October 2007               


            Monday morning we were up early as Mor-ryde also starts work at 6.  We got things packed up and our service rep pulled the rig into the bay to begin work.  We went into the comfortable customers lounge and had coffee and donuts.  Several other couples were there getting work done and we visited while we all waited.  Mor-ryde served us lunch as always.  In the afternoon our work was completed and we headed to Elkhart Campground to stay until our appointment at Travel Supreme.

            We decided to get out and do some sightseeing while we were in Elkhart.  We have been in the area several times but had never been to the RV Museum.  We found our way to the beautiful new museum facility.  The museum has exhibition areas and also a library.  We had a good time wandering through the exhibits of many RV’s.  It was fun to see how the styles and interiors have changed over the years.  What a difference in the early RV’s and today’s rigs!   

            The museum is still under construction, with work progressing as funds are available.  This facility is being paid for as it goes, so when it is finished it will be debt free!  Not many places can make that claim.

            Millie made her pilgrimage to Shipshewana on day.  She wanted to check out the quilt fabrics at Yoder’s and Lollys.   She has a quilt she is working on that she needed fabric for.  She also checked out some of the other shops.  No craft fair going on so she was able to browse the shops without large crowds.  The shops were all decorated for fall and Halloween, as the craft fair was the next weekend.

            When we were here last, we noticed a large building under construction.  This year we learned that it is The American Countryside Market.  This beautiful barn structure was built with Amish labor and is the world’s largest wood-peg constructed building.  Millie made a trip down there on Wednesday, only to discover that the market is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  So – she made another trip and had an enjoyable afternoon.  The two story structure has many booths with lots of items for sale such as baked good, meats, candies, and home décor items.  It’s worth the trip just to see the inside of this wonderful structure.  You can check it out at http://www.americancountryside.us/market/ 

            On Saturday we hitched up and drove to Travel Supreme to set up for our appointment.  There were a few units there for work, but by Sunday evening, the lot was full.  We were glad we got there early. 

            Monday morning we were up really early to have everything ready for the techs.  We packed up the girls and some things for overnight.  We will be spending a night or two in a motel so our carpet can be replaced with wood flooring.   We are also having the carpet in the bedroom replaced and the vinyl in the bathroom. 

            After spending Monday and Tuesday nights in the motel, on Wednesday we were permitted to spend the night in our rig.  The floors are wonderful and we are happy with the great job Jeremy and his crew did.  We also had a few other items to be taken care of, so it was Saturday before we left Elkhart and began our trek south. 

            We stopped in Marion, Arkansas for a few days to do some sightseeing in Memphis.  Although we have been through Memphis many times and even spent a few days there at a National Square Dance Convention, we have never taken the time to stay and visit. 

            We visited Mud Island.  You park on the city side of the river and ride a monorail over to the island.  The Museum on the island is devoted to the history of the Mississippi River and was extremely interesting.  It contains a full-size section of an old riverboat, a modern day pilothouse of a tug with a visual of what the captain sees and many other great exhibits.  

            Outside the museum is a replica of the Mississippi river basin with points marked along the way.  It is over a mile in length and very interesting to walk and view.   While enjoying this walk, we spotted one of the sightseeing boats that ply the river in this area. 

            A well known attraction in the area is the Peabody Ducks.  The tradition of the ducks is an old one, going back to 1933.  The original ducks were placed in the fountain as a prank, but guests were enthusiastic about them and it became a tradition. 

            The Duckmaster is in charge of the march.  He first gives a short explanation of how the tradition of the march began, before heading up to the roof where the ducks spend the night.  Sousa’s King Cotton March begins; the elevator doors open and 5 Mallard ducks make a b-line for the fountain over a red carpet.  The whole march takes all of a minute but the crowds are large every day.  The ducks come down at 11 and go back upstairs at 5 so the march takes place twice a day.

            The Memphis Cotton Exchange was the center of cotton trading in the 20th Century.  It is now a museum dedicated to the history of cotton.  Exhibits include the trading board of the Exchange with 1939 prices, phone booths used by traders, material about the Exchange and costumes used during the Cotton Festival.  On the day we visited, a brown bag lunch lecture was scheduled which we attended.  An interesting talk by author Robert Gordon centered on the delta area of the Mississippi. 

