July 31, 2005 – Sunday – Day 36

48 States or Bust – The USA on Two Wheels
Miles Today: 290 – Total Miles: 9189 – Average: 255.3 (travel days)
9:30am-4:30pm (7 hrs.)
SIKESTON, MO to SARDIS, MS (south of Memphis)
(-staying a Super 😎 MO,IL,KY,TN,AR,MS (38/48)

In 1985 when I went through Blythedale, which is near here, I had a great experience and met some new friends. Here’s the story from my July 3rd, 1985 journal:

Finally, at day’s end, I had trouble getting a place in Blytheville. No luck with a campsite. As I wheeled by a drive-in theater, a man and child were coming out. I rolled over and asked if they knew where I could pitch a tent. It was the theater owner and he said that I could put my tent up in a corner of that drive-in theater!!! I went over to the best place, sat down, and wrote postcards and journal pages. Soon, Shane, on his 4-wheeler dune-buggy-type rig came over, and we chatted. Shane, the theater owner’s son, was a very likeable 12-year-old, and he took a big interest in my trip! I wrote postcards for about 45 minutes and then noticed dark clouds rolling over. Shane came back, and at first drops, we took the bike, still fully packed, to the projector room/concession stand. There I met Shane’s good-looking blonde mom. We stood around, watched the clouds roll in, and then we witnessed a huge thunder and lightning storm hit with a fury matched only by the brilliance of the flashing bolts. The wind ripped. The skies created huge mosaics of ominous cloud in varying hues of gray and black. They swirled and blew. It was quite a show. Not great for the anticipated crowd for tonight’s feature show and I felt badly for Mr. Glasscock, the owner. I also felt badly for myself and my evening tenting prospects. But Mr. Glasscock suggested I stay in the trailer behind the big outdoor movie screen. After securing the bike, that’s where I landed. My back really itched from bug bites while I wrote this journal entry at around 10:30PM. Shane and his grand dad came out with a sheet and pillow for me which I appreciated. After some chatting, I curled up in the sheet. The night was punctuated by more storming at around 2AM. I was happy to be in that trailer behind the huge drive-in movie screen and I had a good sleep.

Well, I checked on line for any Glasscock that might be in the area and sure enough I got to chat with a member of the family. Seems Mr. Glasscock passed away and Shane was out of the area. I tried calling Shane’s brother all day but only got an answering machine.

We were out and gassed-up by 9:15am and it was pretty much a through-driving day.

Once we turned off a highway and there was a hospital right there at the intersection. I toyed around a bit with the idea of stopping in and checking out the pain near my belly, but decided to move on.

It was a hazy day today – the first such of the journey, and partly because the surroundings were fairly mundane (mostly all flat farmland as far as one could see), and because it was getting so warm, and because the highways had nothing particular notable about them, it was a bit harder to keep concentration up.

This was the beginning of our sixth week on the road and we passed over the 9,000-mile mark today. And for whatever reason, it’s starting to get a little tougher now. We both admit to being a bit road-weary at the end of the day. And Karen, who does such a good job charting our next day routes in the evening, says it looks like we’ve got 1,600 more to go! (Remember, we’ve planned to be back by this next Thursday and MUST be back by Friday to get ready to shoot a Saturday wedding. So it looks like we’ve got to put in all 400-mile or so days coming up this last week! A lot of people said this would be ‘fun’, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. We both agreed that it would be a perfect time for a day off, but it just can’t happen now. It was 18 days ago (after 18 days on the road) that we took our only day off. (In Superior, Montana, remember?)

We were looking for an EconoLodge this evening since we only needed two more stickers to get a free night, but ended up at a Super8 south of Memphis. We could have gone into see Graceland, but we were both exhausted and butt-weary, and had little interest anyway.

After unpacking, we both napped, exhausted from the day’s ride. My stomach thing began acting up again a bit more than it had during the day, and I was feeling a bit stiff all over, and I was happy for the air conditioning, too.

Karen did some hand wash in the room while I mcycled the little way to Nonnie & Pops, a little eatery scouring for something that we could eat.

We talked routing back in the room and I caught up on these journal notes while Karen did some reading.

Author: Joel Perlish

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