10:12 departure time, mileage 68,178 milesI just left the rehabilitation center and had a great visit with my grandparents. They are excited for me and my trip, as am I. I’m headed straight on 40 all the way across. I expect I will probably stop in Memphis or Little Rock Arkansas. I can’t wait to cross over the Mississippi River.
12:43 PM I’ve been listening to country music. First I started out with Alan Jackson, the song is “living on love” it was stuck in my head all morning long. I am so glad that I started out with that because the playlist Spotify made for me is mostly spot on. The next song I played was Martina McBride Independence Day, and then the next one was “she’s got the rhythm” …and I’ve got the blues… by Alan Jackson. I’m crossing over the divide in the Blue Ridge Mountains right outside of Black Mountain. I just saw a giant red headed woodpecker flying across the interstate, unmistakable.
1:45 PM almost outside of North Carolina and entering Tennessee. 71 miles to Knoxville. First rest stop, had to P, was singing Patsy Cline song “She’s got you”. Anyway brushed my teeth and learned one first road lesson: leather seats are not comfortable, so I have covered my seat with a blanket. Thank you Brahms Mount Claudia, Joel, my highest and humblest regards. I’m feeling a pangs of hunger, but I’m not ready to stop and eat. I’ll stop for lunch when I get to Knoxville.
Couldn’t wait, ate half of a bison epic bar and half of a cricket flower brownie.
Just crossed the Appalachian trail in the Tennessee state line. 1:54 PM tried to call Maw Maw on FaceTime but she didn’t answer and or I don’t have good service. All things are possible.
2:07 PM traffic on I 40. There’s a lane closed ahead and everybody’s backed up because of it. Just got off the phone with Paw Paw he said something funny he said “well you see anything looks good pick it up.” …while I was waiting in traffic. He’s got a funny way of saying stuff.
2:12 PM back on the road. There was a spill of something it was a 24 hour emergency spill truck. I wonder what was spilled? The truck driver behind me was really funny, when they are closing left lanes, you know how people speed up and pass everybody and then try and get in up at the front? Well the truck behind me was having none of that. He was blocking the other lane so that other sneaky vehicles couldn’t pass by. I put a thumbs up out the window because I understand his frustration.
3:34 PM driving through Knoxville. I stopped at the Tennessee RV store looking for a road atlas and found one for $23. They have several options one of which was cheap and low-cost free campgrounds across the entire United States. The book was huge and I don’t think that for this trip,with as little as I’ll be staying in state parks or campgrounds it would be a solid investment. So instead I just opted for the run of the mill good old 2017 Rand McNally. I have open the page to Memphis, Tennessee and have now made a reservation in T.O. Fuller state park just outside of Memphis. The super friendly Man on the other end of the line, his name was Victor, he said “I’m going to waive your reservation fee because I’m feeling nice.” Well isn’t that nice. I also had to stop and get some Advil because I’m about to have my period. First day of the trip here comes the red Moon! (And all the beautiful tears..)
3:39 PM just passed a van that said Hillary for prison and police lives matter there’s a American flag flying on the back of it. Lots of those advocacy ribbons… oooo and a red Volkswagen beetle.
Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Kentucky. West Virginia by God. Oh, Indiana! Speaking of Indiana, I need to call Jess. (be prepared to see a lot of random state names intermingled amongst my road ramblings.)
Texas, Virginia. 3:53 PM my strategy for saving gas mileage is turning off the AC when I’m going uphill and turning it on when going downhill. That strategy might not work once I get past Tennessee. Maine!
3:57 PM the interstate 75 and 40 just split I am 150 miles from Nashville. Tennessee is beautiful so far. all of the trees have tons of green leaves on them and the sun is shining brightly. Although every time one of those fluffy clouds goes in front of the sun and blocks it, I always say thank you. I’m pretty sure I have a great suntan on my left side and then I will have a Watch Mark on my left wrist. I don’t know what I’m expecting out of this trip. I’m older than I was a long time ago when I first had the idea to drive across country alone. A lot of people say they want to go out and find themselves and gain a new perspective. I just want to get the hell out of Dodge and see and fly. Every time I hear about people traveling around United States I think about all the places that I haven’t been yet. I really look forward to seeing the people that I will meet up with on this trip. Martin who I went to the Southwest with in college and roomed with the whole time on that trip, we became best of pals and I’m stoked to get to see him. He’s in Page, AZ.
I’m just passing a “just married” car. Wait… there wasn’t anybody else in the car except for the dude. I think he just got married to him self, or are there some shenanigans going on in that car… Inquiring minds want to know.
