Day 23

Fri 2013/08/02

Daily mileage: 8.78 Segment 197.4 Total 699.5

Route: West Memphis to Memphis TN (Super 8 at Crump Park).  Today’s mileage is a lot lower than average; I was unsuccessful in stopping earlier yesterday, but I wanted to allocate a lot of time for today since I had to find the route across the Mississippi River.  It is not straightforward.

I left West Memphis about 11:20, and headed to the river crossing route I scoped out the week earlier.  I was here in my car about a week earlier, and spent about 8 hours finding the bicycle route to the I-55 bridge.  I only have the bike today; hopefully it will be a lot simpler today.

I am hurting from the saddle sores, but I pushed through it all and survived.  The previously locked red gate was unlocked and open.  I stopped for a break after the gravel road/paved road change, stopped at the BASF factory, told them about the mislabelled MRT sign.  They were friendly and happy to get the info this time.

The time I spent last week was quite worthwhile.  I was quite relieved that I was able to find my way to the I-55 bridge without any trouble. Crossing the bridge was no problem.  I pushed the bike through the grass, up the embankment and for about 50 feet after the concrete bridge walkway started, and was able to ride all the way across the bridge, arriving in E.H. Crump Park on the Memphis, Tennessee side.  When I visited by car the previous week, the bridge railing did not look that high and I thought that I might have to walk the bike across the bridge, but I was able to ride the bike all  the way without any confidence problems or vertigo.  The side clearance changed every 15 feet or so due to the bridge structure, and I did not hit anything in passing.  On the other side, I rolled down the grass embankment, across the park’s parking lot into the hotel parking lot without getting off my bike.  This was much easier than I had thought it would be.  I was quite amazed at the amount of shaking and vibration on the bridge.  I somewhat expected a little seismic activity from all of the heavy trucks, but even passenger cars made it shake.  The bridge is quite old and I don’t see how it stays together like that.  I suppose that it is appropriate that the bridge to Memphis has a “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on”.  Sorry Elvis.

Well, I made it to Memphis.

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