This morning we drove down to the visitor’s center and parked the car.  Tom got all our bikes off of the bike rack because we were planning to ride across the bridge to Mud Island.  As it turned out, Tom’s bike is broken, so Ben rode his bike while Tom and I walked across the bridge to the island.

IMG 8141Mud Island has a miniature version of the 1,000 mile lower Mississippi River that is a one-half mile concrete sculpture.  Each step (or 30 inches) represents one mile. This flowing model portrays important features of the river and its floodplain, with an inlaid street map of each major community along is banks.  A vertical scale of one inch to eight feet emphasizers the wandering elevation.  The buff-colored center portion of the model is the Mississippi floodplain, including all the holes, sandbars, bends, and oxbow lakes that surround the river channel.

The river model is a giant jigsaw puzzle, made up of 1,746 pre-cast concrete panels, each weighing 8 1.2 tons,  An average of 1,200,000 gallons of waster flows through the system.IMG 8139

Looking down on the Mississippi River model as we descended the stairs

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Some major cities along the river are depicted on the side.  Here is Baton Rouge

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Tom is standing beside the Bonne Carrie Spillway in his hometown of Norco

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Before we left on vacation they were planning to open the actual Morganza Spillway in Louisiana on June 6 because of flooding in the midwest states, but the opening was postponed indefinitely 

IMG 8179The first bridge in the background is the one we walked across to get to Mud Island.

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IMG 8161Look carefully and you can find all three of us in Memphis

We walked from Mud Island back up to Beale Street where we ate a quick lunch at Subway before touring the Memphis’ Rock & Soul Museum..

IMG 8196The Rock and Soul Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

A complex of museums and historic buildings.  Its exhibits trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the US from the 17th century to present.  The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

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King was standing outside of room 306 when he was shotIMG 8202

Statute of Rosa ParksIMG 8203

Lunch counter sit in in Greensboro, SC where black citizens were not allowed to be served.IMG 8206

Klansmen attacked the Freedom Riders in Anniston, AL by slashing the bus tires and then threw a firebomb into the bus.  At first they held the bus doors shut to keep people couldn’t escape, but eventually the doors were opened and everyone was able to escape.

Peabody Hotel and its ducks

At 4:45 when we were walking past the Peabody Hotel on our way back to the car, we decided to go back in and see if they was room to see the ducks get out of the pond and walk along the red carpet to the Duck Palace on the roof of The Peabody Hotel.  This time we got lucky and were actually able to see them.

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Swimming in their fountain (notice the steps and red carpet on the left side used for their exit from the fountain)

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The Duckmaster in his red jacket guiding the ducks down the carpet.  (The two boys walking behind the Duckmaster were honorary Duckmasters for the day)

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Ducks walking into the elevator

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The Duck Palace on the roof where the ducks live.IMG 4030

Travel Data

  • We walked 15,625 steps or 6.8 miles today
  • Total miles driven 1,508 miles in the motorhome
  • Total miles driven in car 617 miles in the car
  • We are staying at the Graceland RV Park $47.30 per night for a total of $591.33
  • Gas $546.67, $30.37 per day