4:05 PM just learned the name of this little creature that Alison Weiner let me have for my road trip. Her name is Sola Bella and she is a beautiful Lone baby wolf. I’ll be taking pictures of her in various locations. Also gas is $1.99 at pilot!
Just crossed over the Clinch River 4:10 PM Ralph Stanley played with the band “the clinch Mountain boys” wonder if there’s any relation
4:31 PM: South Carolina! Ohio, Mississippi
4:48 PM freaking out a little bit. There’s a rumbling underneath my seat and I think maybe somethings wrong with my tires. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet I found a local tire mechanic just down the road. I’m praying that I make it there before one of my tires falls off. They close at 4 o’clock I looked at my clock and it said 448. Thank goodness for central time. Let’s pray that this isn’t too bad… let’s pray that is not bad at all actually.
5:33 PM EST so the guy told me that there wasn’t much to worry about, but said that he felt a slight vibration and that I might want to get it checked. I still feel a slight vibration. I’m trying to make a decision whether I want to drive all the way to Memphis on this or to Nashville and stop. I wonder if it’s just my nerves or if the car is really vibrating. I wonder if it was doing this before and I just didn’t notice.
I’ve decided I’m going to take a chance and drive on to Memphis tonight. I looked up the tire mechanic in Memphis and spoke with a guy named Casey and he said to be there at 8 o’clock in the morning which I will, as long as I make it to Memphis tonight.
5:53 PM EST just saw a Minnesota license plate. I can feel nervousness Throughout out my whole body.
Well 646 EST I am here on the other side of Nashville headed to Memphis. I don’t feel the vibration like I did before, maybe my tires got used to it. There is still a little bit of a shake and I’ve got 194 miles left to go. But I’m going to make it. I just listened to a podcast called More Perfect. It’s about the Supreme Court and produced by the guys who do Radiolab. It was fascinating and solidified my trajectory towards law school. I shake my head when I think about how the court can influence Democracy and how Democracy seems to influence the court. Flabbergasting…
7:41 PM EST California!
7:48 PM EST just heard an “on this day” report about Memphis where during World War II Boy Scouts helped farmers to pick they’re ripe crops. I think that would be a very cool thing to do now except that we have migrant workers doing those jobs. I bet those boy Scouts received better treatment than our migrant farm workers do…
8:11 PM Maryland!
8:26 PM Terry Gross interviewing Ringo Starr on Memphis is NPR station interview was from 1995. Is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles Sgt Pepper album if I’m not mistaken. Very cool interview.
I’m beginning to notice that the world is flatter out here. There are some hills but not as many. I remember when I returned back from The Southwest for the first time. When We returned to this part of the world again, all of the dark green trees came back to me, not sure what hold they have on me (perhaps familiarity) but it is a comfort to see big dark green deciduous and evergreen trees of the mountains.
9:37 PM EST I have arrived in Memphis and was on FaceTime with MawMaw. Headed to the campground now then going off to find food. I heard that Beale street was the right way to get into all the rock ‘n’ roll.
1059 EST. I better talk into this thing before I get overwhelmed with downtown Memphis Tennessee. So I drove in, arrived at my destination. There’s a guy named Pete parked beside of me in his rig, he’s from San Francisco and I told him that’s where I was going… A lot of hilarity there, also his name is Pete. The campground looked really shady at first but turns out it’s really cool and quiet but it is filled with mosquitoes. It’s Skeeterville over there. Right now I am literally walking into downtown Memphis and there is so much music and neon light all around. There’s barbecue smoke everywhere. I’m headed to BB Kings and I look forward to eating some fried chicken. I think I have to get carded in order to go in all the streets blocked off…. Horse drawn carriages and everything. This place is absolutely mind blowing. I’ve never heard so much racket in my life. Tons of different kinds of people roaming the streets at night, everyone seems to be having a blast. I wonder why Peter and I didn’t spend more time here when we came through last? I could spend tons of time here going into all of the different bars and clubs listening to rock ‘n’ roll and blues music.
12:35 amEST back at the campground now, just brushed my teeth. That fried chicken was absolutely delicious. The band was HOT, the BB King All-Stars. I had a conversation with the bass player while we were eating at the bar together. He lived in Raleigh before and we both dislike all of the one-way roads. Everybody loves the music. Lots of clapping and head nodding and dinner table dancing.. people enjoying themselves.
Hoping tomorrow to get an early start. Shower tonight, breakfast in the morning. Then off to the mechanic to check out the underside of my car.