"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thank you, Thank You Very Much

New Site, MS
Piney Grove COE Campground

Driving towards Mississippi the landscape was about the same.  Arkansas is very green. Especially with all the recent rain.  We watched the scenery go by. One tiny town after another.  Then suddenly something caught our attention.

What? Toad Suck Park?!  How funny!  My picture was blurry as we whizzed by so I got this picture from the internet.  It's not actually a town, just a spot on the river.  Ferries used to cross the Arkansas River from Faulkner County to Perry County.  Not much more happens in this 1 square mile area.  There is a restaurant or two, not much else.  It did win the title of "America's most unfortunate Town Name.
We wanted to break up the drive so as the evening approached we planned our stop at the Welcome Center just across from the Mississippi River on the Arkansas side to spend the night.  It was very clean, quiet, free and we had it to ourselves.  Hurley loved running around and rolling in the nice green grass.

In the morning it was a quick drive and we were at the Mighty Mississippi.  Up and over.

This was taken in the middle of the bridge as we drove over.  The river is very wide and I couldn't get the entire river in the picture.

Even on the Mississippi side there is so much flooding along the river that it seems to go on forever.
Piney Grove Campground is another wonderful COE campsite along Bay Springs Lake near New Site, MS.  Our site #119 had W/E for $22.  It also had a nice laundry room.  $1 to wash and $1 to dry.  Very clean and well run.  Even though it was full (school just got out here and everyone is camping) it was very quiet at night and stormy off and on.  We didn't fish but we did get out in the kayak.

You can see the lake through the trees across from our site.
Highest Point in Mississippi.
Another "hike" up to the high point.  There is usually some interesting history to go along with these locations.

We're beginning to notice a pattern in these states.  You can usually drive right up to the top, or very near to it.  Not what we had imagined.  I knew the elevations would be much lower in many of these states that we'll be in, but I didn't figure there'd be little to no hiking involved.

It was a tough 30 feet or so to the marker. 

The only open view to look down on.                            I made it!           

The Highpointers Club is where I've gotten some of my hiking ideas in other states back when we lived in New York.  I guess coming from Northern California where I'm used to hiking 8000 - 10,000 feet in elevation I shouldn't be too surprised that it's not been more challenging so far.  Especially since we hiked our highest peak at over 14,000 in Colorado last year.  I don't think we'll get more challenging hikes in until we get further up in the Appalachian next month.  I'm having elevation withdrawals!

Hobo Station is one of the many tiny towns scattered all around.  As a matter of fact, this closed gas station is it.  Cute name though.

The woods quickly claim back what has been untouched for years.  This old chimney is all that you could see from the road.

We took advantage of the clear morning we had did some kayaking that involved a geocache.
The Cypress tress are so pretty.  Very feathery tops and the trunks branch out.

They also grow what are called "knees".  These knobby growths are thought to either oxygenate the trees roots or to help anchor the tree in swampy, muddy waters.  Neither has been proven though.

We found our geocache hidden alongside a tree.  Hard to spot at first.

There were many turtles floating in the water, but usually they dive under well before you can get near.  This fellow didn't mind us being right next to him as we paddled by.

This is an Osprey nest.  The parents were busy catching fish and feeding their young.  I wasn't able to get a good picture of the adults.

There were also what I think are Blue Heron nesting all up in the trees here.  They are very noisy when they fly back in with food for the young ones.  We watched them bring many fish in.

Not easy to see, but look in the center.  There are two young ones standing in the nest.

Hurley got very curious with all the birds flying around and all the racket they made.
We passed by about a hundred Ravens that seemed to be having a loud party in this tree.

Some geese flew by as well.

We had put the kayaks in at the end of an old road that took you to an old cemetery.  This was the quickest paddle to the geocache and we always love a good, old, pioneer cemetery.
A very nice resting place indeed.  A small peninsula with a view of the lake on all sides.

Above is the oldest inhabitant (birthwise) and below the local pastor who was buried just a couple of weeks ago.

When we returned home I was thirsty and decided I'd finally try this soda that Steve had picked up for me.  Yumm, I do love all things bacon.  But sadly, soda is not one of them.  Yuck.

About 20 miles south of the lake is Tupelo, MS.  Birthplace of Elvis.  It was another stormy day so it turned out to be a good day to spend in the museum and wandering around Tupelo.

