.. or to be more exact, on I40, which parallels much of the old Route 66.

Route 66
Route 66

Taking a week off work to travel 2,850 miles from Charlotte NC to Oakland CA in the dead of winter may not sound like a lot of fun, but with the right traveling companion, some good music, and the right attitude, it can be a blast! We were snowed in before we even started out from Charlotte, and once again in eastern New Mexico, but that was all part of the adventure!

Leaving Charlotte a day later than planned, we drove 4 hours to Atlanta to stay with friends, enjoying great food and excellent company. From there we drove another 4 hours to Starkville, MS, where the owner of the Hotel Chester made us feel more like house guests than customers. After an afternoon spent visiting relatives, and a very comfortable night at the Chester, we drove north to Memphis.

Beale St., Memphis
Beale St., Memphis

Beale Street was a little empty on a Tuesday afternoon, but we had a tasty late lunch of ribs, with a side of Blues. It felt like an appetizer, and at some point in the future, we’ll have to return to Beale Street for a more in-depth visit, to truly savor both the food and the music!

Playing the Blues, Beale St., Memphis
Playing the Blues, Beale St., Memphis

A short 6 block walk from Beale Street took us to the Lorraine Motel, now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, and a sombre shrine to Martin Luther King.

Lorraine Motel, Memphis
Lorraine Motel, Memphis

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, and of course, that is when we were there. But on a chill winter’s afternoon, with period piece Cadillacs still parked in front of the Motel, and a wreath hanging from the balcony, it was easy to imagine James Earl Ray’s fatal shot ringing out from the window of the boarding house across the street.

MLK was shot from the open window opposite the Lorraine Motel
MLK was shot from the open window opposite the Lorraine Motel

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