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Montréal-Springfield Missouri 2014(Nashville, Memphis and Kansas City)

Montréal-Springfield Missouri 

Nashville, Memphis and Kansas City

Spyderfest Springfield Missouri 2014

 

Nashville

On the fourth day, my Lone Wolf instinct resurfaced and I decided to temporarily leave the ON MY OWN: Nashville, Memphis, Kansas City, Nashville group to go to Nashville, Tennessee, Capital of country music. The sky is black and there are warnings of severe thunderstorms. To avoid the worst of the storm, I leave at 6:00 AM. I have a little rain but nothing excessive. I arrive in Nashville around 11:00 and I take a nap before going downtown. Broadway Street is fairly busy on this Monday afternoon and rather gloomy in terms of weather. I quickly spot a parking meter on Broadway Street and I park the “beast.” I hardly have time to park that people start asking me questions about the Spyder.

50I immediately head to “The Stage”, a bar which features a single musician. After a quick drink, I head to “Robert’s Western World” where the decor is amazing with its country frescoes, guitars hanging on the walls and huge stage. There, four musicians are performing. The leader of the group, in addition to being an excellent musician and singer, is a very good entertainer. He talks to the crowd, asks for special requests, jokes with one and mocks another. The tips for the musicians are flooding.

I spend a wonderful late afternoon as if I was in a dream. I return to the hotel in the rain. Along the way on the highway, I go through a deep pool of water, the Spyder finds itself in a situation of aquaplaning and goes sideways, I gently bring back the wheel to regain control, the machine hits a dryer spot and aligns itself perfectly with the road again. The electronic stability controls do their job and go into gear, I thank heaven and BRP.

I return to Broadway Street in the evening and I spend part of the evening at the legendary “Tootsie’s”. The bar is packed with a diverse crowd of young people wearing jeans and men in suites that are probably in town for a conference. The women are beautiful and are almost all wearing cowboy boots, which adds to the style. The magical atmosphere of Nashville is even more present at night.

Memphis

photo 5It is Tuesday morning, six days already since I left Quebec City, and today I have an appointment with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Although I’m not a big fan, you cannot go through Memphis without seeing Graceland. And the visit was fantastic. Fan or not, Elvis is an extraordinary and unprecedented popular phenomenon who sold a billion albums. Even if the Graceland residence is a little tacky, it reflects that period in time with plenty of rugs, mirrors and huge decorative objects.

Elvis’ cars were diverse and very pretty and he even had a snowmobile, however, it was not from Bombardier. Collectibles are numerous, wide-ranging and well presented. They even showed us his two personal planes, one of which is a real house with wings. And walls full of trophies and gold records. Really, I was pleasantly surprised. In the evening, I go to bed early, the course of the next day will be long: 730 km.

Kansas City / Kearney

25I arrive in Kansas City at 6:45pm. I had to not waste my time on the road to get to the start of the baseball game between the Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays. Kaufmann Stadium, renovated in 2006, is magnificent. Lavish fountains, restaurants that open to the field, a giant screen, etc.  Because the temperature is cold that night (12 degrees Celsius), the crowd is small but lively. After 3 innings outside and a cold beer, I’m frozen. I see a large heated section with windows, the Diamond Club area, and I tell the doorman that I am not a member of the Club but that I’m a diamond from Quebec who has come a long way to attend this match; he agrees to let me enter requesting my discretion for this favor he is giving me.

I spent a wonderful evening at the Diamond Club, discussing left and right with other baseball enthusiasts. The final score, Royals 4 Blue Jays 2; supporters are happy.

16The next day, Jessie James and his brother Frank are waiting for me in Kearney, located about 45km from Kansas City. There is where the James family farm is, implanted in a beautiful setting of Missouri. A small museum, with a documentary film and many artifacts, gives you a very nice summary of the tumultuous life of two legends of Missouri. Jesse James, quick on his trigger, famous bank robber and train looter, had a 16 year career as an outlaw before being shot from behind by a member of his gang who wanted to get the reward related to his head. The reputation of Jessie James, the Robin Hood cowboy, robbing the rich to give to the poor, adds to the aura of the character. After the visit, I take the road to Springfield, Missouri for the final phase of the journey: attending the annual Spyderfest.

                                                                                 René Lavoie

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One Response

  1. Jean Pierre says:

    good job Rene like the story

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