Fort Worth to Memphis

Today was a “long day in the saddle”, with a lengthy drive through 3 states. We set off just after 8am and joined the vehicles heading away from the Texan cities of Fort Worth and Dallas towards Memphis, Tennessee. The number of trucks heading north-east was amazing; they almost outnumbered the vehicles travelling in the same direction. The Texas countryside was quite flat, with grazing pastures the only sign of agricultural pursuit. These pastures were interrupted by sparse, low-slung bushes and trees, with both pastures and trees indicating they might benefit from a good fall of rain. Farm vehicles threw up plumes of dust as they traversed the dry pastures.

A late breakfast / early lunch was unanimously agreed upon, and we left the motorway and headed into McKinney, a small town with a well-maintained central district. Spoons café was well reviewed on Trip Advisor and open for business. We joined the (mainly local) crowd who were already eating their way through stacks of waffles and pancakes – we all opted for toasted sandwiches and coffees. Once well nourished we stretched our legs by walking a lap of the town square, returned to the car and rejoined the trucks on the interstate highway towards Memphis.

The flat country was our constant companion for the remainder of the drive. The trees beside the road became taller and more dense. The number of deer we spotted that hadn’t made it successfully across the interstate was mounting up. On one occasion the cars and trucks ahead of us slowed quickly and/or swerved, to avoid another suicidal deer that had managed to make it nearly all the way across before bailing out and returning (safely) to where it came from. Strangely, the interstate trucks do not have ‘bull bars’ fitted, even though the strike rates seem to be high.

The top of a tall bridge signalled to us that Memphis was approaching, but first we had to cross the expansive Mississippi River. It became clear the Mississippi would have been a major transportation link in the past, when goods where shipped up and down the river. Based on our experience, trucks have now taken over from the river boats. Our hotel for the night was close to the music district along Beale Street. Music was already emanating from a number of bars as we checked in to the hotel. Signs in the lobby and near check-in indicated that music was commonplace and if guests were uncomfortable with this they should stay somewhere else. The hotel was on the corner of BB King Street!

Dinner was booked for 7:00pm at The Majestic Grill, about 300 metres from our hotel in an old silent-movie theatre that had been converted into a restaurant and bar. We crossed tram tracks that cut through the centre of town and transported what looked like older style W-Class trams. The restaurant was well patronised with the pre-theatre crowd who were trying to rush a meal before the start of the musical comedy ‘Beetlejuice’ at the nearby Orpheum Theatre. The onion rings ordered as an appetiser were crisp and crunchy and filling. Wendy and Chris shared a full serve of smokey, sticky pork ribs – way too much for one person to finish off on their own. When back at the hotel, we were quickly off to sleep and any background music went unnoticed.

Distance travelled: 782 kms

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