A love of travel and hours staring longingly at the globe, have instilled in me an appreciation for geographic milestones. Like most travelers to Kenya, I’ve straddled the equator. When living in England, Greenwich and the Prime Meridian enabled me to plant a foot in both the Eastern and Western Hemisphere.
I’ve traveled around the world twice, lived at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, and been on most of the continents.
And over these years of wandering, I’ve developed a weakness for any sign that says, “tallest, biggest, most ___________ (fill in the blank). It’s akin to John Travolta in the movie Michael, where a big part of the plot is a “Roadside Americana” cross-country trip designed to pass by the biggest ball of twine, etc.
Given my predilections, it came as no surprise to Terri when I requested a detour to the source of the Mississippi River, on Lake Itasca, in the boonies of north central Minnesota.
Because when I read that I could walk across the Mississippi River, there was no question that I had to go.
The Mississippi River inspires superlatives. It’s 2500 miles long, the 3rd largest drainage basin in the world, and 2 miles wide at its widest navigable point. It was the first US interstate highway, it flowed backwards during the New Madrid earthquake, and had cut-throat pirates (more on this later).
And as I gaze out upon what can only be called “The Mighty Mississippi” from the levee at Jackson Square in New Orleans, I think, “I walked across this river when it was a trickle”. Amazing!