April 12th - Vicksburg to Memphis, Tennessee

Before we left Vicksburg we had a tour of the hotel. Our guide told us all about the house and how the original owner, a Mr.Klein, fell in love with a thirteen year old girl and built the house for her. He married her several years later and they moved into the house in 1840. A great hotel and well worth visiting.

We left the hotel at about 11am and drove down to the banks of the Mississippi to see a series of murals, painted by local artists, on the walls of the flood protection barriers.

One of the murals was about President Teddy Roosevelt who came to the area to bear hunt. The story goes that when they finally trapped a bear he refused to shoot it. A political cartoonist drew a picture of the President with a baby bear tied to a tree and, as a result, toy manufacturers started making baby bears, which became known as 'teddy bears'.

Our route then took us north through the green Mississippian countryside. It was really very beautiful, but with some very poor agricultural towns. We stopped at a state park, River Road, which was on the banks of the Mississippi River. We watched giant barges being pushed upstream by enormous 'tugs'.

There was a 75 ft viewing tower from which we could look over the park and the river. The only other people we met in the park were an English couple from Lancashire who were driving south visiting the various blues towns, on their way to a wedding in Austin, Texas
We continued our drive to Memphis, where we were booked in to Heartbreak Hotel, opposite Graceland, Elvis Presley's home. In the evening we took the shuttle bus into downtown Memphis and sampled some of the great blues music being played live in Beale Street at B B King's night club. A great way to end another wonderful day's driving.

For those who might be interested we have now driven more than 4,000 miles in just over two weeks, through 9 states. Tomorrow we head into Kentucky and Indiana before we reach Chicago on Saturday.

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