I wish I could tell you it was the best road trip of my life.. It was not. The Great River Road left me with more questions than answers. It left me frustrated.
Was there beauty? Hell yes! the Mississippi is an absolute wonder. It is gorgeous and powerful and she has earned her name mighty. I grew up in Minnesota and know her origins of just a creek you can step across. I have spent a great amount of time driving The Great River Road between Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They were just roads to me no markers or calling them anything special.
I am not sure what I was expecting but what I got was an awakening to how things are so different and we don’t want to look at that that makes us uncomfortable. Because the south makes many a northerner uncomfortable.
I also found out that whoever marks the great river road is absolutely awful about it and about directions. Now keep in mind my trip ran from Memphis to New Orleans with some detours and changes. I stayed on the East side of the river all the way to Natchez, Mississippi.
Crossed over and drove the Louisiana side all the way into New Orleans or until I was off the trail again.
I had planned to camp this whole trip. That became difficult for a few reasons. I underestimated the time it could take to get from one place to another. Setting up camp in the dark is difficult but it is even harder in a place you do not know. Two it took longer because there is no real clear marking so I found myself lost several times. Now lost is a relative term because as long as you are going south you are heading in the right direction and if you go east you will hit a river. but know where I am and finding camping areas are two different things. Even turning to my trusty app The Dyrt I just was not comfortable.
I also had to adjust because of covid. The biggest thing I do not think we are really talking about is how seriously many people are taking this. We hear about anti-maskers in the big cities protesting and screaming for their rights acting like they have an army of people to back them up.
I am in the Red south Y’all and I see as many if not more people masked up here than back home. I am sure everyone will give a reason but I am just going to say poor people no matter their race, religion, or anything else knows that this is affecting them in larger numbers and when poor you do not have as good of health care. It is a privilege to be able to tell people they should not wear a mask. It is insulting to say not wearing a mask is some form of freedom. When what it really is, is privilege run wild.
I will attempt in the next few blog posts to share the good and the bad of a Trip that has been rally amazing. I will tell you to travel even in Covid Times. we will talk about some of what I saw and the people I talked to.