A Travellerspoint blog

Little Rock, Arkansas


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We stopped at a gym for the night enroute to Little Rock. The gym was a member of Harvest Host and the owner was an ex-military guy. We enjoyed the shades and the kids enjoyed the long zip-line all afternoon.

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In Little Rock we stayed in a KOA for a few days as I had to do some paperworks with the IRS and I managed to book an empty slot in their customer service. After arranging everything we were ready to hit the road and head west on (and around) I-40.

Posted by divatmotoros 01:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Solar Eclipse 2024 - totality in North America


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We have returned to the Poinsett Lake State Park to enjoy the Solar Eclipse 2024. While the park itself was not in the path of the totality, we picked a random location about an hour drive from there, which was!

We drove to Batesville where we found the Riverside Park well prepared (and almost full, without feeling too busy or overcrowded).

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The total solar eclipse was a really cool phenomenon, as it started to get dark and shades and colors became really strange. Then for a few minutes the moon was completely blocking the sun and it looked really nice with the fire ring visible around the sun!

Afterwards it slowly became lighter and lighter just like at dawn. As many suggested it was absolutely worth the drive to get into the path of the totality and we randomly chose an excellent location to watch. It was not too crowded and no traffic jams but an excellent backdrop with the river and the dam and the sorrounding park.

Posted by divatmotoros 01:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Village Creek State Park and Crowley's Ridge State Park


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These two state parks are fairly close to each other and we decided to spend a few days in the area waiting for the Total Solar Eclipse 2024. Both were perfect for a few day with different activities.

At Village Creek there are stables for people camping with horses and a nice horse riding trail is also available. At Crowley's Ridge we have watched an interesting movie about the formation of the area and the history of the park. Native log and stone structures, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, set the tone for this park’s rustic quality.

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Posted by divatmotoros 05:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Lake Poinsett State Park, Arkansas


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Most National Parks and many state parks offer programmes to children and we usually tried to participate on these with our kids. The activities normally include a different booklet for age groups, kids completing those can become "Junior Rangers". Some parks also offer group activities.

Lake Poinsett State Park was truly outstanding in this regard during our whole trip! The ranger, X was very dedicated and knowledgeable about the park, its flora and fauna and he was an excellent activity leader. There were activities throughout the week (which was the spring schoolbreak before Eastern) and we hiked together, watched birds, then went for fishing, watched a demonstration about the snakes, did arts and craft by learning new knots and learned about the different furs and animal skins on another occasion.

We celebrated Eastern there and also participated on the Egg Hunt. It was a fabolous stay and we stayed longer than planned. We even decided to return to the park for the Total Solar Eclipse 2024. Although it was not in the full totality but it was close enough to find a nice spot about an hour drive from the park. So we did a short visit to Crowley's Ridge State Park and Village Creek State Park for a few nights each and then returned to this little gem for the solar eclipse.

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Posted by divatmotoros 04:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Memphis, Tennessee


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We spent a few days in Memphis (or actually near Memphis, at a KOA campsite ten minutes from Memphis, but already in Arkansas. This was the 20st US state we have visited!

Memphis had a lot of programmes to chose from. We decided to visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the National Civil Rights Museum at Motel Lorraine, where Martin Luther King was shot. Then we saw the huge pyramid run by Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor and fishing retailer. No visit to Memphis is complete without Graceland and Elvis Presley so we crowned our stopover there.

See all the posts separately about our adventures in Memphis, it was too long of a story to put into a single post. Here are a few pictures from Beale Street and a nice chuldren's playground at Tom Lee Park.

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Posted by divatmotoros 00:54 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Graceland - back to the 60ies with Elvis Presley


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Graceland is the home of Elvis Presley. The mansion lies on 120 acres and it is dedicated to the life and career of the American rock&roll legend, Elvis Presley, the King. You can visit mansion, see the gold records, the jeweled jumpsuits he wore on his many live performances.

You can also visit his classic car collection and enjoy interactive exhibits. See lots of memorable, his stage costumes, gold and platina vynils and an audio tour with an iPad in your hands.

We were not really Elvis fans so far but the museum made a big impact on us. The minimum time is 4 hours to see the place but a full day is recommended.

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Posted by divatmotoros 00:48 Archived in USA Tagged tennessee graceland memphis elvis_presley Comments (0)

The Pyramid in Memphis: Bass Pro Shop


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Did you know that not only ancient Egyptians built pyramids?

The Memphis Pyramid, formerly known as the Great American Pyramid and the Pyramid Arena, is a building in downtown Memphis, at the bank of the Mississippi River. Built in 1991 as a sports arena, the facility was owned and operated jointly by the city of Memphis and Shelby County.

The Memphis Pyramid has not been regularly used as a sports or entertainment venue since 2007. In 2015, the Pyramid re-opened as a Bass Pro Shops megastore, which included shopping, a hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, and an archery range, with an outdoor observation deck adjacent to its apex.

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Posted by divatmotoros 16:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Museum of Civil Rights (Martin Luther King)


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On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated here at the Lorraine Motel, just a day after delivering his prophetic "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ.

Built in 1925, the Lorraine Hotel was a typical Southern hotel accessible only to whites in its early history; it was renamed the Lorraine Motel after the second floor was added. However, by the end of World War II, the Lorraine had become one of the few black establishments, and one of the only hotels providing accomodations to African Americans.

Early guests to the Lorraine included Cab Colloway, Count Basie, and other prominent jazz musicians, in addition to later celebrities such as Roy Campanella, Nat King Cole, and Aretha Franklin. Partly because of its historical importance to the black community of Memphis, Martin Luther King chose to stay at the Lorraine during the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike.

King, Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young and other black leaders came to support 1,300 striking sanitation workers. Their grievances included unfair working conditions (on rainy days, black workers had to return home without pay while paid white supervisors remained on the job, and black workers were given only one uniform and no place in which to change clothes), and poor pay (the highest-paid black worker could not hope to earn more than $70 a week).

Following a bloody confrontation between marching strikers and police, a court injunction had been issued banning further protests. King hoped their planned march would overturn the court injunction, but such plans were cut short on April 4, 1968 when an assassin shot and killed King on the balcony of King's room.

In 1991, the Lorraine Motel was converted into the National Civil Rights Museum.

(Source: https://www.nps.gov/places/ )

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Posted by divatmotoros 16:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Stax Museum of American Soul Music


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Stax Records was THE record company of soul music with artists like Otis Redding or Isaac Hayes. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music includes a studio and a great wealth of memorables from the period.

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Posted by divatmotoros 16:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

New Orleans to Memphis: Gnarled Oak Farm


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After New Orleans the next major stop was Memphis and we looked for some good Harvest Host stops enroute. First we picked the Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland, Mississippi and the welcome was very professional and 21st century! We have received several automated SMS messages and after arrival a welcome video from the pastor (by clicking on the QR code at the designated parking lot!) A warm and modern way to greet tired travellers, well done!

After a good night sleep we continued to the Gnarled Oak Farm, which was about an hour from Memphis. We always enjoy farms and animals, here we met piggies, ducks and some very warlike and protective goose (who outperformed the border collie and the two huge Pyrenean pastor dogs!

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Then we filled up our freezer with pork and beef from the kind owners and left for Memphis!

Posted by divatmotoros 05:31 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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