Saturday, September 12, 2015

Road Trip 2015.....Day 4 TN to AR Guns, Flags, Liquor, 'Cue & Making Friends

We had a lovely breakfast at the Quality Inn in Union City Tennessee before hitting the road.
Though we were put off that they weren't opening their nice outdoor pool until Memorial Day Weekend(3 days after we left)even though it was plenty WARM ENOUGH to swim, they did put out a great breakfast spread in the morning.

Hubs decided to break their automatic pancake maker machine however so I doubt if we can go back there ever again. lolz
Ok, it jammed and he told the breakfast lady he had broken it but she assured him that it jams often so I guess I can't say he broke it for good......

We set out and stopped for gas before getting on the highway.
This was a welcomed thing to see coming from the "land of over $3+ a gallon at that time" gas.

And while Hubs went inside to pay I saw my first cowboy of the trip........

Bonus points too because he was driving a pick-up truck.

Another sign before leaving's not like there aren't these sort of signs up where I live but PA is an anomaly among the northeastern states.

Finally on the highway and heading southwest on I-69.  We hadn't gone too far and we saw a billboard for a distillery in the town of Trimble ahead.

Then we spied this on a rise of the land from the interstate off the exit for the distillery.............

Now you KNOW I had to go find out what this was all about, don't? lolz

So we took the exit and followed the flag.

PARKS Cemetery Ridge Confederate Memorial Plaza.

A plaque commemorating an early settler who built his home here.
Then there was the old Pierce Cemetery next door....

Hubs didn't want to take the time to let me go poke around in there and snap some FAG photos.

I guess the guy who made this is the son of these folks there are plaques for....

A big old confederate Battle Flag......look away all you Yankees! lolz

A statue to a Confederate Soldier.   If you look closely you'll notice that the Virginia flag is upside down.  Of course, I left a comment in their guest book about that.....

Me with a cannon and the semi-circle of smaller Confederate State flags. 

They had a brick walkway and you can pay to have your Confederate ancestors' names places in this path.

A nice little surprise along the road.  Don't I always say I find the weirdest shit when I travel?

Can you say "Dixie"?  I thought you could.....

So we headed back down Highway 105 back toward Trimble to find the distillery.
Let me just say for the record that Trimble TN(pop. 637) is but a speck on the map....hardly a town.  We drove down the main road through town and we were on the other side of town within 4 blocks.  The only thing we saw was a kitchy looking 1950's diner....

.....and a couple of churches(this is the South so of course there were at least two!).
We drove back past the diner and went over to a couple of new buildings since I figured that was somehow connected to the distillery(as it had to be a new addition to this town).

Here's the building.  There was no sign on it cluing us into what it was.  And I kept asking, "Who the hell would build a distillery in this town in the middle of northwestern TN anyway with no advertising on the building to boot?!?

Then I saw the "sign" was part of a fountain display between the 2 buildings and not something you'd notice right away.

Here's a close-up of the signage...

"Full Throttle S'loonshine"

We go in the larger building and it is wall to wall shelves of flavored moonshine bottles for sale. 
There is a small section in the back of the place with displays of shirts for sale.
And there is a full sized supped-up race car by the front windows in the place.

So we start talking to the lady manning the register.  This is the Full Throttle Saloonshine Distillery owned by Michael Ballard and she is his cousin.
Well Hubs and I have no CLUE who Michael Ballard was! lolz

This is Michael Ballard.....

If you are as unaware as we were, Mr. Ballard is the owner/operator of the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis ND, the largest Biker Bar in the US.  From what I can glean it is only open 1 week per year for the Sturgis Bike Rally.  He is/was also the star of the TruTV reality show about his Saloon.

He built the distillery in Trimble because it's where he grew up.  You can tour the distillery but Hubs and I didn't need yet another distillery tour on this trip.
They produce moonshine to sell in their Sturgis Bar but also to sell to the public through liquor distributors.  If you go to Logan's Roadhouse and order the Roadhouse Tea you'll be drinking one of their products in it, the Apple Pie Moonshine.

We did sample the moonshine flavors they produce here and Hubs especially liked the Coffee flavored one.  Haven't seen a coffee flavored moonshine anywhere but here and I must say, that if I liked coffee, I would LOVE this flavor!

I was going to direct you to their website to check them out further except they don't seem to have paid their website hosting site and the site has been disabled. lolz

So after buying a few jars of s'loonshine we got back on the highway.

We stopped in the suburbs outside of Memphis TN to check out a local liquor store.

