Saturday, April 30, 2016


We’re staying at the Graceland RV Park very handy for all of Memphis and with a weekly rate it’s $30 a night, so quite affordable.

We met Dieter and Christel from Germany at the campground.

Yes there IS a Heartbreak Hotel

Graceland is a big item on my personal Bucket List. I wasn’t a huge Elvis fan when I was a kid, I was too young when he rose to fame. My sister Beryl was and I think still is an Elvis fan, she’s jealous that we’ve made it here and she hasn’t.

The TV room 
Elvis's pink Cadillac 

Memphis has far more than just Elvis however. The Blues, Sun Records, The Lorraine Motel/Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street, Memphis Barbecue, The Mississippi River. The list goes on and on.

The Bass Pro pyramid store

This one has it's own hotel and TWO restaurants.

Our task is to see as much as we can!

Home of the blues
And the bar with the most craft beers!

Lots of places for ribs, music and booze.

Our friends Karen and Paul told about the best ribs in Memphis

Down a back alley in a basement

They don't advertise, they have no need too!

Dry rub ribs

Oh yummy

Lovingly prepared.

The Memphis Red Birds AAA Baseball

Da Bird!

We’ve been drifting for the last couple of months. No set places to be or dates to meet. That’s beginning to change. Our Daughter Sally is definitely coming to Maryland in mid June. Barbara’s cousins in Ontario Canada are arranging a family get together at the end of June. The Escapees Rally in Vermont is at the end of July and we have definite reservations made for the winter in Florida with our friends Harold and Wanda.

Some careful planning has to be done for Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th weekend in the US plus Canada Day July 1st as campgrounds fill up early for the long weekends.

A rainy day gave us the chance to sketch out a route thru Tennessee to Ohio and into Pennsylvania before arriving in our old neighborhood near Annapolis Maryland. Reservations were made for Memorial Day and the 12 days our Sally will be there. Inquiries were made for Ontario. 

We’ve suddenly gone planning crazy!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Out of Texas

Although there were some flashes of lightning and lots of rain, we managed to dodge most of it.

We moved on, staying on 82 the whole way which turned out to be a good choice as the road was well maintained and passed thru oil fields, cotton and wheat fields then into horse and cattle country. So much better than I-10 and almost as fast.

We got into Texarkana and found the Corps of Engineers (COE) campground at Clear Springs Lake which is about 10 minutes West of Texarkana. Our Senior Pass for National Parks gets us 50% off camping in COE parks so we payed $13 a night for a full hookup site close to the lake.

The heavy rains caused the lake to overflow

Tall trees and very peaceful campground.

It’s wonderfully quiet place with no road or any other kind of noise. It was almost too quiet.

We explored the city of Texarkana which derives it’s name from the 3 States that are either adjoining or close to here. Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Texas and Arkansas touch here and the city straddles the stateline so there’s a Texarkana Texas and a Texarkana Arkansas.

The stateline appropriately enough runs through the center of Stateline Avenue! Not only that, it run thru the center of the Post Office and the Federal Courthouse. It’s the only place in the US that has a Federal Building that crosses a Stateline.

Federal Courthouse and Post Office

Half and Half

Stuck in the middle

Other claims to fame for Texarkana (TX) is that it is the home of Ross Perot who ran for president a few years ago, he has had a big hand in preserving historic buildings in the city. They named the theater for him after he organized it’s refurbishment. It really is a nice theater built originally in the 1920’s and converted to a movie palace for many years it now showcases the Symphony Orchestra and live theater.

The Perot theater

If you are down this way you have to stop in Munster TX and visit the German Market. our new friends Deanna and Wayne told us about it when we stayed at the Elks Lodge in Wichita Falls. What a great place! They process all their own meat, have their own smoke house. The sausages and cheese are traditional German recepies. They even have a complete rack of real German beer. It's a shame we don't have a bigger fridge!

Fischers Market Munster TX

Oh, Yummy!
82 led us on again crossing the Mississippi at Greenville where we turned North onto 61 which is part of the “Great River Road” and follows the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico to it’s source. Unfortunately you can’t actually SEE the river from the road and when we tried to get closer onto rt 1 there was a low bridge blocking our way and we didn’t want to knock the roof off the rig!

The inevitable tourist shot

Our home for the next week is Graceland!!

We’re staying at the Graceland RV Park very handy for all of Memphis and with a weekly rate it’s $30 a night so quite affordable.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stuck on Wichita Falls

It’s a great lodge, so warm and welcoming and the food is amazing! Ribs last night and Burgers tonight. We had promised ourselves to eat less and try to lose some of the weight we gained over the winter. Looks like it won’t happen this week!

First things on our agenda? Laundry then sightseeing.

Lucy Park where the falls are located (Somewhere)

We decided to explore and where better to start than the falls of Wichita Falls? Except there AREN’T any. Well yes there are but they aren’t real!

One of the weird and wonderful stories about this place is that the falls got washed away in a flood. (I’m not kidding it’s true).

Back when the city was first starting to grow some genius entrepreneurs decided that with all the cotton growing around here they ought to set up mills to process it. The source of power would obviously be the water in the river, so they built a dam upstream of the falls. All went well except that they weren’t very good at building dams and after the dam filled up it burst. The suddenly release of all that water swept everything before it. Including the falls!

The Falls on the Wichita River
(Which aren't actually on the river at all!)

 So now there ARE falls, but they aren’t THE falls, neither are they REAL falls because they are made of concrete and the water is pumped up to them.
Didn’t I tell you it was weird?

