This is one of those days I’ll wonder about for a while. Up and down a couple of times. Made my way out of Forrest City up to Heth, springboard to Memphis, which has been making me a bit nervous for a while. Everyone, without exception, has told that walking through Memphis particularly West Memphis, is not a good idea. Safety remember? So I had to figure out how to do this somehow. The other thing I wanted to avoid was walking through the town of Forrest City, again, so I arranged for a 5 or so mile ride back to my old Hwy 70. On the way, Dexter and I talked about a lot of things, but he mentioned he was picking someone up at the Memphis airport this afternoon, so I did some quick math, figured out my walk and his timing, and it all worked out, as it always does. Walked 13 miles along ol’ 70, which I’ll never forget, and then a ride with Dexter into Memphis, State of Tennessee.
Wish I could say my last long walk in Arkansas was as nice as all the others, but it wasn’t, and I’m partially blaming my own frame of mind. This particular stretch of Hwy 70 runs parallel to Interstate 40, but only about a quarter of a mile away, so I got the freeway noise, and it was flat, won’t mention the hot and humid again, But more than anything, I was nervous and apprehensive, and it kept me from fully enjoying the day. Felt a little too close to the freeway, yet it was very desolate, very few cars, and just didn’t feel comfortable, so I was extra happy to see the town and truck stop. And had a nice ride and talk into Memphis.
And then culture shock… the complete contrast of only a few hours prior. I really did (do) feel a little out of place here, though its nothing I haven’t seen before, but this morning I was taking pictures of soybean fields and tonight I’m in a city hotel. I’m thinking this contrast is definitely enhanced by the fact that I basically walked here. Oddly enough, I passed exactly through here nine weeks ago next Monday on a drive from L.A, to Atlanta with my oldest and best bro. Needless to say, I noticed none of soybean fields and driveways and dawgs and all the cool things I’ve seen since I crossed into Arkansas. But I’m not quite done with AR… stay tuned.
So country boy meets city… I walked to dinner on a thing they call “sidewalk”. Dinner was awesome - there is no place better than Memphis for pulled pork. And on the way back, I saw more cars at the stoplight than I had seen all day along ol’ 70. And I saw this store, brightly lit with all kinds of neon, like Hollywood, and country boy walked in. Amazing… they had more than four different brands of wine, hundreds in fact. And beer that came further than St. Louis. And that is all they sold! No chips, no motor oil and windshield cleaner or fried chicken. Rather limited, but that’s OK I suppose, I am celebrating my urban night with a beer that was actually brewed at St. James Gate, nuff said.
And this I couldn’t make up if I tried… after dinner and back in the room, I turned on the TV, which is not the usual. Flipped through three channels only to land on the last half hour of Forrest Gump. Had several LOLs alone in my room. I get it, but if I even mention walking back to Austin from New York, please put me in a white jacket with really long sleeves.
Lots to ponder about today.