Monday, June 9, 2014



Rosedale, Mississippi

I am sitting in the cold wind of a Mississippi River park here. I am alone in the park and likely to stay alone. This cold snap dramatically changed the weather and I am once again thankful for my nice winter hat and for the Frogtog rain jacket since there is an occasional light rain.

I had a bit of chicken and grits at a local convenience store. I was too early for the park so I just ate in my truck. At daybreak while I waiting at the park gates up came a skinny and unhappy fellow with a bit of light rain gear and his hands tucked in his pockets so the sleeves of the camouflage rain jacket swung as he walked.

I could not decide whether he was going to open the gate or if he might be a homeless person who lived in the park.

When he did not immediately answer my good morning, I began to get a bit nervous, as all the folks here in Mississippi are polite, but he passed me and went to the place where the two gates were connected by a chain.

I fiddled around looking for my rain gear. It must have been ten minutes. He was draped over the gate. I wondered if he was homeless and liked to sleep that way. He could have died and just be hanging there in the crook of the two gates.

But finally he must have found the right key and off he went to somewhere in the park without a word of welcome or explanation of the honor box but just his camouflage sleeves swinging as he walked.

The view is not as amazing as was reported in the Mississippi book but that may be because the river has changed course since the park was created. The main water is a good bit away, then there is lots of sand and a smaller section of the river.

I walked down a trail to the water while cardinals played along the path. Geese hooked their way overhead. I could see that the water did come up right to the path at times because there was debris there on the bank.

So here was another example of what Twain talked about in Life on the Mississippi.

Well, it is too cold to linger. I'm heading in to Clarksdale to find the blues museum and some barbecue or catfish and then I'm just going up to Tunica and cutting the middle part of the trip short. I'll see Keith there and perhaps spend a night or two in Memphis.

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