May 20, 2019: Southern Hospitality, Ya’ll!

This is the second departure in a row that all riders are at their bikes and all RVers are at their stations EARLY! Fear is an effective motivator!

We rumbled off toward MCC. A 10 minute ride on surface streets to avoid the Memphis Blues traffic. On our approach, we had a left hand turn at a controlled intersection… without a left turn arrow.  No problem! Boner to the rescue… when the light turned green he rushed the intersection to actively block the oncoming traffic. We proceeded left without issue. A half a block later, we had to turn left across traffic into the MCC parking lot.  Again, our non-police escort actively blocked traffic and we arrived without incident… early. Seems the MCC drone was not airborne to film our arrival. No worries, they can get us on our exit.

Josh Berry, Mike Stramaglio, Scot Berry

As anticipated, our welcome to MCC was warm and gracious. We entered the building like conquering warriors. A banquet room was set, after an invocation by Chef Scot Berry (he cannot take credit for actually cooking this breakfast… providing, yes… but not Chef-ing).  The Pack was treated to a receiving line of Memphis’ finest group of employees.  This crew is as engaging and professional as they come.  The MCC culture is enviable. After the receiving line we grabbed plates and loaded up on a fantastic full southern style breakfast. While eating and milling a bit after we were all but coerced into a morning pre-ride massage. We like this theme!  We could return home to our individual lives as entitled snots. (Maureen honey, where is my breakfast and a massage?! (Editor Note: That’s a sure fire way to get a divorce, Paco)

Scot Berry & The Patriot Pack

After a great meal and fellowship, Chef Scot Berry and Paco were interviewed on camera by a local TV affiliate. Jillian and Patriot Pack on the air… again!  After their 15 minutes of fame Chef Scot Berry gathered the Pack and his team into the theater and officially welcomed us with a multi medial presentation as well as providing the Jillian fund with a much appreciated generous donation. Chef Scot Berry we appreciate your gracious words. Paco was given the mic and the floor. After some words of our own appreciation Paco handed the mic to Papa. Since our entire time in Memphis, with the Berry extended family/MCC team, was Amazing and full of Grace, Papa treated the group to an impromptu rendition of Amazing Grace.

Soon it was time to depart and make our way over to Nashville. We have made the decision to stay on US 70 from Memphis to Nashville. The trick was to navigate our way to US 70 during the Monday morning rush. After discussing with the locals the difference between US 70 and US 72 it was determined the street, Summer avenue, is actually US 70. All we need to do is turn right/east out of the parking lot and stay on that road until our hotel in Nashville. The travel gods are with us!!

We pull out in formation with Boner (liking this duty too much) stopping traffic.  The further east we rode the more beautiful the Tennessee countryside became. US 70 kept us in 4th gear the entire day!  Our first incident was a mixed flock, 15 strong, of ravens and turkey vultures devouring an armadillo  on the side of the road. One of them to the head would be painful so we slowed to a crawl as they dispersed causing a short eclipse.

Back up to speed we rolled. A few miles later a red Camaro was on our right entering the road by crossing in front of us and heading west on US 70.  This driver had plenty of time to do this but while still perpendicular in the road the driver decided to admire our beautiful train of 13 motorcycles and and RV. The driver seemed a bit surprised at our sudden slow down and shift to single file. I am sure the driver appreciated our ability to adapt to the local conditions.  Bless her heart.

We rolled back up to speed and proceeded east. About 60 miles out Papa roared into a Walmart parking lot with a full station. Time to fuel tanks and empty bladders. The RVers went to Walmart to stock up on provisions. It was a long leisure stop as we had a short day of riding. While waiting and resting a red pickup truck came flying into the gas pumps. Jumpin Jacklyn Flash was driving in a spirited manner with a German Shepard tied… literally tied in the truck bed and was rocking/sliding side to side. As Jumpin Jacklyn Flash couldn’t make the tight corner she did the forward reverse maneuver over and over to get into her fuel pump. All the while the Pack was holding breath as she came within inches of several bikes. Much adrenaline but… no incident.

