Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Life on the Mississippi - Memphis Style



It's almost like going home again!  Having grown up along the banks of the Great River in Muscatine, Iowa, I feel the memories flying back.  The River is an integral and sometimes intrusive part of all who live along its banks.  (See photo of one of its intrusions.)
BIG Intrusion

My original plan was to stay a few days at the Graceland RV Park in Memphis, but after hanging out a couple of nights in North Little Rock along the Arkansas River (see previous blog) and watching Zoe enjoy the barges, I remembered her telling me about a really cool park along the Mississippi that she stayed at a few months before we met.  So here we are in West Memphis, AR at the Tom Sawyer Mississippi River RV Park watching more barges.  I highly recommend this park, just 2.5 miles off I-40 and I-55, and about 10 miles from downtown Memphis.

Tom Sawyer RV Park

Notes on the Mississippi:  The Great River drains 2/3 of the contiguous (thank you, spellchecker) 48 states, from western New York and the west side of the Appalachians to the Continental Divide in the Rockies.  One of the 3 sources of the Missouri River starts in Yellowstone and the Yellowstone River confluences with the Missouri at the Montana/North Dakota border just south of the Canadian border.  The Missouri River would flow into Canada before it heads south to the Mississippi, but Donald Trump built a gigantic wall there to keep foreigners out.

There are 28 locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi from Minneapolis to St. Louis, slow going for the barge trains (3 abreast and 5 long).  It takes over 2 hours to get through each lock.  Below St. Louis it's open river all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a cheap way to transport everything from petroleum to coal to grain, but don't expect Amazon Prime to be a big customer.

Back in the present:  Yesterday we did our day trip to downtown Memphis.  Our first goal was a restaurant named "Flight", recommended by 2 beautiful young ladies the night before at the RV park.  We found it easily with our GPS only to find that they open at 4 pm.  We wandered a few minutes and stumbled into the famous Peabody Hotel a block away.  I tried to explain to Zoe that they had a "duck parade" everyday in the lobby.  She replied that I had been out in the sun too long, so we walked into the lobby.  There were 5 Mallards in the fountain in the middle of the lobby, and the sign said they marched outside at 11 am and 5 pm.  Nuff said.
The Peabody (Danny Thomas Has A Duck Print Here)

The Peabody Fountain

Ducks in the Fountain!

After lunch at the Peabody we headed a mile east on Union Bvd. to Ground Zero of Rock & Roll - Sun Studios.  This laid-back little recording studio was where Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and many others first recorded their music.  It's open for tours during the day and a recording studio at night.  Talk about "hallowed ground".

The Big Four: Jerry, Carl, Johnny, and Elvis
Hound Dog Johnny

Sun Studio - Where It All Happened

Tomorrow a 100-mile drive to Savannah, TN to visit Shiloh National Military Park and other NPS stamp collecting sites.

Life is good,


Anonymous said...

John, that is some high water mark! Zoe

E. G. said...

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks, John and Zoe. I miss you guys and Jojoba Hills.

CW said...

I also really enjoy your Blog. A little late getting on to it but going to enjoy all of them now!