Stats to Date:
Total Miles:7024
Total States:10
Total Oceans Touched:1
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:6
Day: 16 Location: Nashville, TN
They told'em they wanted to be buried facin' the North -- that way, when Gabriel sounds his trumpet, they can rise and send the Yankees back to hell.
-- Barbara, owner of Parkers Crossing Visitors Center

Yep, just me and a few reps from the AARP this morning at 8am waiting for the Bill Clinton Presidential Library to open. Awesome. Most college students are asleep or at work... Not me though -- I'm ready to learn. I spent about an hour or so walking around the library, reading about Wild Bill's accomplishments. It was actually a lot of fun -- they had his old armored limo, a cabinet room and a mock-up of the Oval Office. I went ahead and took measurements for the curtains. After the library and downtown Little Rock, I started towards the birthplace of Rock and Roll: Memphis, TN.

One big difference between the land West of the Mississippi and here is the gas prices -- its nearly 50 cents less! Anyway, once I got to Memphis I headed straight for the King's house. That's right, Graceland. Elvis Presleys Mansion. Can you believe they charge $16 just to take a tour of that place? Insane. But, of course I went for it. The mansion was complete with shag carpet, fake fur furniture, indoor fountains and circular beds. But despite the 70's decor, it was a pretty cool place -- indoor raquetball courts, firing ranges, golf courses, horses, pool tables and a small cemetary with Elvis, his mom and dad and his grandmother. Elvis is dead -- but on Jan. 8th, they will be celebrating his 70th Birthday in Graceland. They're planning on closing down the nearby streets to make room for the thousands who are expected to make the pilgrimage. In fact, one lady who works there told me they average over 4,000 per day on the tour. Elvis was cool and all -- in fact, he was a really great guy all around -- but he died 30 years ago! I then drove around Beale Street where B.B. King and Muddy Waters brought blues and soul music to the mainstream.

On the way to my final city of the day, I stopped at a Civil War information center at Parkers Crossing. It was the site of a confederate victory, led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, where he tore the Yankees apart with a much smaller force. I spent about 30 minutes talking with the lady, Barbara, who runs the visitors center for the battle site. They had a miniature, hand-painted model of the battle, which she used to describe how the whole day played out. The quote above has to do with a request a local made to the Confederate forces before the battle. I'm not too sure about the theology behind that statement, but it definately shows the intensity of the hatred between the North and the South... and I was standing right on "land divided" -- where brother went against brother, father against son. Pretty amazing. She recommended that I check out a cemetary on a hill that was recently discovered when the land was being escavated -- which I did, before heading to another music capital of the world, Nashville, TN. On the way, I stopped at a truckstop to investigate the shower situation. After they told me it was $7 a shower, I decided I could wait a few more days before spending that kind of money. Stay tuned for future updates on my personal hygiene.

I love Nashville -- I've spent a week here before, so I was comfortable with the downtown area. And because I love this city, I wasn't going to write my journal tonight. Instead, I spent the night hopping around the strip listening to good music and avoiding cover charges. I love this place because its a proving ground for musical hopefuls and new talent -- after hearing a few of the bands down here (it was monday night, so there weren't many), you realize that they're just as talented as the stuff you hear on the radio. Making it big has a lot to do with luck.

As I was going to bed, I looked at the crude map of my route. I've come a long way! It's kinda hard for me to believe that I've seen as much as I have... it's almost too much. Now that I'm getting closer to the coast, I'm starting to get a little more excited about what's ahead.

By the way, did you realize you can click on the pictures on the side to see a larger version? Goodnight!
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