Last night found us perched in T.O. Fuller State Park right around the corner from Graceland but, let me tell ya, there was nothing graceful about this state park. Although our camp site was beautiful, ie treed, the facilities lacked a certain, oh, cleanliness. We’re hoping that this one experience is not indicative of state parks.
We pulled in and starting setting up camp. For the first time on this trip, we had to actually level the camper as the site was not level to begin with. Since we’ve stayed in private campgrounds until now, we’ve been spoiled (ok, the Shadow Cruiser has already spoiled us anyway) but our sites have always been spot on level. Not so with Fuller State Park (John says we were on a cliff….). The site wasn’t really all that bad but it sure wasn’t level. And, since this is our first trip, we didn’t have leveling blocks with us so flatish rocks had to work – which they did after about, oh, 20 minutes. But, we now understand how to level the camper.
The next challenge came when we realized that the pool was a short 1.25 miles away – ugh. Too hot and muggy to walk so we unhitched the truck for the first time and took off for the pool. On the way, we decided to stop for some real Memphis barbeque so got online and read some reviews. We decided on A&R Barbeque but, on the way, I spotted a barbeque truck (what?!!!). Yep, an old bus setting right there by the road looked just like the kind of crap….er….cuisine that John and I go for. So, I turned around the truck only to find that the bus was closed. Drats. Off to A&R we went.
Dinner was ribs, coleslaw, some of the best baked beans ever, and turkey green beans. Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck turkey green beans are (we were too). They’re green beans cooked with smoked turkey leg meat. They were the only thing that fell short on the delicious meter. They were very salty and, well, just plain old not good. But, the rest of meal was really really good and was priced well ($27 for two). Memphis does have a corner on the barbeque market.
Was contemplating dropping into see Elvis’ home but decided that we had little chance of meeting him (he being dead and all) so passed up the opportunity to see where Elvis slept – probably in a bed. Came back to camp and started a nice fire which, of course, reminded us of Joe, my dad. My dad would always look at a campfire or a barbeque grill and say, without fail: “You know what would be good right now?” Whomever was around, in synchrony, would all say with him ‘A hot dog!’ It didn’t matter if we’d just had dinners or not. A hot dog over a fire was like dessert to my adorable dad. So, it didn’t surprise me when John said ‘you know what would go good on that fire right now?” My reply was ‘a hot dog’ and there was Joe right there with us. It’s so nice to have those memories of my folks. By the way, the hot dog was delicious.
After dinner, we were treated to a thunderstorm during which we turned off the air and just enjoyed the sound of the rain on the tin roof of the camper. In fact, it was so wonderful that it lulled us to sleep sort of early but, then again, we must have needed the extra rest as we got up at 4:45am which is very late for us. Shoot! A short 45 minutes later, and one smashed finger (sorry, John), we’d successfully hitched up the trailer to the truck, stowed everything, and are now on the road as I write this post. We’ve got a long day ahead with an estimated pull in time in Wytheville, Virginia at 3:29pm. That will put us within easy striking distance of home tomorrow with about a 3 hour ride. All in all, a very successful trip. My brother Mike cautioned John privately that this camping trip could be ‘a relationship changing event’ – and it has been. The love we feel for each other has been strengthened through the 2800 miles of shared experiences.
Update: it's now 4 hours after I started this post - not sure why the US doesn't have wireless everywhere! Anyway, we're now approaching our home territory of VA and MD. Rain is flowing but the travel is still nice and easy. Better go before I lose connection again!