I’ve driven over 25,000 in the last year and after awhile, all the names of streets and highway numbers blend together. I can’t tell you how many Main Streets, First Avenues, MLK Jr Blvds and Broadways I have driven on. I think I’ve driven on every major highway too, both east-west and north-south. But here’s the thing – you start to get confused. While driving through Missouri yesterday, I saw a sign for Springfield and I had to think for a minute – Springfield, MO or Springfield, IL? It’s possible it could have been either since Illinois is next to Missouri. I have passed the exit for Beverly Hills, TX and have visited both Annapolis, MO and Annapolis, MD. Driving the US is like going to the movies, if you get my drift… (there’s nothing original anymore!)
On the other hand, all the things I’ve seen on the sides of the road keep me entertained. All the things for sale – cars, motorcycles, tractors, RV’s, trailers, appliances, etc. Then there’s the roadkill – lots of armadillos in these parts. But what has surprised me the most is the number of turtles I’ve seen trying to cross the road. Yep, turtles. At first I would think they were tire rubber but then as I got closer, I realized they were turtles. Some big, some small. Clearly we need to change the chicken joke to a turtle joke. (For the record, the only bird I’ve seen crossing the road is a roadrunner)
And now… back to the action!
Let’s get back to Memphis. After a crazy storm on Saturday night that knocked the power out in big chunks of the city, I still made my way downtown to see the duck march at the Peabody. I had heard that if you want a good vantage point that you should arrive a bit early. I got there (with Juno) around 10:45am for the 11am “show.” The lobby was a madhouse. There were several hundred people waiting around – both on the main level and surrounding the mezzanine. The duckmaster makes sure everyone is seated (not on the arm of a chair or kneeling on the ground, but in an actual seat) or standing outside the velvet ropes that encircle the main part of the lobby (seriously.) I managed to get a seat near a pillar and my plan was to jump up at the appropriate time, stand by the pillar and videotape the duck march. At 11am, the music starts, and the elevator doors open. I had my phone at the ready and then…
… it was over. In under a minute. The video was pointless. Want to guess how many ducks there are in this grand march? 100? 50? 25?
Try 5. Five. Ducks. That was it. And then they just float around in the fountain til 5pm til the duckmaster does the whole thing all over again in reverse. Once the ducks are in the fountain, you can go up and take pix. So here they are, all five ducks. In a fountain. Juno took a look and he wasn’t particularly impressed either.
Fortunately, there was some outstanding street art in the downtown area that more than made up for the dumb ducks.
I had planned on going to the Civil Rights Museum but when I arrived, the place was crazy busy. The museum is actually in the Lorraine Motel, which is where MLK, Jr was assassinated. Room 306 has been left intact out of respect but the rest of the motel was retrofitted for the museum. The humidity was also particularly bad and I didn’t want to leave Juno for too long. So I took in the outdoor exhibits and then said goodbye to Memphis.
The drive from Memphis, TN to Annapolis, MO took just over three hours and so I stopped in Poplar Bluff, MO to let Juno stretch his legs. We stopped alongside a fairly busy highway by a big church (with lots of lawn) when all of a sudden, this dog appeared. Very friendly but no collar. He seemed healthy and didn’t look abandoned but I was concerned about leaving him alone alongside a busy road so I called the local police. While we waited, I gave him the rest of Juno’s breakfast which he scarfed down immediately. Then he plopped down in the shade of the MoHo. Seriously the sweetest dog. I plan to follow up today to see how he is doing. I may need to go back and rescue him if he ends up in the pound and no one comes to get him. I already thought of the perfect name for him – Mo! Get it?!!?? here’s a pic of him, along with the MO state sign:
After spending a very pleasant night at Big Creek RV Park in Annapolis, Juno and I made our way to Elephant Rocks State Park. I figured we’d have the place to ourselves, given how out of the way this place is. I forgot it was Memorial Day. yeah – the place was packed! But Juno and I still enjoyed the park and did the Braille Trail – a one-mile loop around the park.
We arrived in St. Louis yesterday afternoon and immediately headed for downtown and the Arch. The Arch is quite striking and much bigger than I thought it would be – 630 feet tall! Tickets to go to the top were sold out but I was okay with that since views really aren’t my thing. Totally forgot to check the Cardinals schedule and they did play yesterday. Sadly, I cannot include Busch Stadium on my list of places I’ve visited but I can say the ballpark is beautiful.
I wrapped up my day yesterday at City Museum, which was a 15-minute walk from the RV park where I stayed last night. Perfect since I could plug in, get the A/C going for Juno and know that he’d be comfortable while I was gone. The City Museum is this incredible indoor/outdoor space that’s basically the biggest jungle gym you’ve ever seen. So many things to climb up, crawl through and slide down. I thought that maybe I was too old to enjoy this kind of place but nope, I had a blast! Waited in line to do the 10-story slide with all the other kids – because why take stairs when you can slide through the mouth of a whale!!!
City Museum did have actual art exhibits too but my favorite was seeing both a big Big Boy and a little Big Boy.
Okay – time to get showered, dressed and on with my day! My friend Charlotte gave me a huge to-do list so must get to it. Museums, parks, sandwiches, frozen custard… and a partridge in a pear tree. Later!
State count: 38