Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mud Island

The Mississippi River has fascinated me all my life. At 2,350 miles, it is the third longest river in North America, and the fourth longest in the world. It ranges in width from 20 or 30 feet at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, to more than 11 miles wide as Lake Winnibigoshish near Bena, Minnesota. Every tale about the western expansion mentions the great Mississippi River. It has been a thrill camping by its banks in West Memphis, Arkansas, just over the bridge from Memphis, Tennessee.
We enjoy just sitting and watch the sun set as great tugboats push the barges up and down the river.

On Friday, the weather suddenly turned cooler. High temperatures dropped from 90 degrees to the low 60s, which made it very pleasant for strolling. We drove across the river and over the bridge to Memphis to visit Mud Island, and the River Walk.
We see a lot of river walks in our travels, but never one like the one in Memphis. This is an exact scale model of the lower Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, 954 miles away. It features 20 cities along the way, mapped in tile, with floodways and watershed walls. The model flows from north to south and enters into a 1-acre Gulf of Mexico. The entire model is 2,000 feet long, about five blocks, with 30" equaling one mile. Visitors can walk in, around, and across this little Mississippi River.  I would imagine that it's a popular place to bring children on a hot day!
Here, Bob is standing about where our campground is.
The great Mississippi River flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Such a great way to put this river into perspective. Along the way are signs with information about the history of the Mississippi River, which added to the experience.

After we finished walking the River Walk, Bob and I drove over to get a peek at the famous Beale Street, known as where the blues started.
The historic part of Beale Street is closed to cars, and we were not in the mood to find a place to park so we kept on going. We also wanted to drive past one more Memphis icon.
Graceland, home of Elvis Presley. 

Neither Bob nor I have ever been true Elvis fans, so we saved our $70-160 (depending on which tour we might have chosen) and just drove by. That was enough for us.

There is a lot to see in Memphis, however, and we will return one day!

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