Wednesday, May 7, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Day 13, 5/7/08

Today, Day 13, was a tourist day. We really have to commend Memphis (MEM) as a neat tourist town. For those of you that travel the rivers and are familiar with Chattannoga’s (CHA) riverfront, this is comparable but different. Both cities have definitely made a big deal of their riverfronts. CHA is more modern and has the 2 big aquariums as a focal point. MEM of course has the old city look with the trolley cars, brick paved streets, etc.

It appears that most of the original buildings are still in place with facelifts and restorations common and still occurring. Beall Street is the location for their music history and BBQ.

We ate lunch at the famous Blues City BBQ. Hey, it said it was famous and there was a picture of Bill Clinton eating there. That would do it wouldn’t it?

We strolled through the Peabody Hotel, famous for its duck walk on the red carpet twice each day. And here’s a photo of the Episcopal church we visited on Sunday.

Here at Mud Island, we want to note the fantastic display of the Lower Mississippi River. It is ½ mile long and shows the watershed areas that feed the river, a very detailed topographical depiction of the river and all its tributaries, including below water and above ground as high as the levee system surrounding it. The display begins with water flowing down from all the states that feed it and its tributaries.

The water settles into those tributaries such as the IL, OH, TN, Cumberland, etc., and the MS itself. Then it flows as the MS flows, except this one has children on school field trips walking in it. Markers are placed along the display with guides covering much of the history along these river banks. It’s really amazing how many towns have grown and then perished as the river flowed out of its banks and created new channels and beds in the river. It was particularly interesting to see the areas we have traveled. For example, here’s the area where the Cumberland and TN Rivers flow close to each other in Grand Rivers, KY. The Cumberland is on the right, the TN on the left, and about 1/3 up the picture is the man-made canal connecting the two. You can also see the dams for each just beyond the canal.

Here’s the Cumberland joining the Ohio.

And the TN joining the OH 10 miles downstream.

And the OH joining the MS at Cairo.

Our current location at Memphis. We're at the bottom right at the foot of the I40 bridge. That's I55 to the left.

And an aerial shot from the 3rd floor

Rain is still forecast for the watershed areas flowing into the Arkansas so it may be fall before we get to Muskogee! I guess we should be thankful we made it this far where we at least have some things to do and places to see (and we are thankful). We could be tied up to our corn barge in Caruthersville! Speaking of Caruthersville – here she is on the MS River display.

Here's my boss's suggestion - "Might want to consider scuttling that tub you're in and getting one of my Formula Fas Tech race boats. When the hull isn't in contact with the water, it doesn't make much difference what the current is. Kind of like it doesn't make much difference how steep the hills are you're flying over. Probably by spending $400,000.00 on the new boat, and another $400,000.00 in fuel, we will have you in Muskogee in a couple of days." Guess we'll have to continue in the tub!

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