|Wednesday, June 7, we drove to Memphis, Tennessee today, about hour and half drive. The Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River RV Park is actually in West Memphis, Arkansas, which is just across the river from Memphis. The campgrounds are virtually right along side the Mighty Mississippi River. We are able to sit on park benches at the edge of the river and watch the river traffic, which consists of any number of barges being pushed up or down the river via tugboats. One group of barges numbered, 9 barges long and 5 barges wide being pushed up river by a huge tugboat, which must have had three engines with its three smoke stacks and churning water back of the tug about as long as the barges in front of the tug. Just a little ways past our campgrounds there is a bend in the river and the large group of barges needs to be turned, which seems to be no problem for the tugboats. He is able to turn the whole group with ease.
Thursday, June 8, we drove into downtown Memphis. We stopped at the visitor's center and saw the statutes of Elvis, B.B. King and got some information. We then rode the trolley, which circles the downtown area. The trolley rides on rails and has an electric wire above the trolley, which gives it the electricity for the electric motors. We were then going to ride the Monorail over to Mud Island but it was broken, so we drove over. They have a museum about the Mississippi River, including its history, people and musical contributions. Outside the building is a 5-block long model of the Mississippi River, showing all the cities along the Mighty Mo, including New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and others (we didn't walk the rest of the 5-blocks). Next, we drove down to Beale Street District, the "Home of the Memphis Blues". We had a late lunch at a well-known Bar-B-Que rib house, the Blues City Café & Band Box, which is across the street from B.B. King's Blues Club. As we made our way back to the car, they were beginning to block off the streets for the evening. We figure that street must be rocking and rolling by evening. Time for us to make it back to the RV. Oops, we ran into a Ben's and Jerry's before we made it to the car. Better try that.
Friday, June 9, we went to the Pink Palace Museum. It gets the name from the pink marble that this building was built from. This was the mansion of Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly store. It was built in 1920s but he went bankrupt before he could move in. The building was then given to the city and was turned into a museum. It now contains exhibits about life in Memphis through the 20th century. It also has a planetarium and I-Max theater. Planetarium was only open on Saturday, but we went to the other two. The most interesting part of the museum to me was the model of a miniature circus. It as all hand carved and built by this man, Clyde Parke in the 1950s, I believe. It had all kinds of moving parts, but it was now broken because of the age of the display. The other interesting part of the museum was the ancient practices and tools used by the medical trades; doctor, dentist, surgeon, pharmacists. They also had examples of a Piggly Wiggly store, drugstore, general store etc. Interesting day. Heading to Little Rock, Arkansas tomorrow.