Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Escape/Part 3 Memphis

April 5th, 2022 

The next leg of our incredible journey takes us to Memphis, TN. The big draw being Graceland until we found out the ticket prices. $76 American dollars per person to walk the hallowed grounds where Elvis walked. Not including parking fees, lunch and souvenirs. I'm sorry but I have a problem with giving that much money to millionaires. That's why you will hardly ever see me at concerts or pro sporting events. They really don't need my money. Plus, we don't like crowds.

Our next undisclosed location is the T. O. Fuller State Park near Memphis. I did not get a picture of our campsite but I did get a picture of my first mosquito bite of the year.

This park is okay except for the mosquito's and the smell. In the reviews which we like to read after we get to a place said it had an awful smell. Like sewage or manure. It only happens when the wind is right. Being that we planned on not being around the campground much, we decided to live with it. We planned on 3 nights here with lots of sightseeing since we have never been here before.

On our first day we went to check out the Memphis Zoo. We heard that it was pretty good and it was. They are one of only 4 zoos in America that have Chinese Pandas. The literature online says to allow 3-5 hours for the zoo and they were right.
The entrance was fancy. 
This was one of the animal enclosures. A good zoo will have large enclosures for the animals for their benefit. Being the off season there were hardly any people there. We loved it.

Monkey baby.
The zoo itself is quite large with many different themed areas for viewing the animals. We walked for what seemed like a death march but I am happy to say I survived. I wasn't sure a couple of times. I even told Lisa to feed me to the lions if I don't make it. We missed one area of the zoo and Lisa wanted to check it out. We were at the front so I said that I would wait for her there while she walked back. 

"How will I find you?" 

I said, "Just look for the buzzards."

While I was googling "Can a 100 pound woman fireman carry a 200 pound man", I felt like I was being watched. I looked up and saw this couple just staring at me.
I yelled "Hey! I am not part of the exhibits!" That did not deter them at all. About ready to get up and hobble over there, Lisa showed up and made friends with them.
It was a fun outing at the zoo. It really is one of the better ones we have been to. One more thing to add about the zoo. They have a small herd of Pere David's deer. These deer are nearly extinct and they are only found in captivity now. I have never heard of them before and for some reason we did not get a picture of them so I had to barrow one from the internet.
Not the cutest looking deer and not as big as Whitetails either. There is a sign at the entrance to leave all of your guns outside. So I am afraid Jim, you will not be able to add one of those to your wall.

On our way back to the campground we stopped at a state historical sight near the campground. It was called Chucalissa. This is where a group of Native Americans lived for hundreds of years. From 1600AD to around 500AD. Then they disappeared. They were mound builders and the central hut of the community was built atop a large mound.
The concrete wasn't there when they built it. That is so the mound wouldn't erode away. 
The village was very large and according to historians there were up to 1000 people living here. Very interesting the things we find on our journeys.

The next day we planned on going down to Beale Street in downtown Memphis. We have heard several things from different people that said you just have to go there before you die. On my behalf, I'm not sure if that is good or bad. We scheduled an informative bus tour and we got down there midwesternly early. So we walked the district on our own for awhile.
The district is about 4 to 5 blocks long with lots and lots of bars and jazz clubs. Being that the sun was nowhere near being over the mizzen mast we did not partake in any adult libations. So we just looked around at all of the jazz history that really didn't mean all that much to us. Sorry folks. I will add that Beale Street is the birthplace of jazz, soul and rock and roll. Big whoop! The thing that will stick out in our minds the most is the crazy person walking back and forth arguing and yelling at himself. That made me duck behind Lisa as we walked by. I noticed she was protecting her thigh.
Finally it was time for our bus tour. I will add again that we are not big music fans. It was a good tour with lots of information. I can't speak for Lisa but all I heard was stuff like this. "Someone did something there and someone else did something else over there." On and on for 90 minutes as we drove all over the city. The tour guide also sang as we drove.
The things I do remember from the tour was this.
This amphitheater is where Elvis made his very first public appearance. He only sang 2 songs because he and his band were new to each other. The crowd went wild and for an encore, he ended up singing the same 2 songs over again. Still the crowd went wild.
This is a statue of Johnny Cash. It stands out side of a church because that is where he got his start. The tour talked about others like B.B. King, Carl Perkins and Machine gun Kelly. (The gangster, not the rapper.) I'm sure they talked about others but I was busy trying to hang myself with the seat belt.

After our tour we drove over to the Bass Pro Shop pyramid. We were told that it was a must see so off we went.
This place is huge. There is a hotel there. There is a Wahlburgers inside and also a restaurant at the top of the pyramid along with an observation deck.
They also have animal mounts and fish tanks. Quite amazing.
Lisa and her classic mermaid pose. If you want to go to the observation deck it will cost you 8 bucks to ride the elevator up. Lisa and I flipped a coin and I won. It is a 300 foot free standing elevator. Once at the top you get a great view of the Memphis skyline.
It was dinner time and we really wanted some Memphis BBQ. What a fiasco that turned out to be. We googled the best of Memphis. The first one looked like it was in a sketchy part of town and there was no way we were getting out of the truck let alone eat in there. So we went to the next one. When we got there it was pick up only. Their website failed to mention that. So that was it for Memphis BBQ.

Our personal opinion of Memphis is this and it does not represent anyone else's. We found Memphis to be a filthy city. Garbage is a big problem there as they mention it in the news casts. They just dump it along the road ways or abandoned houses. Even Beale Street had graffiti every where. 

Now we can say we did it. One and done.  Where will we pop up next?

"Gladys! Get the guns, we are leaving."


  1. Thanks for the tour now we don't have to go there and listen to that bus tour. lol We are with you, jazz is not our thing either. Nice to get out and about though.

    1. The only music we listen to is the eighties. That's when we were in our prime and we now resent that they refer to the eighties music as oldies. It was a nice vacation.

  2. Thanks for the video, I would not give any money to those millionaires either, but I might go to a blues bar or two if we make it through there!

    1. I could sing you the blues and it would cost you a lot less.

  3. We enjoyed our time their when they kids were little. The Graceland tour must have been much cheaper back then. The kids loved Elvis so we bought them a CD and had to listen to Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog all the way back home to Upstate NY ! 😆