Hey I found you something Sonya

I always snap a gratuitous pose with a bottle of FREAK SHOW if I can find it when we go to someplace new.
Gawd!  I look crazed don't I? 

Of course we found Elvis outside of Memphis!

$11.99 for Elvis?
No thank you, thank you very much.....
Hubs had to buy this red ale from Mississippi called fire Ant.  I hope it doesn't sting going down though! lolz

This company in MS also had this brew, "Sinister Minister". Hmmm.....

I have never seen this particular Sierra Nevada Stout.  I suspect it would be good sipped in the coolness of Fall but this was Spring so I took a pass.......

This zinfandel had a clever name which could apply to so many of my friends......kidding! lolz

We cramped a few more bottles of booze into the car and cruised into Memphis for a late-ish lunch.

We drove by this giraffe in Alamo TN.  There is a safari park here.

Some building graffiti along the road into town.

The bicycle gate at Overton Park....

And finally we arrived in the heart of the city to our lunch destination.....

The Bar-B-Q Shop
"Home of the Dancing Pigs"

I did some research online before leaving on this trip.  I wanted to avoid all those "touristy" spots and eat like a Memphis local.  This place came highly recommended be several websites.

We get out of the car and while I am snapping this photo.........

 A random guy carrying a backpack walking down the sidewalk walks up to Hubs and starts chatting with him.  Before I know it I am hearing said guy ask Hubs for money to catch the bus.
Maybe he noticed the out of state license plates on the newish car and thought he'd try his luck at scamming tourists out of some cash?  Who knows.  Hubs said no and we just kept walking into the restaurant.
Thankfully our hubcaps were still on the car when we finished lunch and got back outside.  ;-)

I knew exactly what I wanted here to eat.
And that is just what I got.
An order of "wet" and "dry".




And I also managed to put away about 3/4 of this baby, a pulled pork sammich drenched in Dancing Pigs Sauce.......

In addition to his Rib plate Hubs had a plate of this....

BBQ Spaghetti.
It's nothing like Skyline Chili if that's what you are thinking.
Hubs wasn't impressed with this nearly as much as the ribs, mostly because it was drenched in grease.

But everything else?

They were slow that day as it was post the lunch rush so Hubs asked to meet the cook.
This is Eric, not the pitt master but he makes the sauces and rubs and danged if he ain't got the barbecue gift!

We waddled out of the Bar-B-Q Shop almost 2 hours later with full bellies.....

......and headed through downtown Memphis.

Saw this carriage crossing the street at the light we stopped at.
We parked downtown next to a small park by the waterfront as there was a statue I wanted to get a picture of in Confederate Park.
Here's a description of that park from a website on Historic Memphis Parks.......

Confederate Park was designed by George Kessler as a Memorial to the Civil War, and was dedicated in 1908.  It was part of Kessler's original "Grand Design" for Memphis.  During the Civil War, the Mississippi River at Memphis was the sight of an intense battle as Southern forces fought to keep control of the waterfront.  It wasn't enough.  The Union crushed the Confederacy.  Many lives were lost as well as the control of Memphis and the entire river.  Those troops who died are remembered at Confederate Park.  Today, the park provides a great perspective of where the battle occurred and there are markers where you can read first-hand what happened during the battle.  

In spite of the Civil War theme, Confederate park became a dumping ground for a lot of old junk, none related to the Civil War - battered artillery from WWI, E. H. Crump's totem pole, and a concrete block inscribed with the Ten Commandments, as well as numerous fountains.  In 1964, the park finally got its Civil War centerpiece, a statue of Jefferson Davis.  Davis had lived in Memphis from 1875 to 1878 and a group raised the money to erect the statue.  Originally, the park had authentic Civil War cannons, but they were sacrificed for scrap metal during WWII and later WWII cannons were added to the park.  Those cannons have been removed and the Shelby County Historical Commission has announced plans to purchase 4 reproduction Civil War cannons to place in Confederate park.   Recently the city government very quickly renamed this park.

