This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The International Towing & Recovery Museum

I awoke this morning and was momentarily shocked when I looked at my watch and saw that it was 8:45AM.  We usually try to be on the road around 9:00AM but that would not happen this morning.  Carol Ann told me she let me sleep in because there was no reason to rush.  We would push our departure time out to 10:00AM, but we were in the Eastern Standard Time Zone and would pass into the Central Time Zone not long after getting back on the road.  So, you could say that we would still be able to leave around 9:00AM.

As we were driving through the Chattanooga metro area we saw a highway directional sign for the “INTERNATIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY MUSEUM.”  I wish that we could have taken the time to stop and check it out because I would never in a million years expect there to be such a museum.  I wondered if it might be some kind of “bubba” museum and decided to Google it once we were stopped for the day. 

There was nothing else of note to mention in regard to the drive today.  We did not decide on where we would stop until 1:00PM (CST) when we pulled off of I-59 for lunch.  Carol Ann wanted to eat at the Waffle House but they don’t usually have parking lots suitable for RV parking.  There were several other restaurants at that exit if we did have to pass on the Waffle House due to lack of parking space.  We drove by the Waffle House and knew immediately there was no chance of parking there.  I had to continue past it and look for something else.  There was a lot of traffic and we were not seeing anyplace suitable.  I noticed a small strip shopping center coming up on the right and decided to pull into the parking lot and turn around.  There was nothing but highway beyond it and I had no idea how far I might have to drive before finding another place to turn around.  There was a one-lane drive for entering the lot and a one-lane drive for exiting the lot.  Each lane was wide enough for only one vehicle and they were lined with concrete curbs.  I took advantage of a break in the traffic and pulled out wide to the left so that I could make the right-hand turn without running over the curb.  At the right of the entrance, where it met the street, lay a folded (or collapsed) temporary highway sign.  I don’t know what the sign said because it was laying face down.  By the time I had committed to the turn with no way to abort I realized that I was going to come uncomfortably close to running over the sign.  The motorhome cleared it just fine and so did the front wheel of the tow car.  Unfortunately, one of the car's rear wheels rode right over the sign.  I parked in an empty section of the parking lot and while Carol Ann made lunch I went outside to check on the car.  No damage thank goodness.  I didn’t go look at the sign.  I just pretended that it never happened.

While eating lunch we checked the maps and GPS and decided to stop for the day in Meridian, MS, which is somewhat further than I had expected to drive.  However, as I said when we began our odyssey, there is absolutely nothing between Tuscaloosa, AL (not far enough) and Meridian (further than we had wanted) so we elected to go on to Meridian.

The weather was partly cloudy most of the day except for several insignificant and short-lived showers, the kind that make you wonder if it would be worth the trouble to turn on the wipers.  We did get some fairly hard rain about an hour before we reached Meridian but it stopped prior to pulling into the RV park at 3:00PM.  No one was in the office and their phone went unanswered so we just picked out a site and setup housekeeping.  I was on the way back to the office to leave a note when the manager pulled up.  The site we chose was OK and I paid her for one night.

I Googled the International Towing & Recovery Museum (  The museum was started 20 years ago by a small group of towing and recovery professionals and now has 675 members.  The museum has exhibits of tow trucks and towing equipment dating back to 1916 plus hundreds of photographs.  It also includes a library, theater, and, of course, a gift shop.  I expected to find some kind of “bubba” outfit, but this place is for real and appears to be a first class operation.  They are very serious about honoring both the living and fallen members of their vocation.

There is a Hall of Fame to which inductees are nominated for their many contributions to the towing and recovery industry, their families, and their communities.  This year’s nine Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the Double Tree Hotel of Chattanooga on September 21, 2013 with a full weekend of celebratory activities.  There are currently 285 HOF members.

The Wall of the Fallen is on the outside grounds and features names engraved on plaques to permanently record and commemorate those involved in fatalities in the towing & recovery industry.  The Wall was dedicated on September 9, 2006 and now contains 273 names.  Who would have thought?  Next time you see a tow truck working on the highway be sure to slow down and give it plenty of room.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Always learn something new every time I read your blog. Safe travels, Carol S.