When it comes time to break-camp, Lorraine handles the arranging, securing and cleaning of the inside of the RV while I take care of outside duties. My usual routine includes checking (and filling, if needed) the air pressure in all the tires, lubricating the important moving parts of RV and truck, putting away our outdoor furniture, draining tanks (and afterwards flushing out the black tank), putting away the sewer line (fun.. fun..), shutting off the water supply and storing the hoses (one for drinking water and one for flushing the black tank) and finally disconnecting and securing the electrical cord.
By this time, Lorraine has pulled in all three slides, comes out to begin raising our landing gear, directing me as I back up the truck, helps hitch up (after which we give each other a ceremonial double high-five), give the RV and truck a test tug to make sure it hitched up correctly, and finally, stowing our chocks and foot pads. We then circle the RV one last time looking for open windows and/or other forgotten items, test the signal and brake lights, get in the truck, set the proper specs for truck towing, pray for a safe journey and then pull away. Whew! The whole affair takes about an hour and a half. It could be done faster if needed but we try to be very methodical in our approach.
After Little Rock, we journeyed towards Tennessee.
We are going to swing through Tennessee, then Alabama, then over to Georgia for my nephew's wedding.
Traveling along interstate 40 proved to be a very hairy given that it was clogged with tractor trailers. We have never seen so many on one stretch of road. It was one of the most congested arteries we have encountered since Baltimore.
There were two occasions where we pulled into rest stops but were unable to stay because every parking spot was occupied by a tractor trailer!
Since beginning our journey back in October, I have found truckers on the whole to be kind and courteous. Letting me in when merging and slowing down if I have to change lanes quickly because I'm in the right lane and suddenly realize the on ramp for my exit is from the left lane. Pulling an RV has given me a whole new respect and appreciation for their profession and professionalism.
Now, back to our story. Three hours after leaving Little Rock we pulled into our camp ground. We were staying at EZ-Daze RV Park just over the border in Southaven, Mississippi about 20 minutes south of Memphis. After unhitching and setting up our camper, we decided to drive into Memphis and visit Beale Street. A street in Downtown Memphis, it is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Marc Kohn sang of it in his song, "Walking In Memphis".
There was an interesting group of young men who could do some pretty amazing street gymnastics.
After visiting this area twice during our stay, both times we left feeling quite disappointed. There was nothing truly unique or charming about this street. It lacks the charm of New Orleans' Bourbon Street or the elan of Nashville's Broadway. It felt more like a large strip mall. Many of the bars and shops were run down and the food quite forgettable (even the barbecue). Of the many tourist attractions we have visited, this is not one to which we would return or recommend.
While Beale street fell short of our expectations, in my next few posts I'll talk about some of the more enjoyable experiences we had while in Memphis such as visiting Graceland (much better than expected), the Lorraine Hotel (very poignant), the giant pyramid (very interesting) and the Peabody Hotel (just plain ducky!)!