The Mississippi River

Many years ago, we passed through Memphis as we relocated from Texas to North Carolina. We chanced upon Mud Island then, and really looked forward to visiting again this many years later.

For those of you who don’t know, Memphis, Tennessee lies on the eastern shore of the Mississippi. The state of Arkansas is on the western shore, and Mississippi is just to the south. Along the Memphis bank is Mud Island… Aptly named because it was initially formed by a runoff of silt from the river, i.e.: mud. The town did some additional dredging and converted the new island into condos and city parks.


On Mud Island, within site of the actual river, is a concrete relief map of the lower 1000 miles of the Mississippi River. The map stretches from the mouth of the river in Louisiana to Illinois. It was and is so cool to be able to walk almost the entire length of the river, read the displays, and see the twists and bends, all within an actual half mile. The pic above gives a feel for the quality of the map, while viewing the real thing in the distance.

To provide another perspective, I videotaped a section of the concrete River from near the mouth to New Orleans.


The only downer during this visit was that Mrs Bear, on crutches, was not able to travel the entire length. She made it from the north end, almost to Memphis… And then kindly told me to finish the walk. I hustled down and found her ambling to look at the real thing as I returned. The walk seemed longer this time. I suggested that, in our 25 year absence, the map had somehow been lengthened. Mrs Bear, who is almost always right, scoffed and said that we were older… ???   I like my hypothesis better. Anyway, we love this park and river experience, enough so that we hope to come back when we are both at full locomotor capacity.

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