And like each of the previous road trips, it began and ended in pouring rain. Why? Is it written somewhere that it must rain cats and dogs when we meet away from our respective stores? Had a little convoy going to Martin, about 1.5 hours from the Big Rip as the crow flies, 4 counties away. Here were the choices: 1) drive to B'ville and hook up with my assistant mgr., retracing her trip from Jackson and adding another 1/2 hour to my ride. Not happening. 2) Hook up with Ripley or Dyersburg. Sounds more reasonable. A straight (almost) shot up 51 to Martin. Well, Ripley had an appointment in Dyersburg and needed to drive to make sure she was back in time. D-burg had to begin the trip in Newbern; not in Dyersburg. So it is 3 cars traveling and I don't know where I'm going as usual.
Not to worry...I've got Maggie. Oops! She doesn't have the hotel's location so she's useless. MapQuest does, however. Printed it off. Met up with Ripley and we were off to Newbern. Dyersburg is the ONLY one who knows where she's going. "I'll be waiting at the gas/convenience station at 7:45." What she didn't say was..."you have to turn off at the Newbern exit." Flew right past it. Rang her up and told her to catch up 'cause we had moved on down the road. Slight problem in Union City. TN 22 goes to the left and I'm in the right lane. U-turn and realize that I should have kept straight. Conference with Ripley; u-turn, and off we go. In Martin, we turn on 45-E but this part of town is looking a little iffy. Another conference. While we're trying to figure it out, the phone rings. D-burg is at the hotel. She led us, by phone, back (notice I said "back") to the hotel which we'd passed. Who could see it sitting way down that highway? And, why didn't the directions say "turn before you pass the college"?
We're not accustomed to meetings which start and end on time. So it came as a major shock for us to be on schedule. Ass't. Manager knows of a place which serves fish (she used to work in Martin) and we're off. The convoy is growing. Well, bless my soul. Cowboy Bob's is the REAL boot, scoot, and boogie. The fish is not all that but the price was absolutely right.
The convoy is heading out. I'm geared to follow the AM back to Brownsville via Milan, Jackson, etc., but the go-ahead to go home is given. We're off. D-burg in the lead; Big Rip is on her tailpipe like a tick on a dog. Me? I'm a distant third. I'm doing 80 and can only hope to keep them in sight. And the rain has returned...in sheets! Clears up. Returns. Gentle rains are unheard of in these parts. Flash flood warnings in effect until 7 p.m. Are you kidding me? It seems like there is a river every 15 to 20 miles. Going through Obion County, which also suffered tremendous flooding, there is a huge lake on either side of the highway for as far as you can see. N-O-T! It is someone's cropland. Flooded by the Obion River. Good grief!
Talking about breathing a sigh of relief when we pulled into Dyersburg. The Big Rip had plenty of time to make her appointment. I waved and kept going. At my normal speed which is always above the speed limit but NOT like a bat out hell. Pulled into the homestead, took aspirins for the splitting headache, and crashed.
So what can I tell you about Martin? It's a small college town (the University of TN at Martin) with a population of 10K plus. It's about 17 miles from Reelfoot Lake State Park or Wildlife Refuge or something. I've covered Reelfoot and it's connection to the New Madrid earthquake in a previous blog. You'll have to Google it. And not far from the TN-KY border.
That's all folks. Be safe. Be Blessed.