Word came that Rover wanted us to park in a very precise formation in front of the Mars’ Rover Rover for a photo op.  As we have become major entitled minor celebrities it took a bit of wrangling to get into formation.  We’ve become boyband-ish.  You should see GQ’s green room rider.  The good news is that we all have the same agent… Attorney Judge Goldberg. He is keeping our egos in check.

After the photo op we were instructed to do a fly by in formation for our fans.  Soon the Mars’ Rover Rover was fired up and in line behind and off we were again.  Rolling east through the countryside with Papa out front followed by Slaw, JBro and Boner.  Soon this group noticed they were alone… this always brings some anxiety. After a few moments the rest of the pack train came rolling over the ridge and joined us again.  Seems Paco had saddle bag issues that were quickly resolved. Again we roll.

About 30 minutes out we were rolling the countryside and we could see a gentleman up on the left coming out of his driveway wanting to turn east ahead of us. As he stuck his nose onto the west bound lane he thought better and waited for the Pack to pass. This is good news as he was hauling a trailer.  The bad news is that our train was so long the oncoming traffic and his nose in their lane was going to cause a problem for them and subsequently us.  Thankfully he had the ability to revers enough to clear the lanes. The curse and beauty of the traffic gods in the same incident. Another hour out and we pulled into a sleepy Tennessee burg for a bio and snack break. Several locals rolled through slowly to engage the Pack and ask about our mission. We are often asked about our mission and always receive a warm response.

On queue we were treated to snacks and hydration by the RVers and the Make Great America Leasing again. Soon we headed east toward Nashville. Papa has some heightened anxiety as his Apple product and paver bricks had a confrontation… bricks won. Getting to Nashville intimate to visit a T-Mobile facility before gather for dinner was not a paramount mission.

The rolling hills become more dramatic the closer we get to Nashville. As we approach about 30 miles out there is a river/stream we are following hat is used for canoeing. One of the canoe rental vans hauling a trailer of canoes this person had no business hauling was approaching from the east… heading west.  Seems it was important for him to turn across the eastbound lane to get these canoes to their intended destination 12 seconds earlier than he would had he waited for us. Again the break check was effective. We were so thankful for this test of braking we saluted this fine example of low IQ driving.

A sort time later we entered the hotel parking lot in need to showers, naps, emails, text messages, social media updating and… Papa’s new phone.  Papa, JBro and Boner took off before check in to acquire the new phone. This happened without incident, save for the illegal parking.  Boner simply went into the establishment in full biker leather WITH his helmet and faded cover (looked like an MC robbery in progress) to ask permission.  The establishment graciously complied. About 30 minutes later the three re-arived at the hotel and checked in.  JBro, our personal T-Mobile assistant took care of business.  Papa is back on-line.

Speaking of entitled boyband-ish behavior… Our Nashville member, Fish, had Mrs. Fish secure a spot for the Pack at a local blues establishment for later.  Most often this place is standing room only and we had a ripped off table in a prime location to hear Nashville musicians jam.  This establishment  was rockin !!… or Bluesin !!

 

The entire extended Pack was a bit scattered in this part of town.  Each group enjoying their personal time. Watching Paco carefully eat so as not to accidentally gnaw on an fired alligator or catfish (fish with whiskers?) was priceless. He did enjoy the fried green tomato. If they fried pasta he would be in!

There was “variable” elating and drinking.  The first return Uber was Judge, Paco and Papa. About an hour later Boner and JBro arrived home. Earlier than expected but they had made the most of their short time. As I write this I hear some were very late caused by the ladies Make Great American Leasing again.  This crew goes home tomorrow so they made the most of their last night with the Pack. We hope to soon see the ladies of Make Great American Leasing again. Also we will be losing Bert and the Captain Morgan as they must return to Iowa/Nebraska for family duties.

Kickstands up at 7:45am.  We have to travel 1.3 miles to Novatech in the morning!  The pack rolls.

Signed,

Papa

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