            When we checking into the RV park, we were given coupons for free play at the Southland Park casino.  We also had coupons for a free buffet, so we wandered over one evening.  The buffet was so-so, but you can’t complain when it’s free.  We would have been unhappy if we had paid the price of $14.00 though.  We took our coupons for casino play to the desk and were issued Players Cards.  In addition to the amount on the coupons, we were given additional funds so we had a good time playing slot machines for a couple of hours.  No money won but it was fun.

            Moving further west on I-40, we checked into a campground in North Little Rock for a week.  As we like to visit State Capitols and had not been here, we decided this was the time to do so. 

            The Arkansas State House was designed by architect George Mann.  Funding was approved in 1899.  Our self guided tour included the Governor’s Reception Room and the Old Supreme Court Chamber.  We were unable to view the Senate and House chambers as they were locked, even though we were directed to them as part of the tour. 

            Of particular interest in this building is the Mitchell-Vance chandelier that hangs in the rotunda, suspended by a 73 foot chain.  It weighs over 4000# and is 12’ in diameter and 18’ high.  It was installed in 1913.  It was sent to St. Louis in 2002 for restoration and re-wiring.  Four of the opal and alabaster glass bowl diffusers had been broken and could not be reproduced due to the toxic substances used in the glass making process.  The decision was made to replace all the diffusers with new ones, etched and sandblasted to resemble the old ones.  The chandelier was re-hung in 2003.

            The old diffusers were packed and stored away.  In 2007 the Utah Capitol Preservation Board requested help from the Arkansas Secretary of State.  The chandelier in their building is an exact twin to the Arkansas one, installed in 1914.  Several of its diffusers had also been broken.  Arkansas authorized a transfer of 8 of their old diffusers to Utah.  What a great story!

            Little Rock is also the home of the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.  This museum is on the banks of the Arkansas River, designed to somewhat resemble a bridge. 

            We found the exhibits to be interesting and varied.  In the lobby is one of the limousines used by President Clinton and an exhibit highlighting the Secret Service.  The main museum gallery is located on the second floor.  We visited the theater where we viewed a film narrated by President Clinton about his life and career.   

            Most presidential museums have a reconstruction of the Oval Office.  The Clinton museum has this also.  In addition, a reproduction of the White House Cabinet Room is on the second floor.  You can sit at the cabinet table and see where each member sat.  A docent gave us history on the room.  Of particular interest, when the floor in this exhibit was varnished, during the night a raccoon wandered in and left his footprints for all to see.

            The third floor exhibits include the Clinton Oval Office and mementos of their time in the White House.  Items such as state gifts, items used in state affairs, etc. are on display.  A table set up for a state dinner with clothing worn by the Clintons was exhibited.  Some of the ornaments for the White House trees, Presidential Easter Eggs, a lovely glass “tree”, etc were displayed.  This was Millie’s favorite part of the museum. 

            The museum also has a café on the ground level with a view of the river.  It is named Café 42, as Clinton was our 42nd President.  We had a good if somewhat pricey lunch buffet there.  Good southern food was the menu of the day. 

            We left Little Rock on the 29th and arrived in Corinth, TX at Destiny RV Resort that evening.  We will stay a month, visiting with our son Robert and granddaughter, Lacey. 

            We had made our reservations several months ago at Destiny.  We stay here every year when we come to visit.  Dick specifically requested we be given a site where our internet satellite would not be blocked by trees and we do not wish to be in the very back of the park.  Well, we were given a site in the back of the park.  OK, we got back there and it was a larger site than we had last year and perhaps the satellite can get out, so we backed in and set up.  The satellite could not get out.  Dick went up to the office and requested another site.  No can do.  Check back after race week and we will see what we can do.  Race week is two weeks away.  We will have to go to Robert’s to get our email and do our online banking, etc.  Needless to say, Dick is not a happy camper.  So much for advance reservations!


            Next month, visiting with family and Rainbow’s End.


(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look.  We couldn't link to all of them.)