Tennessee

Day 1800 Saturday 19th September

Once again following the G.P.S. pointer we left the highway and followed on, taking the indicated turns. At one confusing junction the road sign gave a good clue, we took the road to ‘Elvis Presley Boulevard’!

There was a state park ten clicks out of town which was suggested as free, but could have been ten, fifteen or twenty bucks. So we stopped off at Elvis’s R.V. Park to ask the cost, which was a very pleasant shock at twenty five. Within walking distance of his house, food shops and gas, we stayed for a while.

Day 1801 Sunday 20th September

Having spent yesterday on the internet trying to sort out our next country we set aside today to visit Elvis’s house. After purchasing our tickets we ‘stood in line’, as it’s called here, for half an hour. Then we were herded onto a micro bus which took us the five hundred meters to his house, over a ‘dangerous’ road we had crossed over by foot a few times on the way to the store.

At the front door, looking at the whole frontage of the building I though, ‘not so much a mansion as a large stylish house’. The front lawns dropping down to the ‘E P Blvd’ were tree studded and very nice. The land to the left of the house was horse pasture, to the right, private.

The house was very seventies in its decor, as he left it when he croaked on the dunny in seventy seven.

Looking at the various rooms one took my attention in particular, The Jungle Room. Furnished with very African carved chairs, skins of animals most stripy, and skulls of horned game slaughtered for its beauty. While there a line came back to me from a tune I think called ‘Walking in Memphis’, the line was “a pretty young thing lies waiting for the king down in the Jungle Room”. As I looked at the room I wondered how many ‘pretty young things’ wanted to be there or were they there by miss-fortune, or just plain money?

Day 1802 Monday 21st September

Sun Studio was a must see on our short list. A Mecca for music fans, the place where the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many others got given the chance to record and, well, go on. It was really fantastic to stand in the recording studio and office of Sun Studios, where all those great guys once stood and played some of their first faltering tunes.

Day 1803 Tuesday 22nd September

Enjoying a ride on the interstate highway is a little of a contradiction for me as I prefer the back roads. However as there was nothing to gain scenery wise but time to loose being held up at rail crossings and traffic signals we took

I forty towards Oklahoma where we wanted to visit the cowboy museum. Interested to see what their side of the story was concerning issues such as the ‘Trail of Tears’ and other atrocity’s that Europeans inflicted on native Americans. Sound very similar to Australia and parts of Africa that we travelled through.

Well being in front this day I kept a mirror check on Diane every few clicks or so. Then, once she was behind, and then not! Stopping on the shoulder and waiting, watching the fairly heavy traffic passing and buffeting me as it went by, no Honda… A few bikes passed, putting up a hand in a wave but nothing else. Then after ten minutes a guy in a heavy truck recovery vehicle the size of a small house, complete with semi and trailer hanging on the back stopped and asked “Y’all waiting fer yer riddin’ buddy? Well I saw his bike in the ditch but he all was walking around okay like, takin’ pictures, so he’s not hurt or nothin’ I reckon”. Thanking him, he watched the traffic and gave me the go to do a U’y and head back against the flow to find my “ridin’ buddy”. Diane had a front blow out, and after weaving around on the highway for a while thought that the grass verge was a better landing place than under a truck. The flat was to blame, not often recoverable at speed so a fall was not unexpected. Not much damage, scuffed paint, bent gear change lever, and a few personal scrapes. An hour later with a new tube fitted we slowly headed west again.

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