Please don't use the "Send page" feature of your computer to
send this entire page in an e-mail message, document or pdf
format.  If you'd like to share it, please just send the link.
The link to this page is:
Down the Mississippi
We've traveled all over the world on this site, but this page will bring us closer to my own home
territory.  We're boarding a riverboat to travel down the Mississippi, from its headwaters in
Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana -- where I grew up only blocks from the great river.
The sea is all about us, but the river is within us. -- T. S. Eliot
Carroll County, Illinois
The sounds of foghorns lulled me to sleep and the music of calliopes from steamboats docked at the
French Quarter filled my childhood  dreams.  I admit to being prejudiced on the subject of the river and
having a deep affection for it that someone who didn't grow up next to it might never understand.
Poet, T. S. Eliot, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, said, "There's something in having passed one's
childhood beside the Mississippi River that is incommunicable to those who have not.  I consider
myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, New York or London."  My feelings
 are the same as Mr. Eliot's.  The river, I believe, shapes us and remains always within us.
The pictures on this page were all taken from the river itself or from its banks.  I've
included the specific locations, when known.  The top photo is from Vicksburg, Mississippi.
-- Nancy
The beginning of the MIssissippi, Clearwater County, Minnesota
Through history, music and literature, the Mississippi River helped
create America's soul.
-- National Center for Mississippi River
The Mississippi is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary, is
in all ways remarkable.
-- Mark Twain, "Life on the Mississippi"
The state of Arkansas
Lacrosse, Wisconsin
State of Minnesota
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
The lore of the Mississippi, the feel of it, was in my bones.  Going up and down the river to
New Orleans, I was pleased to think that the city held something of the past I was exploring.
The theme of the river occurred over and over, the mysterious river itself as broad as a sea.
State of Iowa
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cruise ship and paddlewheeler: Port of New Orleans, Louisiana
The face of the water became a wonderful book which told its mind to me without reserve,
delivering its most cherished secrets  And it was not a book to be read once and thrown
aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.  
-- Mark Twain, "Life on the Mississippi"
"Queen of the Mississippi"
Bridge: Natchez, Mississippi - Vidalia, Louisiana
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, Natchez, Mississippi
Near St. Cloud, Minnesota
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  The river runs over
rocks from the basement of time.  On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops.
-- Norman Maclean
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
LeClaire, Iowa
State of Missouri
The Mississippi is different.  It's long, slow, unwinding effort so far beyond the
reach...that the end feels more fantasy than real.  I can't sprint, I can't rush to the
end.  I can only paddle day after day, while the river and I smile at each other and
pretend we aren't waiting for the other to give in.  
-- "Long Way to New Orleans"
Bridge:  Illinois - Missouri (only bridge in the U.S. with a sharp turn in the middle)
State of Minnesota
Clinton, Iowa
Now, ain't you glad you went with me,
Straight on down that Mississippi?
We took a boat to the land of dreams,
Heaven on earth, they call it New Orleans.
--  J. Forrest, O. Washington, "Basin Street Blues"
Near Vicksburg, Mississippi
"The American Queen"
New Orleans, Louisiana
-- M. W. Child, "The Mighty Mississippi"