By the Mississippi into Arkansas
Memphis Travel Blog› entry 65 of 70 › view all entries
After our little adventure that delayed our travel time in Tennessee we continued westward. That state is long! So driving is long, we just kept going and once we reached Nashville it was close to rush hour time so we just kept going toward Memphis.
The driving went fine, we only encountered once a motorcycle that had crashed or at least something similar. We spent the early evening driving toward Memphis and took a break there. We first just drove around in the eastern and northern suburb as the sun was still shining a little. Basically, I got to see some American shanty, some of these houses were in quite bad shape and yet people lived in it. There was even a street right on the northern side of downtown Memphis that was so old style and grass was getting to overgrow on the side that we weren't sure if it was a sidewalk or a a street.
I didn't take pictures of any of that though.
As the sun was starting to set, we finally crossed into the downtown area, following one their cute little tram. There was probably some event going as some streets were shut and we were not managing to find a short parking anywhere. So we went back to the riverside where the Welcome Center is. Then just got to read a bit more about the relation Memphis has with music (and take cliche picture of Elvis and BBKing). We drive a little more but didn't find a place to park and go get food and it was slowly getting dark so we just decided to leave and head toward Arkansas by crossing the great Mississippi river.
What struck me first was how humid it suddenly became once we crossed the bridge, and the bridge was rather long as it went over several wetland and flood plain of the Mississippi.
It was now night and we since we had crossed the time zone earlier today, it was not even late. But we stopped at the Arkansas welcome center just to find that it was shut. It was pretty in term of landscaping (all of those we would stop on the way really had great landscape architecture) but a little useless if you can't get information of a map of the State.
We simply kept driving and went toward Little Rock, though our hunger grew and stopped eating in a tiny side village somewhere in the middle of Arkansas that had a Sonic (my first time at this car serve snack-bar). For me the funniest sight was to see all the youth either hanging at the Sonic or just driving around town in their car or pick-up truck.
We finally just kept going as far as we could but finally had to stop to sleep and we did so along the highway passed Little Rock, we just drove into a parking lot and tried to sleep. Although we realised later on that we were next to a train line. We also had a very tough time trying to get some sleep as the heat was getting unbearable and we quickly grasped for oxigen in the car (if we opened the window, mosquitos were getting in), so once in a while we had to turn the car on to vent it.
We woke up again at dawn and left to the next Freeway Rest Area where we washed and changed in the toilet. Despite having slept in the car, I finally didn't feel that bad so we headed further toward Oklahoma (but took another hitch-hiker for a few km near the border and left him at Fort Smith).