Confederate and Jefferson Davis parks are now referred to as "Mississippi River Park".  Also in Memphis is the Nathan Bedford Forrest Park which has been renamed.  In 2013 action was begun to wipe these park names from our history and legal battles are going on even now.
What is wrong with us as a country?
Are we so timid that we wish to erase anything in our past from our memories and sights that we disagree with as a nation now?
It is such a cowardly act in my opinion.
These people, whether you agree with what they stood for or not, existed and shaped our nation into what it became today.
What's next?....Australians removing all vestiges of their penal past and restoring all aboriginal names to all landmarks in their country?
No, I don't believe they are that silly.
This is exactly the sort of thing, erasing history that YOU don't agree with, that those crazy assed terrorists in the Middle East are carrying out at this very moment all through that region of the world.   Isis destroying historic ancient temples and statues of their foes anyone?
When we destroy vestiges of our past that have "fallen out of favor" with our modern society we are no better than Isis and folks of that ilk!
But I digress......
I found the statue of Jefferson Davis.  Until this was erected finally in 1964, 99 years after the end of the War of Northern Aggression, Tennessee was the only Southern state without a memorial to the only President of the Confederacy.

I didn't get a good photo because of the overcast day and shooting in the direction of the sun.

I am not a big fan of Jefferson Davis or his policies but it is important to retain memorials of our past.  I am glad I got to see it before the unwashed masses in this country decide to take it down and scrap it in an attempt to forget our national history.

There were other memorial plaques to some other noteworthy Memphis women..

While I was having fun reading plaques and taking photos Hubs was making new friends.

I guess the city sport around here is panhandling because everywhere he went in Memphis someone would come up to him and ask for money.  The guy outside the barbecue restaurant and then 2 different guys in the park.  The first one, told Hubs his name was Huston(or Houston)and started out by giving him literature to the Martin Luther King Jr. Museum and directions(though Hubs hadn't ask him for either)and then proceeding to ask him for a "donation" to Huston's worthy cause-a soup kitchen(or so he said....we had no way of knowing whether this place existed) . Hubs had a feeling the only "worthy cause"  Huston was soliciting for was for Huston's own pockets.

Then Hubs made another friend at another place in the park when yet another guy solicited him for money.  No story about a bus to catch or a charity to support, just asked him for a couple of dollars.
I guess Hubs looked like Mr. Money Bags to many people in this city. lolz

So it was back in the car and heading out of Memphis....

As we drove toward the bridge over the Mississippi River we spied this......

The Memphis Pyramid.
It was built in 1991 as a sports arena in the shape of a pyramid, to play on Memphis being names after the ancient city of Memphis in Egypt, and the relation to the Great Pyramids of that land.

The Pyramid as you can see is a Bass Pro Shops.
Oh how the mightily named and shaped have

 And thus we entered the state of Arkansas.

A pretty bad shot of the Mighty Mississippi between Memphis, Tennessee and the shores of West Memphis, Arkansas.

And if you need to go from Arkansas to Tennessee take my words of NOT try to take I-40 East into Memphis! There was a solid backup of at least 15 miles heading east across the river into Memphis from AK.  Most of it was tractor-trailers and it just went on and on and we didn't see any accidents as the source of the tie-up, just massive volume!  That photo above was our scenery for many miles as we looked to our left.

Approximately 2 hours later and it was dusk and we were in the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock
We chose a motel by the interstate(there were MANY to choose from!), checked in and headed out and hour later after going online to find a place to eat.
We ended up at Denny's.  There was massive construction and traffic near it but despite this and a confusing feeder road situation in the dark, we made it to their parking lot.  The place was near deserted(seems the construction situation has done this to their business and they couldn't wait for it to finish up)so we had a nice quiet small meal as neither of us were very hungry after our lunch in Memphis earlier in the day.
Back to the motel, some tv and off to sleep.

This particular motel was the cheapest one we stayed at this trip at $50 a night(pus taxes).  It was a bit sad and rundown but it was no worse than some others were we paid almost double per night to stay at.  I liked this price point much better for what it supplied.

Tomorrow we would be arriving in Louisiana at our destination mid-day.



  1. Great post! I enjoyed it all, the food the sights and the personal commentary. Excellent job.

    Hope you are felling better also!

  2. Sluggy, Are you kidding me? You went to Memphis and did NOT go see Rev. Al Green? That is high on my Bucket List.

  3. That place sounds seriously run down and sad if they charge "pus taxes." I wouldn't want to go there with a skin infection and end up paying a lot.

    Seriously, though, this sounds like the most fun part of the country you've visited so far, and I'd like to get down that way sometime. It also sounds like the region with the best eatins.

    I love your travelogues as they allow me vicarious voyages.

  4. Oh wow, it sounds like you all are having a blast! I would love to see all these things again. I enjoyed your photos and blog post so much. Safe travels!! :)

  5. I love how we think about each other when we see alcohol!!!!!
    The waterfall would look pretty awesome in my back yard. DO you think that I am going a bit overboard?
    And had to laugh over hubs breaking the waffle maker. Thye are always in trouble.


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