Trip Three: Birmingham -> West Memphis

After spending two wonderful weeks in Hoover, Alabama (suburb of Birmingham) and getting settled into our camper, it was time to shove off once more.

We had a great time hanging out with Matt, Tracy and the kids. We enjoyed lots of southern cuisine, beer, watermelon margaritas and most important the warmth and charm of the Greater Birmingham area. I can't wait to come back and visit again. Hoover blew away every expectation that I had and I genuinely loved my visit.

We even bought swag!

(am I doing it right?)

Over our two weeks in Hoover, we got to get settled into our rig and make it our own. By the time we left it was really starting to feel more like an unreasonably small NYC apartment instead of an RV.

We got our stuff put organized and started getting our decor on. 
Thankfully, there was a Target just up the street from the RV park!

Sick of beige!
Deirdre got started wallpapering the bedroom

No matter where you are, there Ronin is.
This is his paw under the bathroom door...

The people of Hoover are my folks... This is at Sprouts grocery.
I have a freezer full of Carolina Reapers that I grew before we left
and seeing them in the grocery store was a shock!

Deirdre got to drive a Cat on Matt's creekside property in Hoover
(Video to follow when I have bandwidth. Her cackle is priceless)

Some seriously gorgeous rock formations in Moss Rock preserve!

It was on to West Memphis, Arkansas! Home to the wonderful story of the West Memphis Three! If you are into true crime, this one is a doozy.


Our drive from Hoover to West Memphis was relatively smooth until right up until around the time we crossed into Mississippi and the roads took a turn for the bullshit. While the pavement wasn't awesome in any measurable way, the scenery on highway 22 was beautiful and I really enjoyed our drive through the northern Mississippi countryside.

Hoover to West Memphis
280 miles

Once we hit Tennessee and arrived in the greater Memphis area, the roads went from "not smooth" to "closely resembling the site of a recent air strike."  

Driving through Memphis and then crossing the I-55 bridge into West Memphis was one of the more harrowing things we've done so far. There are giant heaves and holes in the road everywhere and the lanes are extremely narrow and densely packed with trucks. It was not fun in any way and I definitely recommend seeking an alternate route if you can swing it until the I-40 bridge recovers from it's (hopefully) criminal neglect and is basically rebuilt.

To our surprise, once we made it through the assorted tank traps of the Memphis freeways and the I-55 bridge, over the gorgeous Mississippi river, and into Arkansas we were greeted with... even worse highways! The guys running the highway commission in the West Memphis area aren't even trying at this point. All I can say is #infrastructure.

Unfortunately, about 75 miles before we reached our destination, Truck Norris began shuddering again pretty badly. We pulled over a couple of times to make sure that there were no issues with the tires and to our surprise there appeared to be nothing wrong. The shuddering worsened until it was nearly a full shake by the time we made it to the camp site.

After calling my brother, Jesse (who is a tire expert), we concluded that we had ANOTHER tire with tread separation and that the six tires that came with our truck were absolute trash (and possibly even retreads). Thanks, used car dealer auction system!

It was going to be off to Walmart at six in the morning for our next tire adventure, but that's another story. At least we arrived safe and sound at a lovely KOA campsite in Marion, AR.

phew, made it

We'll see you again soon with our upcoming trip to Sallisaw, OK (hopefully) tomorrow once we get our tire saga concluded!

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