Mississippi River Exploration
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." ~ Geri
June 2008 - Trip Home Page

T r i p    N a v i g a t i o n
Site Homepage      Trip Overview      Route Overview

D a y    P a g e s
More days, more pages :)
Day Date Stopped at Highlight
1 Tuesday, June 17, 2008 Little Falls, MN Headwaters!
2 Wednesday, June 18, 2008 Winona, MN Wandering downtown Minneapolis
3 Thursday, June 19, 2008 Davenport, IA The Great River Road
4 Friday, June 20, 2008 Pontoon Beach, IL Dodging the flooding
5 Saturday, June 21, 2008 Memphis, TN Signs, signs, everwhere are signs
6 Sunday, June 22, 2008 Jackson, TN Clarksdale and Vicksburg
7 Monday, June 23, 2008 Gulfport, MS Goodbye Old Man
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T r i p    O v e r v i e w
On this trip we'll drive the length of the Mississippi River, north to south. (Lots of good links at that link.)

The trip will begin at the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. From there we'll drive alongside the river, at least as much as we can, as it flows all the way to New Orleans and then to the Gulf of Mexico.

Wikipedia has a very good map of the river here.

To make the trip a little more interesting, I've decided to drive across every bridge that crosses the river. (Yes, I know about the collapsed I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, MN. That will have to be an exception.) That decision lead to this trip's adage, displayed at the top of this page, which I received in an email from high school friend Geri. Thanks!

When I first told The Navigator of my plan he was outraged, of course. He said that finding every bridge that crosses the Mississippi River was impossible. I said fine, I'll do it myself. And I did, or at least I started.

As has been stated before, we use the Delorme Street Atlas software to plan our routing. On the road we use the software on a notebook computer along with a GPS unit (click on the GPS Specs tab in the previous link) to stay on track. Note that using this software and hardware was originally the Navigator's idea (scroll down to the New Toys section) and thus he has been rather protective of it.

So I started laying out the route. The Delorme software has a pretty steep learning curve and I struggled a bit. The Navigator hovered nearby. He was observing my progress and seemed rather anxious. After about 30 minutes of my stumbling along, I guess he got nervous about job security and told me to get out of the way, that he'd finish the route. We had a conversation and agreed that we would work as a team: He would do the routing and I'd maintain a list of the bridges we'd be crossing. This collaboration worked very well. Go here to see The Navigator's routing maps.

For those of you in a hurry, just click on one of the day pages above to get started. Those of you with a more leisurely attitude may enjoy this extra commentary.

Late Update
You know about the flooding. Please pray for those affected. The flooding may change our route. No way to know this ahead of time so we'll just go with the flow (stop groaning :). Seriously, the truck/camper has been outfitted with industrial strength pontoons just in case. Mark Twain would be proud, I'm sure.

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What are you doing down here? All the good(?) stuff is up above.