Friday, May 19, 2017

Thoughts from the highway...

It is spring and the sounds of baseball are in the air!
Last weekend, I was sitting on our deck and could hear the sounds of parents and kids playing wiffle ball. Our back yard has enough trees that I couldn't see them, but it was fun listening to them and knowing that they were having a great time. They played until well past the time when they could see well and the sun was past the horizon.

In looking for summer rides, I decided that I needed to take in a Cardinals' AAA game. On Tuesday, I rode the 285 miles (one way) to Autozone Park in Memphis to watch a Memphis Redbirds' day game. It was a little before sunrise as I started my day and just after sunset (total of 575 miles) when I arrived back at home.



I guess such long rides are not too common for most bikers as I get plenty of comments on different motorcycle forums when I post about them. Since I'm still pretty new at riding, I guess I just don't know any better and didn't realize that most people are just weekend riders and use their motorcycles more for recreation than for transportation.

I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the Memphis ballpark. Maybe it's just that Springfield's Hammons' Field is an exceptional minor league park. Although it was a very nice ballpark, I was disappointed with the concessions and the overall atmosphere of a minor league game was missing. The between innings, on field entertainment was weak and ... well, not so entertaining. The stadium staff would do well to visit the AA team and see how minor league baseball can be!
It seems odd to be commenting on the parts of the game that aren't really baseball related because my thing is generally the game. I rarely pay attention to the extras on the field or on the scoreboard displays, but it seemed odd that it was so evident that there was something missing from the experience.




I stopped at a roadside BBQ place in West Memphis. I guess it was a local chain (although it looked like it might be an independent shop). Overall, it was average at best. Oh well.
I stopped for gas just west of Jonesboro and spent some time talking to another retired biker. He was on his way from Utah to North Carolina! He had spent the night close to Springfield MO and was getting ready to call it a day at around 300 miles. I think that he was taking his time, staying off the interstate highways and stopping at sights along the way. Other than the allergies (mold is killer after all the rains and flooding), he seemed to really enjoy the Ozarks.

I have to admit that I rarely look for points of interest as I ride. I'm usually just enjoying the ride. As I crossed into Arkansas I did stop long enough at Mammoth Springs State Park to take a picture and enjoy the view before getting back on the road to make it to Memphis before game time. I suppose I should stop more often, see the sights, connect with locals, ...
...or not.



If what I enjoy is riding, why not just ride?
Right?
Of course, it is stopping that would give me something to write about...

Hmmm...

Until next trip, those are my thoughts from the highway...
John <><



4 comments:

Mike said...

The extras at the ballpark can be very distracting. You can miss a good play here and there because of the distractions.

John Hill said...

Most of the extras happen between innings. I just don't usually pay much attention to them.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I would like to see minor league baseball. A nearby team, the Smokies, still involves driving in intimidating traffic!

John Hill said...

Hmmm...
That's the Cubs AA team.
Google maps says its 624 miles from my house, 9 1/2 hours of road time, probably more like 11 or 12 hours including stops.
All day ride, baseball game, overnight stay, all day ride home.
That's do-able, but it might be better to plan a stop in Nashville or another ballgame in Memphis either going to or on the return trip.

Any excuse to ride and watch baseball is a good one!