Graceland

Allof75

Pathfinder
Hi All, tomorrow morning at about 5:30 AM myself and three of my buddies are departing for a life long dream- drive to Graceland, Elvis's home, and in turn tour The South. I'll be passing through AZ, NM, TX, OK, AK, TN, KY, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, and TX then back home to old California. I'll keep you updated and along for the ride. :sombrero:

Happy Trails
 

rocktaco

New member
Just as a guess - I'm thinking you will be passing through AR, not AK - that would be quite the detour.

Sounds like a great trip!
 

1911

Expedition Leader
Sounds like a great trip; have fun.

Personally I thought Graceland itself was a little underwhelming; a garishly-decorated small-ish house in a Memphis suburb. But it is an icon, no doubt.
 

Allof75

Pathfinder
First day we made it to the Grand Canyon- absolutely stunning. I've been to some beautiful places, but this is truly breath taking.





Here's me, probably the sketchiest climb thus far, about 3k feet above the floor on a 2 foot wide path.


Here's that famous crater:
 

Allof75

Pathfinder
Sounds like a great trip; have fun.

Personally I thought Graceland itself was a little underwhelming; a garishly-decorated small-ish house in a Memphis suburb. But it is an icon, no doubt.
That's kind of the point haha. As a huge Elvis fan, knowing at least a factual basis of much of his life, it's like Mecca for his music.
 

Allof75

Pathfinder
My campground in the national forest just outside the Grand Canyon:


From there we booked it to Santa Fe, though stopped to see the Painted Desert, and Petrified Forest National Parks (no pics atm due to my dslrlacking Bluetooth etc).

Santa Fe though turned out to be a gorgeous town, with a fantastic atmosphere and a great art scene. I visited the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, and wandered around the downtown a bit.



We were originally going to stay here, though a violent lightning storm and general lateness to our arrival meant a cheap motel night. We went up to the Santa Fe national forest later the following day.


Following that was one of the more exciting moments of my life- a southwestern storm, amidst our cannonball run to Memphis from Santa Fe (1000 miles). Driving through the night, and until a couple of minutes ago, we were faced with massive lightning strikes, pouring rain, bugs, and fatigue. I even managed to acquire a speed warning from a nice OK state trooper. So far the trip has been great, and I am looking forward to exploring Memphis tomorrow, and Nashville the following day.

PS: In Little Rock, there's a great place called The Root Cafe- very well recommended.

 

Allof75

Pathfinder
We pulled into Memphis, and experienced the greatest ribs of my life: Johnny Vergos Rendezvous. Perfect dry rub, truly amazing. These were the ribs Elvis had flown first class to him in Vegas, several presidents have eaten here- it's an amazing affair.




Afterwards, I had the opportunity to partake in the fantastic Beale Street of Memphis- home of the blues, and rich with culture. A muscle car show completed the picture.


The following day, and the moment we've all been waiting for- Graceland. We finally made it to the home of Elvis, such a powerful force it was a dream come true. I loved every minute, but again I'm a huge fan. here's some pictures:


So many gold records, it was insane.


The famous jungle room.


From there we went to yet a another hallowed ground- Sun Records. Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and BB King all got their starts here. It is truly the birthplace of rock and roll, and truly all modern music. See inspiring for me to say the least.



From there we drove to Nashville, spent the night at a local campsite. The next morning, we went into Nashville, had some great coffee and crepes, and headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
 

Allof75

Pathfinder
So from Memphis, we spent the night at a campsite in Nashville. The next morning had a great cup of coffee, explored the town, and then headed on to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a couple hour drive. The town leading into the park, Gatlinburg, is an absolute tourist attraction, but was interesting to see a crossection of just exactly who was traveling, and to grab dinner. From there we headed into the park:







After a quick tour of the park, we spent the night at the Cosby campground, near the north-eastern end. A great nights sleep brought a great day hike for the following day:



What was most surprising, at least for me, someone who has only hiked in the west, was the lack of elevation. The highest point in the park (a scenic overlook) at just over 6000' is actually smaller than a very average mountain by my home in Southern California.

From the park we continued towards Myrtle beach, and were met with one big tourist attraction. We spent the night but as soon as possible, left towards Jacksonville Florida. In between, I found Charleston and Savannah to be quite charming, with Savannah providing a great atmosphere, especially historically.





From Savannah, we made it to Jacksonville without issue. A much nicer experience than Myrtle beach. While it was not exactly like the beaches near me in terms of surf, it did provide warm water, and a quiet beach experience, which was well needed.

I also decided to change my oil in the beach parking lot (it had been 3700 miles in high heat). This would be the hottest oil change I've ever done haha. 97* with high humidity made me sweat like The King himself. No issue with the maintenance though, luckily.
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
What was most surprising, at least for me, someone who has only hiked in the west, was the lack of elevation. The highest point in the park (a scenic overlook) at just over 6000' is actually smaller than a very average mountain by my home in Southern California.
hey hey hey, easy on our short East Coast Mountains! :elkgrin:
 
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