We opted for the all inclusive tour at $17 each.  For $8 you could've just watched the movie and walked through the house. It's a small museum and grounds, but if you like Elvis history you'd enjoy it.  My parents loved Elvis and we grew up listening to his music and watching his movies.  We thought it was nice to see where he was born and how he grew up.  He lived here until he was 13 at which time they moved to Memphis.  We've been to Graceland with our kids many years ago.  Not on that scale at all, but still very nice.

Their car that they drove from Tupelo to Memphis in.

There are many sculptures on the grounds.

The church.

The actual home he was born and lived in while in Tupelo.  It only had two rooms.  A bedroom at one end and a kitchen at the other.

Not everyone knows that Elvis had a twin brother that died at birth. Can you imagine how different things might've been with another Presley boy?

There was a tornado that came through and killed over 200 people in the town and destroyed many homes.

The bedroom.

One of the only pictures of his youth.

The kitchen.

Some of the memorabilia in the museum.

Some blooms around the museum park.

There are many of these decorated guitars around town.  They are mounted on an arrow that points back to the direction of where Elvis was born.

That black "X" on the wood floor (lower left corner) is where Elvis was standing when he bought his first guitar.

The Touch the Hand of Elvis Statue in front of City Hall.

The burger place where Elvis would hang out.

On our way out of Tupelo we passed a Just Married couple.  Love their ride!
We had a nice adventure in Mississippi.


  1. How cool to visit Elvis's birth place. Piney Grove will be on our list if we pass that way again. Don't strain yourself on those high peaks. Haha. Looks like a good time.

    1. Nice to see where Elvis started out at. They were so very poor. They actually skipped out on the "rent" that they never paid for 4 years and headed to Memphis.

  2. I feel your pain about lack of good hiking/workouts...that's one of the reasons why Hans and I have not gone east yet.

    Bacon soda sounds pretty weird!

    1. Yes, going to have to get on my bike more often. But really do miss the good hiking! The soda was, just, ick.

  3. You are finally doing my kind of hiking!! :-) Don't care how much you like bacon, but bacon flavored soda doesn't even sound good...at all!!! Props for giving it a try!!

    1. Definitely not good. I can't imagine how much sugar was in it!

  4. One of the things I miss the most each year when we travel back east is the hiking with wide open views. We haven't gotten to Tupelo yet. We pick a different route each time we head east, and I see that Tupelo needs to be on the next journey. Looks like such a fun town.

    1. I think we're starting to get back to some nicer hikes, but I miss those hikes out west too. Tupelo was fun. We'd have liked to go back at night. Some nice bars and restaurants.

  5. Now that's my kind of elevation gain! Love seeing the Cypress trees all leafed out - not nearly as creepy as they were in the winter :-) Looks like another small museum I'd really enjoy. We didn't need to do Graceland while in Memphis, but this one looks great!

    1. Still a little creepy, but very pretty too. If you like Elvis music at all, Graceland is a must see.

  6. The Appalachians are tough in most places. It will work those legs. You will like them. Did you try the dough burger at Elvis's place?

    1. We've hiked small sections of the Apps before as we lived in Upstate NY for several years, but looking forward to getting up there again. Less roads, more trails. No dough burger, that tiny place was packed!

  7. The color and shades of green were one of things that we noticed too last spring when we traveled up the Natchez Trace from Natchez MS to Nashville. Keep climbing those hills.

    1. I re-read some of your blog posts on that area. Wish we had time to go in to town at night for some of that music!

  8. Love the post. So much fun and adventure. I had a mustang when we got married. It was a '69, but I did not want it to get painted up, so we drove another car away from the reception.

    1. My first car was a mustang. Ah, a different get-away car, good idea!

  9. What a cool place. How interesting to learn little known facts about someone who was so popular. I prefer my bacon sliced in strips with a little pepper and a side of scrambled eggs :-)

  10. Nothing quite like a candy apple red Mustang!

    We definitely need to spend more time in Mississippi!

  11. Your kayaking pictures reminded me of when we were in the area. So pretty and so different from the west. I know what you mean about missing the elevation, ND is pretty flat and a mountainous hike would be good about now.

    1. Ah, we did get a nice hike in, in GA today, finally!

  12. So behind on my blog reading but catching up never the less, I think it's too much time on FB. We've stayed at Toad Suck COE before, wonderful park on the river where you can watch the river traffic go through the lock. Love bacon but bacon soda sounds terrible. Haven't made it to Tupelo yet but looks like you had fun. In the east it's so challenging to find good hikes that go to the top of the mountains.

    1. I know what you mean. I've got some blog catching up to do still. The soda was a bust. The hiking has been challenging, but we've found a few good ones.


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