I decided to take a vacation in Memphis for the next week. There were a few things that went into my decision. I had been to Memphis before and it seemed like a cool city. Second, the weather forecast was calling for hot and stormy weather. And lastly, it was time for a bit of a break from riding and to let my budget catch up to me expenditures.
Motel 6 Memphis
I rode from my KOA in East Memphis to look for a hotel convenient to downtown and to my favorite cost saving restaurants. The second Motel 6 I checked gave me a weekly rate of $300 USD. A Starbucks was next door! And McDonald’s was across the street. No grocery store in sight though. Nonetheless, I took it.
The Sights of Memphis
The next day I decided to venture out into the city to see the sights.
I had been to the Lorraine Motel before but wanted to go there again. According to the New Yorker, “Martin Luther King, Jr., was the Lorraine Motel’s most famous guest. He stayed at the motel numerous times while visiting the city, and again in the spring of 1968, when he came to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers. On April 4, 1968, he stepped out of Room 306 and talked to friends in the parking lot below. He asked the saxophonist Ben Branch to play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at the rally that evening. As King turned to walk back into his room, a bullet struck him in the neck, taking his life instantly. Walter Bailey continued to run the motel, but he never rented Room 306 again. He turned it into a memorial. The room has been preserved to capture exactly what it looked like on that tragic night. There are two beds. (King was sharing the room with Dr. Ralph Abernathy, a friend.) King’s bed was not fully made because he was not feeling well and had been lying down. Dishes left in the room were from the kitchen where Loree Bailey prepared food for the motel’s guests. . . . In 1982, Walter Bailey declared bankruptcy and stood by helplessly as his high-end establishment became a brothel. The Lorraine would have been sold at auction, but the Save the Lorraine organization bought it and decided to transform it into a museum.”
This is the iconic picture.
These are the pictures from my visit.
The location is sobering as you think what transpired there.
Next I went to visit the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. David Cohen said in 1935 that the Mississippi Delta begins with the lobby of the Peabody hotel where the ducks swim in the fountain.
Across the street from the Peabody is the Kooky Canuck.
From there I walked to the park along the Mississippi River at the foot of Beale Street.
While I was trying to get a photo I stepped on an ants nest . . . again. While waiting for hte bus I intentionally stepped on an ants nest just for the heck of it. This time it was a mistake. This guys sting!!!! My foot was on fire.
I took my stinging foot to Sun records. In 1954 Sun Records released Elvis Presley’s first record. The place is an Elvis shrine now.
By this time I was hungry. Off I walked to Beale Street.
On my last motorcycle trip I had a great meal there at Rum Boogie Cafe. This time I thought I would try BB Kings.
The only thing was that the prices were too steep for my budget. So I only had a beer for $6.
After looking around I settled on Rum Boogie. There were one of the few with Red Bean and Rice, and it was at a reasonable cost.
It is actually one of my favorite comfort foods. It gives you that warm feeling in your stomach. And I really enjoyed sitting out on the patio watching people.
I had planned on staying late on the street. But I was hot and tired. And the predicted storm looked like it was about to dump some rain.
The Rest of My Vacation
For the next 5 days I did nothing! The temperatures were hot!! The local news had it at over 100 degrees F for each of the days. It was stifling, especially with the humidity. My routine went something like this:
8 am to 11 am – Starbucks
11 am to 6 pm – Air conditioned Hotel room to clean and organize equipment
6 pm – McDonald’s
7 pm to 10 pm – Watch TV
10 pm – Bed
This was actually good for me. I had been having a hard time slowing down. By the end of this time I felt a lot more relaxed.
My Route for August 24, 2016
My Route for August 25 to August 30, 2016
The Motel 6 ha ha ha.