Trip to Tennessee on Tap
Lord willing and the weather cooperating, Cynthia and I will add in six states - making 12 stops --over almost a 14-week tour on our I-Bus (RV) map, starting next month. Last summer we trekked through Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas, before coming back to Oklahoma City for a quick mini-Heavener reunion and continuing on to Texas. We liked it so well, we're going to give it another shot. Going from here in Tyler to Heavener for the bi-annual HHS Reunion is our starting point. First stop on the tour is Eureka Springs in Arkansas. Cynthia has always wanted to go to the Passion Play, and it's close enough to Missouri that Jackie Alsup -- Jackie Garrett back when I knew her as a classmate--and husband, Ken, can come down. Eureka is only a few miles from their home, and we enjoyed our time with them last year, so we'll return the favor this year. Instead of Silver Dollar City and Branson with Jackie showing us around, it'll be our turn this time around.
From Eureka, we'll spend a night in a Little Rock RV Park, get up the next morning and head to Memphis, where we are scheduled to stay at the Graceland RV Park. Just in case you've been under a rock the last 25 years, Graceland is Elvis Presley's home. There we will get to visit with Larry Pennington and his wife, Sharon, who live in Olive Branch, MS, just south of Memphis. The next stop on our tour will be Nashville, which is the place Cynthia wanted to go when we began the planning back in January or February. Seems ETHE (East Teas Hand-bell Ensemble) has been invited to play in Pinnacle 2010, the tops in hand-bell festivals, for an afternoon concert, despite the recent flooding in Nashville. Cynthia loves hand-bells, and ETHE is the semi-professional group with which she used to play. Also in Nashville are more old friends to visit. Lalia Tate Click, a close chum of Cynthia from the old HHS days, as well as Olin Buchanan, who used to work on my staff back in the newspaper days. Olin works for Rivals/Yahoo.com. After Nashville, we make the next stop in Pigeon Forge, where there should be loads of touristy stuff, such as Dollywood, and it is close enough to Louden, where my uncle and aunt Chet and Claire live. Cynthia has never met them and I haven't seen them in years.
After leaving Pigeon Forge, it's on to Ashboro or Greensboro, whichever is a nice place to stop en route to Fayetteville, NC where my uncle and aunt Bob and Mary Lou live. Cynthia will meet them for the first time and it's been years since I last saw them, too. From Fayetteville, the next stop is Yemassee, SC, not far from the Atlantic coast and plenty of lighthouse seeing. Cynthia is a big fan of lighthouses, too. Then, we get into Florida, along I-10, Jacksonville being the first stop. After Jacksonville, the next stop is Pensacola, Mobile, Gulfport, and New Orleans. From "Nuolans," we're going to Lake Charles, as we inch closer to Texas, Lake Conroe, and San Antonio, if we survive the heat. It'll be a long drive, but most of it is virgin territory to us. It'll be an awfully long trip and plenty hot, but we don't have to be back until Sept. 10 to see the Yankees-Rangers play in Arlington. We'll also try to take you along with an occasional blog.