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  1. Default "Take a Week to Get There"

    Hey, all. I'm very new to this website, and to this hobby, but I've seen some really great tips around here, and I'd like to share my general plan (it's still very much in the works, which is why I'm here) and see if anyone has good tips on side-trips and must-sees

    I'm making the trip from St. Louis to Austin at the beginning of the summer, and I thought that I'd might as well take a week to do it, as it'll be the summer after I graduate college. I know it isn't the most direct route, but I thought I'd drive SE through Memphis, then make my next big stop in Little Rock and Hot Springs and some other places in Arkansas (I've got family in Hot Springs), and then make the jaunt over to Austin by way of Dallas.

    My questions are:
    A) do you think, other than when I stay with my grandmother, that it would be possible to camp at night for most, if not all, of that trip? Avoid the hotels, go the campgrounds and state parks?
    B) any recommended sites in Memphis that are -cheaper than an arm and a leg, and -have great live music?
    C) any tidbits of information, photo-ops, must see weird stuff museums, or something like that along such a route?

    I'd appreciate any help you all can give - I'm really looking forward to this trip and can use all the advice I can get!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Camping

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I don't know of any reason why you couldn't camp for your entire trip. During my summer roadtrips, you'll find me putting up a tent at a state park or national forest about 90% of the time. Its a great way to save money, and I simply find it far more enjoyable than sitting in a motel room.

    When you are camping, you usually need to think about stopping a little bit earlier in the evening, simply because setting up camp in the dark isn't the most fun thing in the world, however with your timeframe you don't need to extend yourself for miles, so I don't see that as being a problem.

  3. Default

    Yeah, good point about the setting up camp early.

    Here's what I have so far, if anyone's interested or has any interesting tidbits:
    1) St. Louis to Sikeston, MO, mostly on I55. Stop in Sikeston to eat at Lamberts Cafe, Home of Throwed Rolls (an absolute must for anyone driving through southern Missouri, by the way). Camp somewhere close that night.
    2) Drive from Sikeston to Memphis. Go to Lorraine Motel (where the MLK assassination happened, great civil rights museum, I hear), drive past Graceland, eat some BBQ. Camp as close as possible, or drive a bit further after that and camp.
    3) From there to Little Rock, AK. Visit Clinton library/museum. Find Little Rock Central, first Southern school to be integrated. Drive to Hot Springs that day and stay with family for a couple of nights.
    4) From Hot Springs in the direction of Dallas, by way of Hope, AK (home of the world's largest watermelons). Hike and camp somewhere in between Hope and Dallas.
    5) From Campsite to Dallas. See Dealey Plaza and JFK assassination museum. (anything else to do in Dallas?) Maybe same day, drive from Dallas to Austin. End of trip.

    Anybody got anything fun? I've been salivating over this trip ever since I had the idea, so please let me know if there's anything that will make it more spectacular. Cheap, great dining. Nowhere else in the world kind of photo-ops. Stuff can be somewhat out of the way - I've got a maximum of 3 or so hours of driving planned into each day at this point, which can totally be increased some days if it's worth it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Arklatex

    I've made a couple of trips through that area and your basic route is very sound and an excellent example of taking the long way home. Just a few of the stops that I've found rewarding and would thus recommend as part of your week's sojourn are the towns of Sainte Genevieve and Cape Girardeau in Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois; Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas; and for a "must see weird stuff museum", stop in Gibsland, LA where there are a couple of museums devoted to the gunning down of Bonnie and Clyde.


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