50th HS Class Reunion 2016 Trip travel blog

Information about Elvis' early life

Elvis and parents

Elvis' first guitar

Hardware store where the guitar was purchased

Statue of Elvis at age 13

More information

House where Elvis was born

Statues of Elvis -- at 13 and later

September 23, 2016 (Friday) – Got off as expected just after noon. Spent the first night in a Flying J Travel Plaza.

September 24, 2016 (Saturday) – Got going early because we had a long trip (485 miles) to Tunica, MS. But, because we gained an hour (time change to Central Time), we stopped in Tupelo, MS to see Elvis’ birthplace. Very interesting. Attached are few pictures. The family had a very hard life until they moved to Memphis. And you know the rest of the story. Couldn’t resist a little gambling at one of the casinos – right off the Mississippi River.

September 25, 2016 (Sunday) – John’s birthday! Got to our friends (Rich & Doris Frauenfelder) in Bull Shoals, AR about 2:00 PM (total miles at this point – 1025). Doris prepared a nice birthday meal for John, and then we spent the remainder of the evening playing hand and foot. While we were playing, we heard of the death of Arnold Palmer – the King.

September 26, 2016 (Monday) -- John and Rich went golfing at his golf course, and Betty and Doris went shopping. Spent the rest of the evening catching up on the recent past and playing another game of cards.

September 27, 2016 (Tuesday) – A long day of driving (500 miles) to Salina, KS (stayed in a very nice KOA). This is one of the few times you cannot go on a fairly straight line to your destination. It takes too much time to zigzag through Kansas (especially towing a trailer), so your only choice to get from southern Missouri is to go directly north to Kansas City and I-70. This adds quite a few miles to the trip.

I have always been intrigued by the gradual elevation change going from Kansas to Denver (elevation 5,280’ – the mile-high city). The city got that name many years ago for it’s elevation, but now it could get for a very different reason – marijuana! Anyway, the elevation in Salina, KS is 1,300’ (half way across Kansas). By the time you get to the Kansas/Colorado line, the elevation is 3,900’ (252 miles from Salina). Then when you get about 75 miles into Colorado, the elevation is 5,620’. Then it’s all downhill to Denver (100 miles) to the 5,280’. It sure shot my thinking that there was a gradual incline from the plains to highest elevation in Denver. So much for a little trivia.

September 28, 2016 (Wednesday) thru October 2 (Sunday) – Now for a 420-mile trip to Denver. We checked on making reservations at the FamCamp (military speak for camping) on Buckley AFB in Aurora, CO. The last time we stayed there (a couple years ago) only about 10% of the campsites were used. So, I didn’t think there would be a problem this time getting reservations. Full up! Now what do we do? Fortunately, Betty is the member of the Moose, and many of their locations have camping facilities (only water and electric usually). So we checked this out. Finally found that the Moose Lodge in Longmont, CO (about 30 miles north of Denver) was available, but they only had electric (20 amp). The cost was right -- $5 a night and a voluntary contribution of $25 to the Moose Lodge. We stayed 5 nights, so it came out to $10/night – very good! During this time we visited Dave & Marion Baungartner in Ft. Collins. John played golf at a very nice golf course (Legacy Ridge in Westminster) with fantastic views of the Rocky Mtns. We also visited friends (the Wiests) from the time we lived in Colorado (1975 – 1977). The members of the Moose Lodge were also very helpful. We had a lot of contact because the lodge bar was our only WiFi location. We also had one dinner there. Overall, the stay at the lodge worked out very well - although it added a few more miles to our trip than planned.

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