Yesterday's trip from Morrow, GA to Memphis TN was, for the most part smooth and easy.
For about 425 miles in 6 hours we had the GPS lady route us off the major freeways and headed through Alabama, a little bit of Mississippi and then into Tennessee over Route 72.
When you travel with a canine, you end up meeting everyone else on the road that travels with a canine. As we were leaving the hotel this morning, we met an older couple, snowbirds, on the way back to Indiana from Florida. they had a van, the entire back half of which was dedicated to their huge, black Newfoundland dog, Pearl.
Captain Maverick said hello, and we were on the road.
|Pearl, a living pillow of a dog|
Spring just starting to make itself known and some of the scenery was just spectacular. I kept saying to Navigator Stacey, "Get a picture of that beautiful field with yellow flowers! Oh, and a picture of that awesome bridge!" Of course, in the relatively hermetically sealed Tour Truckster, I was completely missing the meaning of all that beautiful "yellow" just bursting all around us. What it meant was about to blow up in my face - like, literally.
|Alabama, spring is in the air - literally!|
Quick note: Alabama drivers? Not bad. Not bad at all. A bit of a speedy lot, but on the whole okay.
|Alabama drivers - not bad!|
|Light traffic - thank you God!|
Getting close to the hotel, I saw the most disturbing thing. A giant, sworling cloud of yellow stuff, which can only be described as Mustard gas, erupting from a pine tree. I mean a cloud of the stuff, a whole vast aerial acre of the junk. Remember that pretty spring yellow color in the fields along I-72?
Well, I step out of the Truckster and instantly, and I mean like nano-second instantly, I get smacked in the face with a powdery plume of the yellow gak and my eyes swell shut like I'd just eaten an entire triple cheese, pepperoni pizza topped with a box of rock salt. And I'm a vegetarian. I scramble for my iphone, because clearly that fat little North Korean dictator has managed to launch a missile with a mustard gas warhead all the way to Memphis TN, and somehow the boys at NORAD missed it!
|Captain Maverick's favortie!|
|Tennessee has the best Rest Stops!|
I drop the phone because now I'm having trouble breathing. This is getting bad, I think to myself, and start tearing my backpack apart feeling (because I sure as hell can't see anything right now!) for my Epi-Pen. Just as I'm about to jack it into my thigh, I realize it isn't mustard gas - it's pollen. Whole freaking oceans of pollen. The Truckster is green. Now it was yellow:
|The Tour Truckster gone yellow|
|Pollenated running boards|
You see, I have allergies. And I'm in Tennessee. At the beginning of spring. And mother nature is just unloading, in all her fecund majesty, her plantspermia all over my delicate little hay-fevered self.
Panic. "Stacey?! Zyrtec! STAT!"
So we go to a nearby Target and I grab a bottle of Zyrtec and swallow it. Grab a bottle of super hi-octane "Allergy eye drops" and squirt the whole thing into my eyes.
Beat. Beat. Ahhhhhhh.... Thank you Lord.
Quick sidebar: one thing you'll notice in Memphis is a lot of camouflage. Camouflage trucks. Camouflage table clothes. Camouflage strollers. Just about anything you'd think to want to hide-in-plain sight can be found in Memphis. It's a southern thing. I live in Florida, and that's fairly southern, but, like, sunny-southern. Memphis is southern-southern. And the thing you'll see most in a tidy camouflage package is cargo-shorts. Now since I happen own a pair of these, I'll let it die right here. The jokes are just too easy. And if you don't have to work to make a good joke, well, then it's just not worth it.
Because we got an early start (which is really the only way to start when you're covering 400 plus miles a day) we got into Memphis about 3:30 PM CT. We got to the hotel and completely unloaded the Tour Truckster. I knew the load of posters and t-shirts was going to be huge, so we needed every available square inch of interior space.
|the GPS Lady|
An hour later we were at my friend, Jim Walker's, house loading posters and t-shirts into the Truckster. I had badly (okay, cataclysmically!) under estimated the stuff. There were about 1,000 t-shirts and 800 posters! The t-shirts were in big cardboard boxes. The posters flat-packed, but they weighed, all together, I swear like 200 pounds! How can paper weigh that much?! Clearly the trees from which they were produced were all laughing their collective pulpy butts off - "Payback!"
|Drury Inn's are ALL Pet Friendly, Captain Maverick' approved!|
Somehow, we got all the stuff in the Truckster. Bu then there wasn't a freaking square centimeter of space left. How the hell were we gonna get all "our stuff" back in?! This is a bad bad turn of circumstances. Now, as panic kills, I didn't panic, but I sure as hell fretted. Like, a lot.
So we get back to the hotel and unload everything from the Truckster into the room.
1,000 t-shirts. 800 posters. How are we going to get all that and all our gear into a Honda Pilot?
|460 miles end of day 2 beer at Sharkeys in Memphis|
We had no idea.
Check back tomorrow for Day 3.