Day/night 1 of my Deep South trip has thus far added one more state (Arkansas/39) towards my quest for all 50. In the next hour I will be arriving in number 40, Mississippi, on my way to the Big Easy (Louisiana/41). The weather is bright and sunny, but still a little cold here while I’m finishing up my giant pot of french press.
Stopping in Memphis was a two fold stop. One it was conveniently close to Arkansas since there wasn’t relatively anything too exciting to check out there. I did drive through the Missouri boot heel before making a gas and go stop in Blytheville, AR. Yeah, I went all the way to Arkansas to go Kroger-ing.
But the most important reason to visit Memphis was historic Beale Street, and it delivered. My first quest, once I finally got a bus to downtown from the hostel, was to find excellent food and music in the same spot. There were plenty of places to offer this, but which was best on short order? I landed at the Kings Palace Cafe Taproom where there was an acoustic jam going on. With a giant bowl of shrimp & crawfish etoufee, and a big ass beer I was set. The blues band went full on electric later literally electrifying the room. But I had to move on. Moving on, on Beale Street, is the beauty of the place. The music just pours out of nearly every venue tantalizing your earbuds and making you drop in to see the band. So there sound, not the name, is what draws you. What is great is if you happen to walk in when one set is ending, you can just simply repeat. Walk out and drop into another venue. Repeat.
I left a bit earlier than I preferred mostly from the long day of travel, time difference, and opting to take the last bus back instead of a taxi/Lyft. But it was a good thing. I was really tired by time I settled back into my accommodations.
Yesterday I was thinking it was a year ago this weekend when I was in Tennessee to see St. Paul & The Broken Bones. It was my first trip out of the darkness after losing mom and my diagnosis. It pulled me out of the abyss and began my year of traveling. I had no idea a year later I’d still be living to be within a few states of completing the 50 state journey. Amazing!
I have to hit the road soon so I can say, “hello from New Orleans”!