A cousin from France came to visit me when I lived in Memphis in the late 1970s and sniffed (as only the French can) when she saw the Mississippi River. “Our river in Paris,” she proclaimed, “is clean!”
Well, the Mississippi drains a whole lot more of this countryside than the Seine does, and the current has a lot of mud suspended in it. Run-off from farmland, even when there is no seasonal flooding, as well as the spring snow melt, all add up to a brown hue to the river. But, admittedly, the river is not clean. Don’t eat the catfish.
We’re used to images of the Mississippi being wide.
If you ever want a fun summer afternoon, go to Mud Island in Memphis where a model of the Mississippi River has been in place. Built to scale, it provides a cool way to wade your way through the geography of the river south of the Missouri River.
However, there is one part of the river that few people visit….its headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. There, you can actually walk across the Mississippi in about 5 steps!
Love those plastic rain hats….not! LOL
Okay…1959, people…give it a break!