Long Live The King

Gloss Mountain State Park, Oklahoma

Upon leaving Oklahoma we kept seeing these awesome rock formations. I kept wanting to stop and photograph them, however there were no opportunities, until, FINALLY, there was a spot to pull over! Not only was it just a spot, it had a longer drive off of it, and turns out it was a random state park for the Gloss Mountains! We hiked up to the top, and got a great view of the surrounding landscape, and some close-ups of vultures or some other type of bird of prey. It was a gorgeous start to the day!

Gloss Mountain State Park, Oklahoma.

We stopped for lunch at this awesome place called Kumback Lunch in Perry, Oklahoma where I had a chicken fried steak sandwich. One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Better than a hamburger!

Kumback Lunch, Perry, Oklahoma

We continued driving and ended up on the western border of Arkansas, in Siloam Springs. It was a lovely little place, but just a one-night stopover. Unfortunately I left a ring there the next morning, and didn’t realize until we’d driven for 40 minutes, so we got to drive back and forth for about a while. The upside, we decided to grab lunch to go and it was amazing! We stopped at AQ Chicken House in Springdale, Arkansas. It is a favorite of Bill Clinton, and now is a favorite of mine!

AQ Chicken House, Arkansas.

Amazing fried chicken sandwich from AQ Chicken House, Arkansas

We drove to Bull Shoals/White River State Park in Arkansas. It was gorgeous, however we had some issues. It rained intermittently throughout our drive, but luckily stopped right as we arrived. Unfortunately, the sun came out, and it was HOT HOT HOT. We did, however, enjoy our sandwiches.

Bull Shoals/White River State Park, Arkansas

We tried to go on a couple of nature walks, but both failed. The lower lake loop wasn’t a loop, because a bunch of fallen trees cut the trail off. And there were a ton of mosquitoes. And, thanks to the humidity, which we hadn’t missed in New Mexico or Oklahoma, we were sweating up a storm. We also tried to go on the ‘wildflower walk’, but it was seriously lacking in flowers. The one included here is one of the maybe 5 that we saw. Despite these shortcomings, it was a nice break from driving.

Bull Shoals Reservoir, Arkansas.

Little Black Eyed Susan (I think), seen on the wildflower walk.

We spent the night in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which was a great college town. However, unbeknownst to us, it was a dry county! That’s right, no booze! And it was Sunday, so even if it wasn’t dry, the Blue Laws would have prevented us from procuring any spirits. Luckily, mom travels with her own box of wine. Phew!

Started off this morning and headed for GRACELAND! That’s right, Elvis Lives! Or at least, his memory lives on. I thought it was pretty cool, because his house was preserved as it was when he lived, shag carpeting and all. And some of the out buildings had been converted into trophy buildings. I knew he was popular, but I had no idea how acclaimed he had been! So many gold records! So many awards! So much charity work! It was a pretty neat trip…even as someone who isn’t a super Elvis fan.

Graceland Mansion, Memphis, Tennessee.

Tickets to Graceland!

Creepy monkey thing, Graceland Mansion.

Movie screening room. Back then 3 tvs was a big deal. Heck, 1 tv was a big deal!

Model of the home Elvis grew up in.

Charity check to 'Crippled Children's Hospital'. He was a big philanthropist (all joking aside).

One of Elvis' Vegas costumes. Shiny!

Floor to ceiling awards. And this is just a small piece of the pie. He was very accomplished.

So, after Graceland we headed to Nashville. We are currently staying at the nicest Day’s Inn. Or at least it’s the nicest we’ve seen! Seven floors and an exercise room! We’re living the life of luxury. We had dinner at Kayne Prime, which was a splurge, and one of the best dinners we’ve had this trip! Now I’m going to head into a food coma, before we head off to Kentucky tomorrow. Yum yum!

Oh yeah, the license plate game! It’s much slower going on the return trip. We haven’t progressed nearly as far. Got a bunch in Graceland today, but I haven’t updated it. Here’s the map so far, and the notes.

License plate game, after 4 days on the return trip. We had it pretty much completed on the way to Crested Butte by this point.

License plate notes. Any same-day doubles?

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