I took a ~few~ pictures. There's a little bit of riding in here, but mainly it's vacationing, so skip it if you're only here to absorb my endurance knowledge ;)
So I've been gone from "home" long enough that everything is confusing. I didn't feel like Oakland was home, and I didn't feel like Memphis / The South was home, and I haven't lived in Reno (my true home) for a year and a half, and I was rootless.
We wandered through the Oakland airport, checking out the consumer electronics stores and burner* kiosks. Our flight was delayed FIVE HOURS, so we had a lot of time to look at all the goods and services for sale in Oakland.
*You know, pay-as-you-go "burner" cell phones. You watch Breaking Bad, right? Don't make me explain it to you. ;)
Eventually, our plane showed up and we flew to Nashville. (Much, much cheaper than flying direct to Memphis.) We deplaned at 11 pm or 2 am or something, I don't know, time zones are confusing. The airport was mostly shut down at that hour but one of the first things I saw was this:
Anyway, it was very late at night and the rental car people were like "you can have a free upgrade, what would you like?" G looked speculatively at the SUVs, but I focused on the only appropriate car for one's birthday vacation: the Ford Mustang.
Except we couldn't roll very fast, because the fascist racist cops of Middle Tennessee were out in full fucking force. It's just under 200 miles from Nashville to Memphis, and we counted sixteen cop cars. Maybe four of them were state troopers; all the rest were local cops out to harass people. Only two drivers were pulled over with all their shit strewn all over the side of the road getting bullshit drug-searched, though.
I do love Bucksnort.
Another cop, in a cruiser, came up behind him and he got behind me. The other cop passed us and the SUV-cop got back in my blind spot. I had fucking had it with him, so at the next exit I got off.
I carefully stopped at the sign, signalled, turned down the random road, and found a driveway (at a junkyard) to turn around. I pulled in, stopped, and waited. Would you like to speak to me, officer? Why are you still following me?
The cop - who'd exited behind me - drove very slowly over the overpass. G and I smiled and waved at him. He turned off on a side road and disappeared, never to be seen again. I signaled carefully, got back on the interstate, and continued my little road trip.
I really, really hate the local southern militia. They all need consent decrees.
I'm a law-abiding white woman, no longer poor, accompanied by my white male spouse, so I'm not all that intimated by unmarked cop cars. But if it was night and I was alone? I'd have called 911 to tell them that some car on I-40 was fucking stalking me. If I was poor? Or brown? Or traveling with my same-sex partner? That's a nightmare scenario.
I thought about trying out some other joints, but Central BBQ has never done me wrong. They might not have the best 'cue in Memphis metro area, but they have consistently excellent product. We ate there five times in seven days: the perfect ratio.
Here's some elves.
It's like a suit of armor, but it's made from tin cans and it's mounted on a stake below a bird feeder/house.
I don't even know; my parents' house is strange and wonderful.
Barn's burnt down / now / I can see the moon.
I did manage to ride twice - non inconsequential, in a week-long vacation!
James was my partner when I first got into horses - we boarded together and he was the only dude I ever met who wanted to ride as long as I wanted to ride, right up until 2009 when I moved to Nevada and really got into endurance.
James is awesome. He's 31 years older than me, a Vietnam vet, and a great guy. I learned all of my basic (and basically cowboy) horse skills from him - he's heavier-handed than I am, but his horses are affectionate toward him, obedient, and broke broke broke.
The spotted horse on the right is SSB. She's a couple inches shorter than Dixie and a year younger, but when I'd just bought (and was completely overwhelmed by) Dixie, he'd just bought SSB. He was working on getting SSB broke as I tried to, you know, mount my horse. (Getting Dixie broke took me so long, argh.)
Anyway, these days, SSB is as much of a good citizen as Dixie is. I rode SSB and James rode the black on the right. The first day, we just went out in a cotton field and hauled ass around the edge of it for two hours.
A couple days later, I made it back and we went out again. We rode down the road, cut across the highway, and headed back up into the trails we used to ride together, back in 2008. It was awesome. Very, very cool to ride the same trails, with the same guy, on one of the same horses, five years later. Four hours later, we made it back to the barn - it was James' birthday, and I had more people to see.
Highway 51. Rode across here, across the field, and back up to the left toward the river.
I promised James that it won't be five more years til I see him again!
I saw more friends and ate more smoked pork products, but we were out of time too soon and away we went.
The makeup kiosk was doing a brisk trade when I made it back to the Nashville airport.
Next post - back to endurance with some in-depth horse stuff.