Friday, 7 December 2012

Mississippi: Memphis

Side canal in Memphis
We paddled into Memphis in a drizzle, but at least in bearable wind and even made record time. Our goal was the Memphis Yacht Club, a Marina on Mud Island close to Memphis centre. Marinas have always been helpful to us, but this yacht club is a fantastic asset for Mississippi paddlers. You can store your boat there for free, even for several days. The whole area has gated security and we were even able to lock our boats to a post. Plus there are toilets, water taps and a small store - and very friendly owners! We left our boats and most of our stuff and walked to the next restaurant, where we loitered happily for a couple of hours watching the increasing rain outside.

We were decompressing and waiting for our CS host Chere to pick us up. I had sent out five CS requests for Memphis and initially no one had even bothered to answer. This reminded me painfully of my European hike earlier this year where it had been similarly difficult to find a host. We had almost decided to skip Memphis, but just when the bad weather forecast had made a stay in Memphis almost inevitable Chere finally accepted my request.

Chere's studio
Chere was another very interesting CS host. She is an artist and art professor and let us stay in her studio. She even lent us her car thus allowing us to do an easy resupply at Aldi's (yep, there was another one for me) and even some sightseeing. Although the most interesting museums were closed on a Tuesday in off season I went to the Dixon art gallery where I was positively surprised by a huge German porcelain exhibition that of course interested me because of my professional background. On the way back to Chere I took the bus and was in for another adventure in American public transportation. No one in the museum had ever taken a bus in Memphis but after a lot of internet research I was directed to a bus stop - that turned out to be the one in the wrong direction. The bus driver told me to stay on the bus anyways and I got a nice loop ride with me being the only white person in the bus. But everyone was really friendly to this lost German tourist and made sure that I at least got out at the right stop.

Memphis Yacht Club
In the evening we had asked Chere to take us to a nice BBQ place and she helped me to another highlight in American cuisine. Although I generally don't like American food I do love this Southern BBQ! We had ribs followed by home made cheesecake and I was a very happy paddler! After dinner I used Cheres computer and was able to solve some logistical problems on this trip and update my blog. Altogether this has been a very relaxing and successful stay! Chere brought us back to the marina where we loaded our boats with food for ten days and embarked on the very long stretch to Vicksburg.

1 comment:

Chere Doiron said...

I loved having you! It was great fun to meet spirited and fun folks! Peace and safe travels to you!