Hank – We left Memphis around 9:30 am. We stopped by the post office to send a package home. Kathy bought some things in Memphis and I sent some cold weather clothing back. After that we headed east. We ended up on the Hampline, a bike route that connects Overton Park to the Broad Avenue Arts District. There’s a cool bicycle gate when you enter the park.
In the arts district we stopped and had a meal at The Liquor Store. It’s a cool place providing good food and good drinks if you choose to imbibe. We did not. The arts district looks like it’s coming alive very well. And kudoes to Memphis for building a separate pathway for bicycles through it.
From there we followed other bike routes to the Shelby Farms Greenline bike path for seven miles. Along the way we met Charles and Aracela Smith, who were out for a recreational bike ride. They thought our adventure sounded really cool and hoped to be able to do something like that when they retire. But for now they have three kids who still have to go through college. Someday, Charles and Aracela. Someday.
We had to get off the trail and head north to get on US Hwy 70. We stopped to resupply some groceries. We planned on camping but had no idea where. There are no campgrounds, and few motels, for most of the way to Nashville.
I called our first choice of destination, Mason, and was told pitching a tent on residential property is not allowed. Nor do they allow tenting in the city park.
We’ll, that’s not very welcoming. I called a closer and larger town, Arlington, and they also said there was no camping in the city limits. What a contrast to almost everywhere else we’ve been.
So we pressed on down the road, passed through Arlington, and came up on Gallaway. The person running the convenience store said we were welcome to camp anywhere around the building. I thanked her and we went around to check things out. The ground was very soggy.
Then we saw the city hall across the street. We went over there to see what options were available to us. Outside were a man and a woman who turned out to be the vice mayor, Bobby, and the city clerk, Diane. Bobby gave us directions to a piece of city property where he said we were welcome to pitch our tent. If anyone questioned us we could just tell them to call Bobby or Diane. We thanked him and rode to the site. He showed up when we did and pointed out where we could camp. What a kindness. We appreciated it very much.
We set up the tent, threw our bags inside, and then killed the few mosquitoes who got inside with us. Their bloodthirsty brethren glared at us while flying outside the bug net.
After a baby-wipe bath we relaxed a bit before boiling water for our dehydrated dinner meals.
Kathy – We are back on the road again after a three relaxing days in Memphis acting like tourists. 🎶🕺🏻🎶 Our 37 mile ride was pretty good. We had sunny temps in the mid 70’s with only a small headwind. Our route was flat while on the bike paths, and we rolled up and down while on the roads. Nothing to difficult for us. 😊
I lightened my load just a tad sending a few more items home that I won’t be needing now that it’s getting warmer. 🤗
Everywhere we go we meet good people. Today was no exception. Good folks at the resturant, post office, grocery store, gas station, on the bike trail and here in the town where we ended our day. Lots of blessings to count today.
The couple we met on the bike trail, Charles and Aracela were really nice folks. Hopefully someday they can do some bike packing. And if they do, maybe Aracela can get Charles to carry most of her stuff. I didn’t whine enough in the beginning of our trip about the weight of my pannier bags, so Hank didn’t offer to carry any of my stuff. Darn it! 😏 If I would have whined, no doubt he would have helped me out. Now it’s way too late. Hank knows I’m strong enough to carry my stuff so I’m on my own now. 😄😄😄 Just offering this suggestion to any ladies out there that might take up bike touring with their spouse. 😉
We were starting to think we would need to stealth camp tonight since two different towns have pretty strict tenting rules. There is one campsite around but they only have RV sites, no tent camping. No hotels anywhere near us either. So we really appreciated Bobby and Diane at City Hall in Gallaway, Tennessee allowing us to camp on city property tonight.
I must say though I really had a hard time understanding Bobby and Diane. Their southern accents are so strong. It seemed like all their words just slurred together. It was embarrassing how many times I had to have them repeat sentences because I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Finally I just told them I wear hearing aids. In reality, I could hear them just fine.
I read lips often to compensate for my profound hearing loss. Because of this, I also notice peoples teeth. Please don’t take this wrong as they were super nice people, but Bobby’s only had a few teeth in his mouth and those were pretty rotten. He also had strabismus, where one of his eyes pointed in a different direction than the other. Bobbys clothes were very dirty and he had a bunch of holes in his t-shirt. Unfortunately he fit that typical southern stereotype person. So, combining his thick southern accent with fast-but-slurred speaking, trying to focus on which eye was looking at me, and my own hearing loss just created a no-win situation for communicating. Lucky I had Hank around for the last half of our conversation to interpret for me.
Bonnie was a thin gal smoking her cigarette while we visited. She had poofy big 1960s-like hair. Her skin was very leather like and wrinkled badly. She did have all her teeth, but they were cast with deep yellow cigarette stains. Again, not trying to make fun of people, just visualizing for you. Bobbie and Diane really were kind people and we appreciate them letting us camp on the city property.
The population in Gallaway, Tennessee is 655 people. We met these two along with the gal at the convenience store who offered her land as well. So that’s three really good people in this town. I’m sure there are many more in the remaining 652 people here. Maybe we will meet a few more before heading out in the morning. 💗
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