The Memphis Pyramid

We’re no fans of Memphis. It’s a city with so much history, yet it’s neglected terribly.

So when our next assignment took us there, we opted to stay outside Memphis — and Tennessee, for that matter — at the Jellystone campground in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

We didn’t plan to do much while in the area. Fortunately the campground had many kids that our sons played with, and it was fun hosting their new-found friends at our site’s picnic table.

However, we did manage a trip into Memphis one day. We drove by Graceland and the Presley museum and mansion, and we drove along the shores of the Mississippi River.

What surprised us most — aside from how run-down the city has become — was the pyramid that towered the buildings in the distance.

Yes, the pyramid.

The Memphis Pyramid, formerly known as the Great American Pyramid and the Pyramid Arena, used to be a sports arena, and at 321 feet tall it’s the tenth tallest pyramid in the world.

It was originally opened in 1991. After sales and changes of hands over the years, in 2015 it was reopened as a Bass Pro Shops megastore location. More than a store for outdoorsmen and hunting enthusiasts, this location boasts a hotel, a bowling alley, restaurants, and more.

We love Bass Pro, and the architecture was certainly unusual for what the chain is known for, but what caught our attention was the glass-floor observation deck at the peak of the pyramid. To get there you had to ride the slow-moving free-standing elevator, which is the tallest in America (to date).

Once at the top, you arrive at a bar with a huge aquarium. There are doors past the bar that take you to the open-air observation deck, with views from three sides of the pyramid, one overlooking the Mississippi River.

If ever in Memphis, this is a neat landmark to visit. It costs nothing to park or go inside, the ride up the elevator is cheap, and there’s so much to see and do inside Bass Pro, from a free arcade-style shooting gallery to simply looking at the impressive taxidermy collection.

Besides, it’s not every day you get to see a pyramid in the United States.

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