Swamp Museum

Tuesday 9 May 2006, 11:27 pm

Tuesday, May 9

It rained all night last night. We are thinking seriously about just staying in the hotel today. What can we do in all this rain?

I found an advertisement for the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. It is not too far from where we are staying. (Well, Jackson is just not that big.) Anyway, the museum was interesting. It has both an indoor and an outdoor setting. The indoor setting includes dioramas depicting Mississippi wildlife, an aquarium, and a reptile room with live alligators and turtles. There is also a rotating temporary exhibit, and at the time we visited, it was an exhibition of the photography of Mississippi native Stephen Kirkpatrick, who has written several books. The exhibit included not only his photographs of Amazon wildlife, but also tapes that let you hear the jungle in all its cacophony.

The outdoor portion includes walks along several trails through swamps. They promise lots of wildlife, but other than a group of turtles on a log and several lizards on a stairway, all we encountered were more biting bugs.

Then we continued up the Natchez Trace Parkway toward Tupelo. But it started raining again, there were more tornado warnings, and the road, as beautiful as it is, got boring. We decided to get off the parkway and head north toward Memphis. We were disappointed that in Natchez there were no river cruises. We hope to find a riverboat ride in Memphis. Also, the storms seem to be originating in west Mississippi and Louisiana, then moving across Mississippi to the southeaster toward the gulf. So maybe we can escape the rain by heading north.

Late tonight we arrived in the Memphis area. We found a motel in West Memphis, across the Mississippi river in Arkansas.