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Friday, July 30, 2010  

Road Trip Day 3: Boo-Boo in Memphis

Day 1

Day 2

In other news of unprepared-for largesse, the ice we bought back in Minnesota was largely still ice. Back in Nevada, I told Trash to get two new bags before I looked in the cooler; we only had room for one. The week after Christmas has nothing on how weird you feel when returning a bag of ice. And even driving through a day where the digital thermometer in the mirror keeps threatening to top 95 degrees, the ice still holds up. Which is good, because for some reason it's in the cooler that doesn't have a drain.

The drive to our next destination begins with a winding, scenic path through the Ozarks, where you have to slow down to 45 every ten miles or so because you're going through a "town." Which is fine, because we get time to look at a lot of natural beauty amid the hairpins and switchbacks. This all ends rather abruptly as we come around a corner and find ourselves suddenly hundreds of feet above a vast river flowing below. Yes, there's a bridge under us as well, but we're from Minneapolis, so the question of whether this bridge is going to hold is not entirely academic.

After that it's just straight lines and Wal-Marts as we cut down across the northeast corner of Arkansas (the first time in this state for both M. Edium and myself), one of which becomes our lunch vendor in the form of a ten-dollar bucket of chicken and fries. That healthy food in the 30-gallon bin in the truck bed can wait.

* * *

Although we're not traveling in an RV, we are going to be spending a majority of nights in RV parks. As it turns out, that's where you find a lot of your camping cabins. This came as something of a surprise.

For instance, our first view of the Jellystone™ Park where we were staying outside of Memphis (actually Horn Lake, Mississippi, a new state for all three of us, as we discovered that Memphis's suburbs extend into the next state down) was that of a sea of RVs, stretching out as far as the eye could see, like a giant pod of beached white whales. It was a somewhat alarming sight.

But this cabin turned out to be the best one of the trip. Parked on jacks like a mobile home, the inside turned out to have a full kitchen, a master bedroom, central air (a godsend, given that dropping down into this bottom tier of states was apparently all it took to push the outside temp to 98) and a loft over the front door where M. Edium was thrilled that he'd get to sleep. It made up for the fact that he didn't get to travel in an RV where he could sleep above the driver's seat.

As if he would have slept up there on the road anyway. Kid never even nodded off during any proper traveling, the whole damn trip.

This was the site of my first big parental fail of the trip. M. Edium and I were at the pool while Trash was grading papers in the cabin. Suddenly a tractor pulled up nearby, and kids started gravitating to it. Apparently it was some kind of hayride. M. Edium and I also boarded, but a moment later I realized I'd lost my phone somewhere. We had to get off. We missed the ride. And his one chance to meet Yogi Bear.

Recriminations ensued, even though five-year-olds today don't know who the fuck Yogi Bear is anyway. Damn, Jellystone, update your shit already!

* * *

The evening was spent in a whirlwind tour of Memphis, with brief photo-ops outside the gates of Graceland, the windows of Sun Studios, and the Civil Rights Museum (actually the motel where Dr. King was shot, although we didn't realize that until we looked at it and recognized it from the photos). We ate dinner from a deli counter in the back of a convenience store and headed back to the cabin for the night. Which passed slowly, because I had trouble sleeping. I was more upset about making him miss Yogi Bear than I realized. The fact that the "ride" turned out to be about three minutes long helped not at all.

posted by M. Giant 9:12 AM 0 comments


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