B-Q shop (home of the Dancing Pigs sauce). I’m not sure how long my dad has known Frank, but he and Jim were warmly welcomed upon arrival. Memphis bar-b-q, with its tangy vinegar base that is minimally sweet, is the quintessential bar-b-q for me.

Testing out the new glazed ribs

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/13.0, 1/30sec, 18mm focal L., map

Frank gives us the personal tour — the modern smoker

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/13.0, 1/30sec, 27mm focal L., map

The original smoker

Nikon D70, ISO 800, ƒ/3.5, 1/15sec, 18mm focal L., map

Jim’s the big guy in the picture below. He and my dad are childhood friends and they’ve pretty much always been thick as thieves. He made a great host and carted us all over. Thanks Jim!

Friends and family — Jim’s daughter and her husband joined us for lunch

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/500sec, 18mm focal L., map

Jim takes us to the zoo

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/1600sec, 18mm focal L., ~0.9mi from prev photo, map

The three of us ventured to the Zoo, oddly enough. Since having kids, I’ve been to more zoos than I ever recall ever going as a kid — I probably just have a bad memory.

It was hot and brutally humid. We were all wiped after seeing, maybe, half of the zoo.

Calling it a valiant effort, considering the heat.

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/9.0, 1/400sec, 22mm focal L., map

The next day, we were rolling down the road at 0615 local. I’d done quite a bit of studying to find a route that would get us off the slab and into some fun roads the first part of the day. Little did I know that Dad was still not entirely comfortable on his newish R12. While I was having fun at a fairly relaxed pace, I ended up causing undo stress on him as he was still finding the groove of the new ride.

Getting some back road love to break up the slabbing

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/9.0, 1/250sec, 18mm focal L. @53 MPH, ~118mi from prev photo, map

That’s a lot of mowing to keep up with — but, just idyllic countryside

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/2000sec, 18mm focal L. @56 MPH, ~42mi from prev photo, map

Fort Davidson

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/3200sec, 18mm focal L. @34 MPH, ~17mi from prev photo, map

I’m a sucker for broken down old buildings.

I always wonder what former glory such buildings used to be — and, what they were used for.

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/3.5, 1/800sec, 18mm focal L. @27 MPH, ~73mi from prev photo, map

As we skirted around St. Louis, I was struck with surprise when the Gateway Arch came to view. The family visited it when I was a kid, but, it seams more impressive now. It’d be more fun to take the stairs through it.

Gratuitous landmark shot

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 18mm focal L. @52 MPH, ~0.4mi from prev photo, map

So light, you might as well drink water! — Is there even any alcohol in it?

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/5.0, 1/1000sec, 60mm focal L. @62 MPH, ~1.2mi from prev photo, map

Beautiful day for a ride. — And the perfect temp in the low 80′s

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/1600sec, 22mm focal L. @73 MPH, ~194mi from prev photo, map

It truly was a gorgeous day for riding and was quite enjoyable, even though so many miles were spent on the super slab.

Self portrait

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/4000sec, 18mm focal L. @75 MPH, ~57mi from prev photo, map

Dad on his new steed

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/1250sec, 18mm focal L. @71 MPH, ~21mi from prev photo, map

Photo op

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/800sec, 70mm focal L. @30 MPH, ~4.8mi from prev photo, map

The sun was setting as we made the last few miles toward Beaver Dam, washing the Wisconsin countryside in that warm light of the Golden Hour. We got off the slab and nabbed some side roads, capping off the day perfectly.

Gorgeous Wisconsin farm land.

Nikon D70, ISO 640, ƒ/4.5, 1/160sec, 46mm focal L. @62 MPH, ~55mi from prev photo, map

Tomorrow, we hit the big airshow!

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