After the falls and several miles of walking trying to find them (because there are no signs anywhere to tell you where they are!!). We went downtown to see the sights.
First stop was lunch at 8th Street Coffee Shop. A very pleasant place with really interesting decor.

Walking was our thing that day so we went to see the railroad museum which is only open Saturdays, the Wichita Falls Art Association gallery where we talked to some of the artists and admired the artwork. Then we stumbled on the North Texas History Museum.

This place doesn’t look much at all from outside but took hours to explore. They have a room dedicated to the development of communication and have the console from the 1960’s radio station, complete with the top 40 charts from 1964. Nice to see the Beatles had 3 singles in it at the same time, including the top 2! Well up there also were Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, and the Rolling Stones. Talk about the British Invasion.

The console from the local 1960's Rock Station

More rooms showed the development of the city, oil exploration, the cattle business, Native American history, the Military in the area. Such a lot of exhibits and all well laid out.

A collection of over 500 used cowboys hats from a local store
forms part of the North Texas History Museum..

We were completely exhausted by then so we staggered back to the RV for a nap. An hour or so later there was a knock on the door and we were invited over to the lodge to try Joanne’s chicken and dumplings! Boy can she make chicken and dumplings!
The rest of the evening was spent with Barbara and the Ladies playing a dice came called Left, Right, Center which must have been hilarious judging by the howls of laughter, while I watched the Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers at baseball and chatted with Wayne over a delicious glass (or two) of Shiner Bock which is brewed in Shiner Texas (of course).

By the time we got back to the RV again we’d forgotten about tired feet and legs completely!

After some more walking on Saturday we had to batten down the hatches for a big storm system sweeping in. Predictions of 2-3” of rain, thunderstorms, hail and possible tornadoes really caught our attention! Although there were some flashes of lightning and lots of rain, we managed to dodge most of it.

Want to see some more weird things in Wichita Falls?

The BIG shopping cart sculpture.

The littlest skyscraper

The BIG shovel

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On and On into Texas

We stayed one night with the Escapees in their park in Yuma and took advantage of their pool due to the 80 degree temperatures, then moved on to the Elks Lodge in Casa Grande where we caught up with Paul and Karen before moving further East again.

I-10 gets pretty boring and we pressed on to Deming with a night in another Escapees Park there before settling down for 4 nights in Alamogordo’s Elks Lodge. We originally scheduled 3 but the weather forecast for Sunday wasn’t good so we stayed where we were.

White Sands Missile Range developed most of the USA's
Missile Systems

Nike Ajax was the US's air defense in the early 60's

A day at the Space History Museum and laundry led to a day in Las Cruces and a very pleasant visit to Mesilla Historic Town which was bypassed by the railroads but still managed to live on and preserve it’s heritage.

The Basilica San Albino in Mesilla

The interior of the Double Eagle Restaurant Mesilla

Double Eagle Dining Room

Billy the Kid, Kit Carson, Pancho Villa all came to Mesilla.
A major stop on the cattle trails, Mesilla was bypassed by the railroad.

On the way back we stopped at White Sands National Monument, This is a very picturesque area of rolling white sand. It’s white because it’s gypsum sand (What makes plaster white). The locals get to sled down the dunes with sleds they can buy right there at the gift shop! The sand is so white it almost looks like they are sledding on snow, except that it’s 75 degrees out! A big rainstorm the night before had erased all the previous footprints in the sand so it looked very dramatic seeing footprints going up the dunes and straight lines coming down. It wouldn’t have taken much to get me on a sled!

Miles and miles of white sand dunes

Sand Sledding

The Elks 1897 lodge is a fresh looking, friendly place and the RV park holds about 16 rigs with full hookups. Everyone there was friendly and nice and we spent far more time eating, drinking and chatting than we had intended to. Ah well, maybe we can diet next week!

As we were leaving we met Juliet who had pulled in the night before, she’s a full timer, an Escapee and a Blogger. Read her blog at She’s heading west and we’re heading east so it was just a brief encounter before we headed out on Rt 82 towards Cloudcroft NM.

Rt 82 really surprised us as we climbed out of the desert and up into A SKI AREA! There was even snow still on the ground under the many pine trees. A really scenic route that we’d highly recommend if you’re in the Alamogordo area and in no rush. No pictures unfortunately as I was busy driving.

Soon we were back in fairly flat semi desert again through the busy oil wells of eastern New Mexico and west Texas on and on, the agriculture took over from oil and cotton fields changed to cattle grazing then to wheat growing by the square mile. All on good roads and absolutely not a single mile of Interstate in 800 miles.

If I haven’t mentioned it before let me say now that I detest Interstates. For most of my life I would pound down them to get to a destination in the shortest time, then back to get home again. Now that we don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon it’s so enjoyable to set the cruise on 60mph and watch the scenery go by, stop when we feel like it, picnic at some convenient spot and set up camp in the early afternoon.

Stops at Hobbs NM and Snyder TX got us to Wichita Falls TX just south of the Oklahoma State Line and North of Fort Worth. We had rain off and on for the past 2 days and the coach and car are filthy. The weather forecast is for more at the weekend and thunderstorms Sunday. So we’ve chickened out and decided to stay at the Elks Lodge here until Monday (5 nights).

It’s a great lodge, so warm and welcoming, and the food is amazing! Ribs last night and Burgers tonight. We had promised ourselves to eat less and try to lose some of the weight we gained over the winter. Looks like it won’t happen this week!

First things on our agenda? Laundry then sight seeing.