Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sunday & Monday, March 6 & 7, 2016 - Memphis, TN

Sunday, March 6, 2016 – Ozark, MO to Memphis, TN

We woke up around 5 am.  Although we tried to go back to sleep we finally gave up and Dean went to make coffee about 5:45.   We drank our coffee, watched a little TV and I read a few blogs and devotionals, then we decided to get in a little exercise before breakfast and walked about 1.5 miles.  We are trying to get back to regular exercise now that the weather is warming up.  It was 59 when we started our walk.  It wasn’t too bad despite the fact we were near the water where it felt a little cooler with the breeze.  This morning we walked to the campground east of us that is on the back side of the dam.  They have built a nice metal and wooden bridge that you can take down toward the water.  Earlier this year Arkansas had severe rains and they now have a sand beach running in a large ravine just south of the dam.  The lady working in the campground office told us the sand was washed here from Oklahoma during the flooding. 

Here are a few pictures of the area.

Once we returned to Bentley, we ate breakfast, packed up, hooked up the truck and we left Ozark around 10:00.  We had a good drive to Memphis taking I-40 all the way, arriving at 3:30! We left the Boston mountains behind and begin to notice a change in the landscape with more farmland beginning to show up as we moved further east. 

We maneuvered around Little Rock, AR with no problem, and we didn’t have to veer too far in to Memphis before we were able to take an exit that quickly led to our campground for the next two nights.  We will be staying at T O Fuller State Park.  I have to add this picture where we were on the bridge crossing the Mississippi River, as the train passed us.  This is for our grandson Jaxson who loves trains.  

We actually had a reservation at this campground for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  I called yesterday morning but had to leave a message asking if we could just apply our previous reservation to the change.  I asked them to call me if there was any problem, otherwise we would arrive on Sunday afternoon.  We never heard anything so we were hoping that was a good sign.  Upon reaching the park area we soon discovered a sign leading us to the visitor center where we were to register.  However, it was closed.  We backtracked to the campground where we found a sign saying to find a site that was not reserved, park and someone would be around to collect our payment.  We drove the entire loop looking it over and decided on Site #38, that was located in the first section of the campground.  About that time, I noticed someone in a little gator was following behind us.  Dean stopped and walked back to see if he was indeed following us.  He was, turns out it was the camp host.  We explained our situation about arriving earlier than the reservation we made.  He radioed the park ranger and soon had our previous reservation transferred to this site and we were good to go. 

Dean got things set up and checked to see if we would be able to get a signal from Dish.  Even though our site has a few trees it is still pretty open and he was able to pick up the signal and most importantly, the Golf Channel.  That made him happy.  After taking a bit of a rest we walked about 2 miles around the park.  It’s not as nice as the COE (Corps of Engineers) Park we were in yesterday but we like it just fine.  We have water and electric hookups.  There is a nice bathhouse just up the road from us, with a small laundry.  At $10 a night we think it’s a pretty good deal.  The campsite was level and we were set up in no time. 

The park itself is quite large with a total of 1138 acres, located in the southern limits of the city of Memphis.  It was the first state park to open for African Americans east of the Mississippi River.  The initial park facilities were constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  During excavation for a proposed swimming pool in 1940, CCC workers unearthed evidence of a prehistoric village, opening the door to a lost and forgotten civilization.  It has since been developed as Chucalissa Indian Village.  I hope we make it back here again someday as we would love to visit it.

Dean is grilling chicken tenders for dinner tonight.  I’ll use those to make a grilled chicken salad with avocadoes, cranberries, almonds, and parmesan cheese.  Yummy!

Unfortunately, while we do have a slight phone signal here I am unable to get a strong enough internet signal with my hotspot to connect the computer. 

Monday, March 7, 2016 – Memphis, TN

After having our coffee this morning, we walked here in the campground a total of 2 miles.  After showers, picking things up around here and eating breakfast we headed to Wal-mart to pick up a couple of things we needed and to find a post office in order to mail a couple of things I didn’t get done before we left town.  We brought the groceries back and had some lunch.

While we were having lunch, a motorhome pulled in next to us.  As we were leaving, the husband was unhooking their car, and as his wife started to drive from the back of their motorhome around to the front, she noticed our tag and said to Dean, hey I guess we are neighbors.  She had noticed our Kansas tags and they are from Missouri.  Better yet, they are from Carthage, MO.  What a small world.  She and her husband are recently retired.  They travel about seven months out of the year.  They have been in Florida and are heading home.   We really enjoyed visiting with her. 

Once we finished our visit we headed to Elvis Presley Boulevard for a visit to Graceland.  Oh I love me some Elvis!  Just makes me happy hearing him sing and that is what we heard for the next 3 to 3.5 hours.  There is no doubt he had one of the greatest voices ever!  We walked quite a bit, Dean said his feet hurt when we were done.  Our tour included the Graceland Mansion, Automobile Museum, I Shot Elvis Photography Exhibit, Graceland Archives Experience, Lisa Marie & Hound Dog II Jets, Elvis’ Tupelo, Elvis’ Hawaii:  Concerts, Movies & More Exhibit and many, many, many shops filled with Elvis memorabilia.  I managed to not buy a thing!

I took many, many pictures and will share several of them once we can get a good enough signal to upload them, and here are just a few of the many I took.
Sitting Room, with Music room beyond.

Elvis' parents room.


Notice the harvest gold refrigerator.

Media Room

Pool room.  The walls and ceiling are all covered in fabric.

The famous Jungle Room.

Jungle Room

Back of house

Stables and horse pasture.

Mediation Garden

Graves of Elvis, his parents, and his grandmother.


The pink cadillac.


Me and Elvis!  

After completing our tour, we asked one of the guides for a recommendation on some good BBQ.  She told us her favorite place is Marlowe’s and it was just down the street so that’s where we headed.  It was shortly before 5:00 and not yet busy.  Dean ordered ½ rack of BBQ ribs, mac & cheese and cole slaw.  I ordered the 2 smoked meat dinner with brisket and pulled pork, fried okra and fried corn fritters.  It was all really good, however I prefer Texas brisket over this Memphis version.  It was dryer but had very good flavor.   We had quite a bit of food left over, so guess what’s for dinner tomorrow night?

Adjoining Room.  Notice all the Elvis memorabilia.
Can you believe all this food?

As I mentioned we are trying to walk every day and I’ve been trying to hit at least 10,000 steps each day.  So far I haven’t done very well until this week.  Saturday we only lacked a couple hundred steps of hitting my goal, and we hit it both yesterday and today.  Hopefully we walked enough to burn up the calories from our dinner.

We will be moving on in the morning.  Hopefully we’ll have something interesting to share in our next post.

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