My “Someday List” is now one item shorter! I have driven the meandering course of the Mississippi River through America’s heartland, from its small stream birth to its awesome entrance into the Gulf of Mexico. The “Misi-ziibi” (Great River) in the Ojibwe Indian language, became the French “Messipi”, which evolved into the present name.
I visited the home turf of American icons, including Paul Bunyan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, Elvis, and the jazz greats of New Orleans, and each evening enjoyed fine whiskies along the way. The Mississippi begins at Minnesota’s Lake Itasca, where the crisp cool weather was perfect for single malt Scotches. In Memphis, the grand Peabody Hotel was the place to enjoy Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Classic Manhattans. Mint juleps added to the ambiance of strolling the elegant grounds of Monmouth Plantation in Natchez and the vibrant scene of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Venice, Louisiana is about a hundred miles south of New Orleans, and is the most southerly spot for seeing the Mississippi entering the Gulf of Mexico. The heat and humidity demanded ice cold beers.
2552 miles from headwaters, through the heartland, to heart-stopping vistas of water, the Mighty Mississippi touches ten states, the soul of America, and leads to some mighty fine whiskies along the way.
The following photos:
Crossing the river at its source – Lake Itasca, Minnesota
Hannibal, Missouri – Mark Twain country.
Barrel of Jack Daniel’s whiskey at the Peabody
A mint julep at Pat O’Brien’s, New Orleans
Venice, Louisana – a hundred miles south of New Orleans; 20 miles to the open gulf