Friday, May 27, 2011

Tupelo, Mississippi -- The Nighttime Ride, Elvis, and Hiking

My next planned stop after Natchez was Tupelo, Mississippi, where Elvis grew up. I left Natchez in the late afternoon/early evening, so a lot of driving was done in the dark. Little things from the drive stand out. I stopped in Jackson, Mississippi for a small break, drinking my iced tea, and taking pictures of the State Capitol building from afar. I had my tea at Whataburger, a chain I had never frequented before. I drove on the dark Natchez Trace Parkway -- very pretty in the daytime, very dangerous at night, I subsequently heard -- I suppose I was lucky to arrive in Tupelo safely! When I arrived, I was hungry for my final meal of the day, and decided for a rare meal in a chain -- Waffle House -- which I had frequented when I lived in Florida, but which are not seen in my neck of the woods in New York. My lodging was another American Best room, and very nice for the price.

Unlike many other places I saw on this trip, meals were not notable for the food I ate, but, rather, for the venues in which I ate them! Breakfast, for instance, was rather generic, but I thought that Papa V's, the gas station deli at which I ate, was kind of cool! Here are some pictures:

They have their own hot sauce!

The seats give a bit of a restaurant feel...

Naturally, after breakfast, I went for a tour of Elvis' childhood home. Below is just a small sampling of pictures. The first two are samples of quotes that illustrate my perspective on Elvis as down to earth, despite his immense fame:

The picture below documents what I think is an important fact. Elvis is called the King of Rock and Roll, but he is the only artist in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and The Gospel Music Hall of Fame. I have heard that Gospel music was his first true love, and I thought that should be memorialized in pictures I keep for myself:

Here is a link to the site discussing the home:

Elvis also had a well-known love of cars, and Tupelo has an Automobile Museum. I am not the biggest fan of automobiles, but as I always say when traveling, when in Rome...

Since my knowledge of cars is not anything approaching that of an expert -- or even a person with a healthy hobby -- I can only discuss what I found to be the highlights of the museum. I was particularly fascinated that the original cars were so slow in terms of horsepower -- kind of like the Pong video games of their day! Here are some pictures:

I just liked this car below...

The first Delorean I have laid eyes on, other than the Back to the Future movies...:

And the obligatory tribute to Elvis at a Tupelo tourist spot:

Of course, now being in my 48th State, I enjoyed the license plates below from different States:

Here is the link to the site:

I had lunch at Johnny's Drive-In, which Elvis used to frequent. Here are two pictures:

The Elvis theme could have continued indefinitely -- I could have gone to see the school he attended as a child, for instance -- but I am not THAT much of an Elvis fan. I had seen enough for me, and decided to do a little relaxing, contemplative hiking on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Here are a couple of views I enjoyed:

I just liked being able to capture on film a butterfly sitting quietly:

The Elvis fan will not want to miss Tupelo, Mississippi. Nor will the hiker.

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