After our awesome summer working for Yellowstone Holiday Resort near Yellowstone we headed back to Washington. We anticipated that Megann might need surgery (hernia repair) but thankfully she didn’t! We had researched a sales job but decided against it – neither one of us could get excited about sales. We needed a seasonal job to fill the gap so we applied for Amazon Camperforce and got hired! That meant we needed to get to Tennessee by November 4th! We got to visit with friends and family in the Yakima area, as well as complete a few small projects in the RV, before heading to California to visit more family.
We took 3 days to drive to Vacaville, stopping at Chiloquin OR and Corning CA along the way. Both nights we stayed for free at Casinos. We also decided to go to Crater Lake National Park since we were near it and we’re glad we did. The weather was perfect for the visit and the lake was beautiful. We didn’t do the entire loop road, just to Wizard Island overlook on the West side and Ghost Ship Overlook on the East. It’s a pretty unique national park and doesn’t require multiple days to enjoy unless you want to do a lot of hiking.
From Vacaville we headed to Southern Cali to catch I-40 which would take us right in to Tennessee. We stayed in Barstow CA, Flagstaff AZ, Albuquerque NM, Amarillo TX, La Reno OK, Russellville AR and Tunica MS before arriving in Smyrna TN. This is along the old Route 66 but we stayed on the main interstate almost entirely for ease of travel with the motor home. It does cross the interstate at many locations along the way and those crossings usually do have some interesting businesses give you the opportunity to travel a few miles on 66 if you want. We traveled through desert, mountains and plains to reach the deciduous forests of Arkansas and, finally, Tennessee. We did have time to take in a few sights along the way that were noteworthy:
Cadillac Ranch is an interesting road side attraction near Amarillo, TX. Basically it is a row of classic Cadillac cars standing up on end buried in a field. They were a created as an art installation in the 70’s and were moved a couple of miles to their current location in the late 90’s. Painting on the cars is now encouraged as you can see from the pictures.
We stopped and visited the route 66 museum in Clinton OK for a bit of history on the historic highway. We learned how it was not only used for family road trips but also an escape from the “dust bowl” and as a road home for soldiers. It was a fun look in to a time gone by!
You can’t go to Memphis without going to Graceland right? We don’t really listen to much Elvis music but we can’t deny he was an extremely talented man and it was so interesting to get a glimpse of his life. We opted for just the mansion tour but you can also buy packages to see the airplanes, automobiles, his birthplace, among other things. Although called a mansion, the home (already named Graceland before he purchased it) wasn’t as extravagant in size or high-end fixtures as one might think but it was definitely over the top in a style that was truly Elvisized!
We also visited the National Civil Rights Museum while in Memphis located at the Lorraine Motel, where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This was such an informative and well put together museum! We were left almost speechless.
Oh, and we had some Tennessee BBQ! Yum.
We stayed for free the entire way there thanks to friends, family, Walmart, public lands, truck stops and casinos! Thank you Jana & Justin, John & Sheri, Jim & Liesl, Megann’s mom Sandy and my dad Kelly for free parking spots, dinners and continued support on our journey!
The next few days we will be getting our bearings around town and prepare for our first day at work!