Mississippi Delta; heard of it, but never really put it together and never expected so much of it to cover Arkansas. A few years ago I crossed the Mississippi during flood stage in Saint Louis Missouri. It was roaring muddy water carrying with it everything in it’s path. Trees rolling down the river that could sink a boat. A few years later I went to the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota so I could say I walked across the Mississippi and I have ridden both sides of the river road from Minnesota to Memphis. This year I crossed the Mississippi the first time where it dumps into the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, I only crossed it and didn’t ride the river road north. My perception of the Mississippi river and the surrounding area was of the upper half and it never crossed my mind how much that would change south of Memphis. A few days ago, I crossed it again in Helena Mississippi on my way to NW Arkansas. I was not prepared for the vast expanse of the Mississippi Delta.
Instead of bluffs overlooking the river and roads right next to the river that I had been on, this area was one gigantic flood plain. Fields of cotton and what looked like rice? There was no river road even close and the demographics were totally different. The recent flooding from the north around Minneapolis I have been hearing about on the radio must have finally made it’s way down river because most all the crops were under water and farmers were pumping their fields off using tractors and portable pumps.
When I hear the words Mississippi Delta now, it will have a whole different meaning and I am singing about “when those cotton balls get a rotten, you can’t pick very much cotton” I even stopped and looked over some cotton gins, one of the first biographies I have read was about Eli Whitney and I wanted to be an inventor after reading it.
‘Hey, isn’t that how they mark shell casings after a shooting?”
I thought about telling these two guys to slow the hell down! Tennessee patrolman still ride Harleys and I swear their exhaust was modified and louder than mine.
At one time the front half of this train car was a radio station, but is now a library. The back half is still in the same condition it was left in 1948.
While I was going through the inside there were some girls in the old radio room taking voice lessons. The acoustics were pretty incredible. They sounded like angels as I walked through the library portion of the train.
Enter 1948 and travel by train. I can’t imagine sitting there or perhaps eating dinner at the table while someone was using the commode. Surely there was a curtain or something.
I bet Casey Jones had his own private commode.
Damn I love old trains but don’t think I can fit one in my garage, but look at the art in the whistle, bell and stack on this beauty ol 382 of Casey Jones fame.
And speaking of art, it is almost like the drips on this graffiti was placed strategically on purpose. Got a new camera and this was a test photo after I charged it up. I was gong to delete it but after looking at again, I like it enough to post it. Hopefully the blog pics are a lot better starting with todays post. The old camera was letting me down and I was so pissed yesterday when none of the 4th of July pics turned out.
While the graffiti art is kinda cool, I really enjoy art like this old repurposed lamp. Yeah I learned that word from American Pickers.
So much history in the south east part of the United States. I took a wrong turn and ended up in the parking lot of this Civil War Park. I was the only one there and even though it was hot hot, and I only intended to take a couple of pics of the cannon and leave, I was drawn by a magnet and walked the whole mile long walking tour.
The place was called Parkers Crossroads and it was a battle the Confederates won. Worth the walk and just fuels the fire to read and learn more about the Civil war and it’s battlefields. I read the brochure while sitting on this stump stool. Going to have to make a few of these!
While sitting there reading I kept hearing this bird sing an incredible song so I went looking for it. Thank you new camera because he really wasn’t that close. We don’t have these where I am from so quite a thrill for me. (and I am sure my friends from Missouri are shaking their heads.)
Next to a cabin at the civil war site was this rose bush. A sign informed me that it was a Living Civil War -era relic. Many a soldier would plant a rose or take a cutting from their mothers rose bush to remind them of home and their mother. It is cabbage rose and a was grown from cutting off the original bush planted during the civil war. Old roses do not have the qualities of modern roses like shape, color or long blooming flowers but they do have a sweet perfume. I know the pic is not that great but the story is good.
I’m lost and tired of the 4 lane so I get off on the next exit to figure out where I am and find a new road. There is an exotic sex store on the left with people in the parking lot and a dozen semi trucks parked. On the right is an abandoned gas station with an unmarked Tahoe and a cop dressed in a swat uniform standing beside it. Guess which side I pull into?
The cop is standing on the passenger side of the Tahoe, I can’t really see him very well as I pull in on the drivers side. I shut the bike off and dig in the saddle bag for my phone and a map. I expected him to walk around and check me out but as I look up I don’t see him at all. Oh well, maybe he is on the phone or something, it did look like he had something sitting on a concrete block, maybe a laptop or surveillance equipment checking out the action across the street. The windows on the Tahoe are tinted but my eyes focus and I can now see him and I also see him slowly pull the strap back on his holster, oh shit!
“Hey, I m just sharing your shade and looking at my map” I show my hands. That is when I heard the unmistakable whine of a puppy dog.
The cop raised Boradors, half Border Collie and half Labrador and was meeting the new owner there to take this 7 week old cutie. For a minute, I was figuring out how to unload some stuff and make room for him on my bike, it was a long minute. He wanted to go with me too, I could tell!! I looked up the breed later and talk about a handful!
So we have a geography lesson, trains, civil war history, antiques, birds, flowers and puppy dogs, is it any wonder I don’t make good time. You might not even know I was on a motorcycle ride reading this. Have no doubt, I am and I’m smiling!
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