We had serious auxiliary battery problems last night, to the extent that I had to shut the systems down. On the last trip we’d noticed that some evenings we had very little auxiliary power despite having travelled many miles and should have had fully charged batteries. We simply had to get the problem fixed today. Luckily we were on a Wal-Mart site which had a Tire & Lube department, but after trudging across to the store in the pouring rain I was told apologetically that they were not allowed to deal with RV’s any longer, but they did give me the address of a local RV outfit, Shady Pines RV Center Inc www.ShadyPinesRV.com and fortunately it was only a few miles away.
On arrival I apologised for not having booked, but after explaining the problem to them they had a technician on the job straight away. It turned out to be dirty, corroded battery contacts, which at $42 to clean them was considerably cheaper than buying two new batteries.
Back in business we made our way to I30 East, popping in to a branch of one of our favourite supermarkets, Albertsons, and then continued our long journey to Memphis. For me the trip doesn’t really start until we reach there, and it will take 2 days of driving in heavy rain to reach that start point.
I had loaded the RV up with water before leaving Fort Worth, the idea being that we would dry camp for two or three nights. This water will be used for cooking, showers, flushing etc. When setting out I had intended to carry only 2/3 tank but before I knew it I’d overfilled the 50 gallon tank. Rather than carry this additional weight around with us any longer I pulled in to a Rest Area and dumped much of it. It was, after all, clean water passing through the system, and as it was raining heavily, nobody would notice anyway.
Halfway to Memphis we approached Little Rock the State Capital of Arkansas, home of the 42nd President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton and who was the Governor of Arkansas before becoming president. We decided to take a closer look and had a pleasant slow drive through town eventually parking near the State Capitol Building where we took a few photographs including some of a statue to the 'Little Rock Nine', a group of negro students who in 1957 due to public protest, were prevented by the Arkansas National Guard from enrolling at the racially segregated Little Rock Central High School. Eventually President Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to protect the students and enforce their right to attend school. The whole sorry business is referred to as 'The Crisis at Central High'.
After enduring a long traffic jam on the outskirts of Memphis we finally crossed the Mississippi River, and found the Wal-Mart branch on Elvis Presley Boulevard, where we had planned to spend the night.
Today we had crossed the whole of the state of Arkansas travelling west to east, a total of about 270 miles, and tonight our evening meal was sliced roast beef, potatoes, peas and gravy using ‘Bisto’ granules which we’d bought out from the UK, as they just don’t know how to do gravy over here.
Having finished our meal it began to rain and rain and rain.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Wal-Mart Super, 5255 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, Tennessee 38006. (GPS: N35.005766 W90.026566)