Okay, so we didn’t TECHNICALLY stay in Memphis, OR Tennessee, during our last stop in The Volunteer State. We stayed about five miles from downtown Memphis on the opposite side of the river at Tom Sawyer’s RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. There were only a few options in the area, and we narrowed it down to this place or a campground adjacent to Graceland, behind the Heartbreak Hotel. Tom Sawyer’s was much bigger and less expensive, plus the setting was more unique AND Mike could fish from this park. It was also the closest to downtown, where we spent most of our time away from home. We were a little nervous about making the reservation since the park’s website was very up-front about the possibility of flooding. However, since there were no terrible rain events during this leg of the trip, it turns out that we made a great decision in the long run.
Memphians are duly proud of their musical heritage and their BBQ, although I did enjoy some righteous fried poultry at the original Gus’ on South Front Street. Music and delicious food are two things near and dear to our hearts, so we really liked this place! We made it to most of the major attractions in the area including Graceland, Beale Street, Sun Studios, and the Parade of the Ducks at the historic Peabody Hotel. We saw lots of live music at the Beale Street Music Festival and at the original BB King’s Blues Club. We happened upon BB King’s just as a GREAT act started to play 2 sets. The 3-man band was called Memphis Jones. All the music they played originated in Memphis in one way or another (about, written or recorded there, or sung by a native). The lead singer prefaced each song with a mini music history lesson. I’ve never seen a band entertain an audience in such a unique and interesting manner. I think that might have been my favorite part of our entire week. We could have eaten at a different BBQ place every day, but we practiced self restraint and selected Central BBQ for a sampling of some delectable ribs. Yes, these two Texans gave a big thumbs up for the Memphis-style smoked meat. Mike caught lots of fish that week, and our park was big enough for the dogs to get long walks each day… so it was good for all of us. Lastly, the whole experience of watching the barges make their way up and down the Mighty Mississippi gave us a whole new perspective on the amount of commerce that takes place on the major rivers in our Country.
We didn’t take tons of photos on this stop, but here are a dozen that summarize some of the fun we had.