For this stopover on our way to San Antonio, we stayed at Tom Sawyer’s RV Park. It’s listed in the Big Rig book as a good option for those of us with larger vehicles.
Pros: Quiet. Friendly manager/host. Great views of the river. Garbage pickup from your site every day. Free laundry. Lots of open mowed area to play ball with Elvis.
Cons: NOT in Memphis, Tennessee — it’s actually in WEST Memphis, Arkansas! So I guess perhaps we check off the AR square on the map instead of TN. Also, this is an industrial section of riverfront, near the natural gas refinery. It’s far enough away that you don’t smell it at the park, but you certainly do on the drive in! Following the GPS also took us through the very sketchy neighborhood that surrounds the area.
That aside, we had a very pleasant, very quiet five days here. It was a short work week for Shawn so we caught up on some sleep after the manic pace of the previous month. And we unpacked and repacked a bunch of stuff. Very little sightseeing this week, a lot of relaxing. I read a few books, played ball with Elvis, and cooked a few very basic meals.
We did spend an evening at the HUGE Bass Pro Shop in downtown Memphis. It takes up the entire interior of a glass pyramid that was originally built as a rock arena. Not only is it a huge retail outlet, but includes a 200-room hotel, 2 restaurants, a shooting range, an archery range, and an elevator to the top so you can look out over the city. Definitely stop in if you’re in the area.
Bass Pro Memphis on Opening Day. Photo By Trevorbirchett
I did take an afternoon to explore the National Civil Rights Museum. It’s housed in the former Lorraine hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in 1968. The exterior has been preserved as it was, while the interior — with the exception of the 2 rooms in which the terrible act took place — was gutted and converted into a fascinating museum. Also a must see when in Memphis.
Interestingly, it wasn’t the museum itself that triggered a brain-teaser, but an exhibit outside.
Directly across the street from the motel-turned-museum was a woman with a small barricade/shelter of sorts. Signs proclaimed that she’d protested on that spot for something like 3,000 consecutive days (?). According to the signs, the complaint was that the money ($19 million?) spent on the recent renovations of the museum should have been spent to improve the lives of today’s indigent city residents.
Interesting perspective. Now that the movies and other electronic media can transport us to ancient Mesopotamia, a mile under the sea, or a WWII battlefield, does it diminish the value of museums that rely primarily on reading displays and static artifacts? What do you think?