Bye bye Branson

After spending the night in Branson we tried our luck hitchin’ on the highway again. Getting rides was slow going so we decided to break out our “A game” with some freestyle hitchin’. Here’s a video titled “The hitchhikers guide to the hitchhiking” outlining the different moves we use to get our rides.



The barrel roll attracted the attention of Joey who came back to see what was going on. He took us across the Arkansas state line and dropped us on the side of the highway 20 miles down the road. Here we enjoyed sights such as a full size RV towing a full size Airstream trailer. You know, sometimes the RV just ain't big enough.

After an hour of standing in our third location of the day, an Acura hatchback pulled over. As we walked up to the car there didn’t appear to be much room available to fit us and our bags. We were greeted by a friendly man speaking quickly in Spanish. Not fully understanding what was going on, we jumped in the back seat. Jose, Julio and Bryan didn’t speak any English, ya that’s right his name is Bryan, but were happy enough to cram all five of us in the four seater car.

With our limited Spanish we managed to explain what we are doing, why we are wearing white suits and the directions to Little Rock. The ride got even better when they told us how they love Bon Jovi and put in their CD. It turns out it was actually Guns and Roses, but we didn’t have the heart to tell them.

Our new Latin American friends are originally from Nicaragua but are working in the Rogers area of northwest Arkansas. It was difficult to communicate with them, but it was clear they love their new home in America, happy to be living the American dream. The American dream for today was enjoying their day off, driving through the Ozark Mountains, celebrating the St. Louis Cardinals’ winning the world series.

They took us south throught the Ozark Mountains for a couple hours to the town of Conway, then headed back home.

IMG_0716

Nicaragua crew

Little Rock, Arkansas

Bobby and Deepak drove up from Little Rock, picked us up and took us the final 30 miles from Conway into Little Rock. After dropping off Deepak and picking up Cody we went to the capitol building. Number 24.

Convicts dressed in all white often work around the capitol building grounds, so we were getting some cautious looks from people in the area. They realized we weren’t a threat after seeing our awesome jump shots.

Scotty Jumper

Cody Bobby Fiddy


We didn’t stay long in Little Rock, just enough to see the crowds from the Razorback game and the downtown area. We also learned it’s illegal to mispronounce Arkansas. So there may have been some pronunciation of “Are-Kansas” or “Are-cans-ass” going on. We’ve had some close calls with breaking the law lately, so I’ll leave it at that.

After the quick tour of Little Rock Bobby and Cody took us two hours into Tennessee. Bobby has a great story of why he’s from Arkansas. His parents fled the turmoil of the Middle East in the late 70’s to return home to California. Upon returning they decided to drive a VW van east to Florida and start a new life. Along the way their van broke down in Arkansas and they’ve been here ever since.

Like many of the other citues, we we're about to be lost in Memphis. But Cody saved the day when he fired up Delorme Street Atlas on his computer and guided us to safety…

Memphis

Arriving in Memphis we met up with Steve and his group of friends. They were having a Halloween party and invited us to join in on the fun. We didn’t have any costumes, but the white suits did the trick for the night. Steve and all his friends are such awesome people; they welcomed us into their homes, took care of us and showed us a good time.

Fiddy, Scotty, Steve

White out

After hanging out with everyone at the party, and having a look around downtown Steve put us up for the night at his downtown apartment. We even got breakfast out of the deal too from his roommate Todd.

It’s obvious when you stumble upon something good, like this group of people in Memphis. They are all positive, fun, friendly folk who are all about helping each other, and anyone else out.

Everywhere we travel around America there is so many people like these guys in Memphis. Normal, fun, down-to-earth people who welcome two strangers into their homes. In contrast there are so many people who are afraid of helping out strangers, welcoming people into their homes or even meeting new people. It’s hard to imagine how hard this project would be without all the good people like Steve and everyone in Memphis.

Steve works as an architect in Memphis, loves traveling and found our site while finding un-work related items to look at, while at work. He recently took a quick tour through the states going to 14 of the western states in 9 days, and also went to Europe. He is always keen to go anywhere, just needs an excuse to go.

We hung around his place in Memphis for the morning before moving on.



After a bit of R&R on the roof it was time for the drive to Nashville. We met up with Steve’s buddy Yates, jumped in his Durango and headed for the highway.

Nashville, Tennessee

Along the drive to Nashville Andrea called us up and offered a place to stay in Nashville. Perfect, it was looking like we would be hotel'n it tonight. So we met up with her and went out for dinner with Yates and Steve.

After dinner we headed for the capitol building. Here we realized we left our video camera in Memphis. Ouch. But don’t worry we still got some good jump shots. Gotta get that camera though. I hear a company called FedEx is located somewhere around Memphis, maybe they can help.

Nashville 3

So there it is, half way done on day 20. We know we still have a long ways to go; the western states are a lot bigger, and we still have no idea how we’re getting to Alaska and Hawaii, but this is still a milestone. The first 25 states have been amazing. When we started from New York City almost three weeks ago we had no idea how this would pan out. There was a moment standing there in Times Square where I was thinking, oh man what have we gotten ourselves into. But, those thoughts were quickly washed away by all the support, generosity and hospitality we’ve received, right from the beginning. All the memories, experiences and friends from the first 25 states is only getting us excited for the next 25 and all the opportunities awaiting us and the people we meet.

After hanging out at our half way point we said bye to Steve and Yates and headed to Andrea’s place. She heard about us through her boyfriend Dan, and wanted to be part of the journey. Andrea is in her final semester her at Vanderbilt University and is planning on moving to Canada in December, long way from home for a D.C. girl.

We arrived at Andrea’s place and realized it is small, really small. It turns out she lives in the dorms at Vanderbilt University, in a single room. So space is limited. That’s okay, we managed to make everything fit in and had a good time hanging around the building with her and the other students.

Oh ya, we're looking for a ride out of Nashville on Monday. Can you help? I hear they have some good chicken in Kentucky...

Are you in a band?

We need music, and we’ll hook you up. Well as much as we can. We need music to put in our videos, but don’t want to have any copyright infringement issues involved with big bands.

So here’s the deal: If you are in a band and want us to use your music for our videos send it over or drop us an email. We’ll try to get you some publicity through links on our site and anything else we can think of.

Thanks,

Scotty and Fiddy