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Tag Archives: Mississippi River

Stage Two.


Coming down Oak Street, New Orleans blew me one last kiss: a glimpse of Jacque-imo’s and its famous gator-painted pickup truck. Every time I see something interesting in New Orleans, I realize how unimaginative and boring everyplace else is. I’ve seen pickup trucks and restaurants all over America, but only in New Orleans have I […]

Fiddler Crab Holes.


Throughout Louisiana, the roads are at least slightly embanked to deal with flooding, and the river of course is heavily leveed, and the material for the banks and levees typically comes from nearby – generally the ground adjacent to the road or levee.  So you are always travelling next to a ditch.  The drier ditches […]

The Mississippi River at New Orleans.


The Beginning of the Disasters.


Lexington, Kentucky gaped out its windows on the 15th of April at the half-inch of snow which had fallen in the night.  The crab-apple blossoms and cars had lost their colors in the white and gray. I sighed.  I had brought the winter down with me.  Yesterday the girls were all walking around in short […]

Day One: From Clarity to Clouds and Rain.


After a few days not spinning my wheels in New York City – I was making attempts at buying gear for the trip, and failing as I typically do in anything related to shopping – I finally left New York around noon on Monday the 14th of April.  I came to the conclusion that if […]

Within A Month.


I am planning a long bike trip this spring, along the entire length of the Mississippi River, from the Gulf to its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota.  I’ve long thought of doing this, and I think the time has come.  Springtime is an excellent time to do it, and my work at the Sugar […]

Hannibal Without Mark Twain.


From Cuivre River State Park I drove on up to Hannibal, Missouri.  Mark Twain was born just outside town, and he spent his boyhood just up the block from the main intersection, where the road from the river landing crosses Main Street.  The town is well-preserved, and Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn turn out to […]

At Cairo.


I remember as a kid reading about Cairo, Illinois, the town that sits at the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi, and even then I wanted to go there, fascinated by the idea of such a meeting of waters.  The town is mentioned in Huck Finn – it should have been the place where Huck […]

Sold down the river.


Sometimes things strike you suddenly, after long delay.  I took a trip up the Mississippi, and saw a few plantations, among other things.  And here is New Orleans, one of the two great slave marts of America (the other being Charleston), at the very bottom of the river.  And I realized the origin of the […]

Rising Tide, by John M. Barry.


When I heard that many in New Orleans (especially blacks) believed that the Army Corps of Engineers had dynamited the levees protecting the city’s black neighborhoods just after Hurricane Katrina hit, I dismissed the notion as yet another conspiracy theory. These seem to proliferate wherever the powers of the human mind languish unfertilized by action […]