- It has been 73 days since I put in at the headwaters of the Mississippi River now, this seasoned traveler is looking longingly at the Gulf of Mexico only 439 miles away. As I run out of river I feel chance to reflect upon the adventure that has become understood to me, as every child’s fantasy of adventure, drama and change.
As a kid, adventure lived in the imagination provided to me through books, stories of fantasy and history but now, in its duration and realistic way, I have come to see adventure in the people, places and events that are shaping my weary arms. These stories are, the surmise of every stranger that approaches me as I pull ashore wishing or wanting to live out their own childhood fantasies, the Peter Pan saga of imagination and realism.
Now below Memphis I have found the Civil War history extensive and glorious. Folks around here still believe in Jefferson Davis (president of the south during the civil war) and his southern democratic idea of constitutional freedom, folks around here still live in the south… I have stood where Davis stood, seen documents Davis authored and garnered an appreciation for the eidolon whom represents the apotheosis of a southern gentleman.
The Civil war was one of the last real strategic, chess like examples of warfare. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Vicksburg, the fort or rook to the souths strategic plan. The very river view from the shop is where General Pemberton’s cannons held hostage the river advancement of Ulysses Grant and his Tennessee regiment. Once this mighty fort fell, the Mississippi Delta soon followed suit.
That’s the Mississippi, you can’t step foot on her shores without walking where an ancient man or women has previously walked.
The best part of the southern history is the museums. Everything in them, willed or given by locals who are 6th or 7th generation Southerners. Swords that great gran’ daddy carried into battle, fine china that the family has eaten off of for 150 years.
The picture above is of me standing inside one of the propeller housings, same size as every single barge or tow I paddle past. ~shout out to Layne Logue for the pic
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“… I have come to see adventure in the people, places and events…” I love this… there is such a richness in embracing adventure through our senses. To see, hear, touch, taste what history has created for us to observe and experience as we take one step at a time into the future.
MLK, Jr. believed, “we are not the makers of history, we are made by history.” History has molded us into who we are today… if we allow it to be our teacher, we may just walk into the future more aware and prepared.
I enjoyed the references to chess. I started studying the game of chess last night. I actually knew what you were talking about when you mentioned the rook… can I just call it the castle heehee.
Treasure these last 439 miles. You may be coming to the end the river, but this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey God has prepared just for you.
Thank you for being an inspiration, a leader, a teacher, and a good friend. So proud of you!
P.S. Great picture! Keep that smile on your face 🙂
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