The landing at Memphis
Some of the young trees in the park are succumbing under deluge of water.
We had an extra half day in Memphis which was very welcome as there is so much to see and do.
The bad news is that we can’t get up to Red Wing and Minneapolis because of the flooding. A number of the docks in the towns we were scheduled to stop at are under water.
The good news is that we have an alternative - shortly we will be changing course and sailing up the Ohio River and finishing on the same date in Cincinnati. The riverboat company will just change our flight from Minneapolis to Chicago to Cincinnati to Chicago. I have to say I am not surprised as the river has risen a few inches as we have been sailing north instead of receding as expected. So a new adventure awaits us. One of which is getting under a couple of railway bridges. When they were built they didn’t worry if they made it difficult for steamboats to go under because they wanted their cargo to go by railroad instead. The railroad companies also had a good lawyer in Abraham Lincoln. These bridges still provide a challenge today especially when the river is in flood.
The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is built around the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4 1968. We had viewed the balcony where he was standing when he was shot but were taken by surprise when the route through the very comprehensive museum ended in the actual unit where he was staying!
The whole museum was extremely moving as protest after protest ended in violence, death or imprisonment. The collaboration of authorities was particularly disturbing. The FBI would just wait before going in to a situation to protect people. It was all very sobering.
On a more positive note we were fascinated walking down Beale St where all the bars and blues clubs are. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do the tour of Sun Studios but we did go into the Peabody Hotel where there is a flock of half a dozen ducks who have their own quarters in the hotel and every morning at 11am the follow the duckmaster - the Peabody Duck March - down where they spend the rest of the day swimming around in the hotel lobby fountain. They only spend three months at the hotel and
then they are returned to the wild. They used to have turtles and baby alligators in the fountain. Not sure about the alligators! It’s not a very big fountain either.
Memphis has a large pyramid built just because they wanted something to put them on the map. In it is a hotel and a large Pro Bass outdoors shop. They have ducks and alligators too, not just in the same pond.
I had a success with my phone today - I downloaded the AQ bus app which worked a treat. We could where each bus on the route was and rush out to the stop just in time to catch it. In the morning they go every 15 mins bit only every half hour in the afternoon which is a long time to stand in the heat and sun if you just miss one.
Our next stop is Paducah where we will stop for two nights and join in the 4th July celebrations although Ian said he is going to wear a black armband as Britain lost the colonies.
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