February 10, 2012

Outrunning Ol' Man Winter

After the fourth warmest January on record, Ol’ Man Winter has finally shown his face in the South, and it’s not a pretty sight.  Arctic air is bringing some of the coldest temperatures to the region thus far this season.  And we’re caught right in the middle of it!

After a drive through Tupelo, Mississippi, yesterday morning, with a look at the Elvis Presley Birthplace, we headed on to Memphis, Tennessee.  We arrived yesterday afternoon and made plans to visit Graceland, Sun Studio, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum the Gibson Guitar Factory, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel and Beale Street.

Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum and Chapel
Elvis Presley Birthplace
We had picked a campground near Graceland that offered shuttle service to the downtown attractions.  We had it all planned.  Well, you can probably see where this is going.  We knew that the weekend was going to be cold, with a few showers, but it seemed to be manageable, and we went to bed last night with plans to catch the shuttle first thing this morning.

It was dark and gloomy this morning, and I suggested that we see Graceland today and spend a sunnier Saturday downtown.  Then, for some reason, I decided to look at the weather forecast.  The forecasted temperatures had dropped about ten degrees since I last looked!  We are very conscious of temperatures below freezing because of our water lines and tanks.  Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc with water lines when they are not well-insulated.  We have successfully weathered temperatures down to about 26° as long as it warms up during the day, but I don’t like to push it.

The low for Memphis was predicted to be 25° tonight and 17° on Saturday, with the high reaching only 32°.  Snow was forecast for Monday.  That made me more than a little nervous.  Tim humored me, and we pulled out the map and weather forecasts and started looking for a warmer spot.  Arkansas, where we had planned to go next, was even colder, and areas south of us were not much better.  We finally settled on Vicksburg, Mississippi, and left Memphis, hoping to return when the weather improves.

It was not a particularly fun drive.  We started out on the interstate in the rain with trucks whizzing past us.  We exited onto the back roads, which were much more peaceful to drive. Except, we learned just how poor Mississippi really is.  It was so depressing to drive by mile after mile of decrepit houses, rundown towns and abandoned farms.  We couldn’t even find a place that was open for lunch.  On the other hand, maybe we needed this little dose of reality after all of the beautiful places we’ve been.

We finally made it to Vicksburg where we found the temperatures to be much warmer.  It probably won’t even drop below freezing until tomorrow night.  We’re not going to be making any firm plans for the next few days and will wait and see what Ol’ Man Winter has up his sleeve.

Tonight’s also another first.  We’re staying at a campground at one of Vicksburg’s casinos. Neither Tim nor I are particularly fond of casinos.  In fact, I go out of my way to avoid them. We won’t be visiting the one here, but the campground is actually very nice and just what we need right now.


  1. I am surprised it is so cold I think it is suppose to be 10 in fort morgan Love A

    1. A, The weather has been crazy this winter. We shouldn't complain because we've enjoyed a lot of very mild temperatures. Wow! Fort Morgan is really cold. I hope Chris doesn't freeze! Sarah

  2. Glad you have found a respite from the cold. Vicksburg is a very historic place so I'm sure you will find some adventure to get into! LV

    1. LV, I'm not sure we found respite here after all. It was about 34° last night, but it's only 37° now and is predicted to drop to 24° overnight. We'll do what we can to protect the water lines and hope for the best. Vicksburg was actually on our list of cities to visit, and we plan to go exploring tomorrow. Sarah