Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Hope For Us All

After the game, some of the young pitchers gathered around him.

One asked "Gee, Jamie, tell us which pitch you used to get the Babe out with."

Ba da boom. Kids.....

It's no fun geting old.....

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Mike & Tod - Day 29

Th-th-th-that's all folks!

After much consideration, and after clicking over 3,000 km's the day before, our dynamic duo has decided to put a bow on it and call it a day.

Or 29 days, to be exact.

They rode to Jackson...

....and then took the bus to Nashville.

Now waiting for Air Canada to wing them home.

To lives like the rest of us lead....

But before that, again, everywhere they went were signs reminding them of the historical nature of the area.

This time celebrating the life of "Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild...."

Come on, sing it with me....

He casts a large shadow down in these parts.

They could have used him in Central Florida, helpin' cook up possum.

And, of course, another sign, also celebrating.....something.

So a view of yesterday's log.

Woke up in Dyersburg, rode to Jackson and bussed it to Nashville.

And were lucky enough to find one of their favourite spots - a Knight's Inn.

Being preferred customers paid off, too, because as much as they love downtown Nashville, they got an upgrade to the double-deadbolt suite. Both of which were fully engaged.

So all in all, an extremely successful journey.

One which they won't forget for a long time. As they saw parts of the southern US that many Americans have never seen.

Well done, guys!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Mike & Tod - Day 28

More hard riding, the days are getting long.

But they've had the wind at their backs, so have been making great time.

More history.

These people down here take their heritage seriously.

[Hey, wake up there, Mike.]

And they take scrapping their junk seriously.

This looks like something out of Mad Max and the Thunderdome.

And when in action, as the boys saw, and those are big, nasty, noisy machines...

The boys did find time for an office break at this quaint restaurant, The Blue Top. Not sure if they sat out on the patio or not, just behind Mike there.

At their next break, they almost decided to retire and stay here.

32 ounce cans of beer - $1.49!

I'll repeat that. 32 ounce cans of beer for $1.49!

Of course, you only get one for that $1.49.

But that was all they really needed, as you need two hands to heft them. So no riding til it was done.

So that put them behind schedule by, I'm guessing, three or four minutes.

Hey, what are they doing down here?

Them's Canadian trains.

Well, they made it to Dyersburg, Tennessee.

But having made Memphis, their original goal, time for some serious thoughts about what's in store next.

Stay tuned.....

Now, where's one of them 32 ounce beers....?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mike & Tod - Day 27

The day started with the boys getting the hell outta Dodge.

Well, Mississippi anyway. And rolling into Tennessee.

So lots of more history and plaques.

I never knew these guys were freakin' so cultured.

And since they hadn't done any in a long time - a little bike maintenance was in order.

Wanted clear sailing as they came into Memphis.

Now this don't look like much, but it is (or was) the iconic Railroad Hotel.

Not much difference than most of the places the boys have bunked down over the trip.

Here are i) some more run down homes or ii) another place the guys are thinking of staying.

Another great blues bar. This one in Clarksdale, but many more like this in Memphis.

Mike and his new buddy.

I knew he was still alive!

Now this guy is still alive.

BB King - ranked #6 on the 100 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

The blues history just drips in Memphis. Great place to stay for the night?

Nope - you think these guys are just here for a party?

They hightailed it up the road to a place called Millington.

Now this is more like the kind of place they stay.

And for them - it all starts and ends with Quality.

And very arty shot, by the way, with the bicycle seat in front of the Quality Inn sign....

Now at one point the fellows were threatening to head to Nashville, to the north east, following Highway 840.

So either they've i) changed that plan, or ii) have run out of maps are are riding blind.

Mike & Tod - Day 26

More history lessons for the lads.

This says....something about Yazoo.

This says....something about the Civil War, I expect.

And, as their fortunes appear to be turning, they stayed at the historic Riverside Hotel.

It is on the Mississippi Blues Trail, which the boys followed today.

Nothing fancy, but I guess that historic stuff doesn't have to be.

So they made it to Clarksdale. With Memphis possibly in sight for tomorrow.

Originally no rooms available in Clarksdale, as The Catfish Festival was in town. Took some serious office time to get them out of this dilemma.

And Clarksdale is a hub for the blues scene in these parts. Memphis isn't too shabby either, I hear.

Man, this part of the country seems to have a bit more culture and history than them swamps of Central Florida.

And they also stumbled, yes stumbled, onto a "crazy" Blues Fest.

It was pretty rocking - or bluesing, I guess - according to local reports.

Hey, do those two ever work?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mike & Tod - Day 25

The boys really took it up the Yazoo today!


Now they weren't planning to go that route - hence Mike is pointing towards the ol' Mississip.

Not yer Yazoo City. On the Yazoo River.

But.....a change is as good as a rest, as they say, so up the Yazoo it is!

Now going inland, saw a different side of Mississippi.

You's in Blues Country.

But always time for an office break.

But not many - because they set a Mike & Tod record - covering 155 km's today!

Mike is one proud - but likely tender - Papa....

And they rewarded themselves with a stay at the charming Levee Inn.

However, Don McLean would have been wrong, when he sang:
"Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry."

There might have been a few Southern Pecan beers hoisted. I don't know.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Mike & Tod - Day 24

Another long (ie. slow) day due to - correct - more bike trouble!

The boys at The Bike Shop did a great job, but I guess after 2,000+ clicks, everybody - and everything - starts to break down at bit.

Now they just do stuff up so right in tha south.

I declare, that's got to be the finest bike shop I've ever seen....

So made it to Vicksburg. Surrounded again by memorabilia of the US Civil War.

This - I think, from unconfirmed reports from the front lines - is a statue of Union Army General James McPherson.

And this is the house he took over after after the fall of Vicksburg to the Union forces.

Not to be confused with The Relax Inn Mike and Tod took over after another long day.

But I suspect what all three had in common was an undying love of Southern Pecan Beer.

Well, at least two of out three.......

Here an obvious relative of Johnny Appleseed, catching some shade.

"What in tarnation is this thing?"

Uncle Jed inspecting the business end of Old Bessy.

Hope the safety is on....

They don't like them northern, Union boys down here.

This plaque celebrates/documents the "negotiated surrender" of Vicksburg to General McPherson of the Union Army.

He was killed not long after this, in Atlanta.

The highest ranking Union officer to die in battle.

He was 34.

And Mike and Tod were almost the sorriest Canadians to be killed, or at least scared by, a rattler.

This fellow wasn't dead, but close to it. From having been runned over.

Good thing the Relax Inn had room.

So the last few days have been long and hard and the boys are lagging a bit.

Any inspiration would be appreciated.

Here let me start it off....

Cheers, boys!