A Landing a Day

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Tupelo, Mississippi

Posted by graywacke on July 31, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2359; A Landing A Day blog post number 791.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o 3.658’N, 88o 51.144’W) puts me in NE Alabama:

My not-so-local map shows that I landed near the usual VP* of small towns, but also near Tupelo:

*veritable plethora

As you can guess by my singular post title, the VP of small towns are VH*

*veritably hookless

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Tallabinnela Ck; on to the Town Ck; on to the Tombigbee River (8th hit):

Note the peculiar straight river segments.  More about that in a bit. 

Zooming back, you can see that the Tombigbee almost makes it to the Gulf, but gets cut off by the Mobile River (22nd hit):

Let’s move on to the ceremonial placement of the random lat/long yellow pushpin. Click HERE to make it so.

Notice the road near my landing?  Looks like a likely Street View vantage point.  And by jove, it is:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I moved him a few miles east to get a look at the Tallabinnela Creek:

And here ‘tis:

Ere I forget, let me return to the peculiar straight waterway stretches apparent on my closer-in landing map that I mentioned earlier.  It turns out I’ve discussed this waterway in my January 2010 “Smithville Mississippi” post:

In 1984, at a cost of nearly $2 billion, the federal government completed the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (the “Tenn-Tom”).  It provides a navigatable link between the Tombigbee River (and the Gulf of Mexico) and the Tennessee River (and the downstream Ohio and Mississippi Rivers). 

From the Tenn-Tom website, here’s a map showing the waterway, and how it connects the two watersheds:


And this, about the “Divide Cut,” where they had to simply cut a channel through the uplands separating the Tombigbee & Tennessee watersheds.  From the same website:

Ten years of work, at a cost of nearly $500 million, were needed to excavate a canal through the divide that separates the watersheds of the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. The deepest cut is 175 feet and the average depth of excavation along the entire 29-mile reach is 50 feet.

While the breadth of the cut at the top of the natural terrain is nearly one-half mile wide, the canal itself is 280 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The 150-million cubic yards of earth removed (nearly one and one-half times that excavated in building the Suez Canal) were carefully deposited and landscaped in the valleys along the canal.

Here’s a picture of the Divide Cut:

Back to now, and I’ll move right along for a quick visit to some Indian Mounds nearby.  The 1000-year old Owl creek mounds are 4 miles west of my landing.  From the CampingGalore blog, here’s a picture of the larger mound:

The 2000-year old Bynum mounds are 12 miles south.  Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by HareBall:

One can only guess what the Native American culture and civilization was like, here near my landing.  Just thinking about America before white men reminds me of my Keene and Alberene, VA post (October 2016), where I said the following:

Some number of years ago, I read a book entitled “1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” by Charles C. Mann.

He supports the position that there were many 10s of millions of Native Americans in North & South America prior to Columbus (maybe even more than 100 million).  He also supports the notion that the culture was much more advanced than is commonly thought.

He believes that 90% – 95% of the Indian population died of white man diseases (primarily small pox) and that for the most part, they died without even seeing any white people!  The diseases spread so quickly and were so devastating that by the time white explorers reached interior regions, most Indians were long dead; the civilizations long collapsed.

I’ll show you my local landing map again.  Note the Natchez Trace Parkway:

Now check out my local landing map for my April 2013 Port Gibson MS post:

There it is again!  This landing was in the opposite (southwestern) corner of Mississippi.

Here’s a Natchez Trace map (from TheRoadJunkies.com).  You can see Port Gibson, the site of my earlier landing:

And from Wiki:

The Natchez Trace is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. It was created and used for centuries by Native Americans, and was later used by early European and American explorers, traders and emigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Today, the trail is commemorated by the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the approximate path of the Trace.  Parts of the original trail are still accessible.

I couldn’t find any of the original Trace near today’s landing, but note that the Bynum Mounds were very close (if not right on) the original Trace.

Finally. It’s time to visit my terrific titular town, Tupelo.  Class!  Class!  I want everyone who knows the famous native son of Tupelo to raise their hand!  Really?  And I thought everyone knew that Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo. . .

Just in case you forget what he looked like, here’s a screen shot of Google Images:

But I must say that even though I did know he was born in Tupelo, I’ve never been there, and I’ve never even seen a picture of the house where he was born.  Well, here ‘tis (GE Pano shot by Matt Klos):

This is part of a very touristy hunk a hunk a real estate in Tupelo that includes (in addition to the house) an Elvis Presley museum (only $17/adult admission).  Wanna check it out?  Click HERE to visit ElvisPresleyBirthPlace.com.

It’s time for me admit that I’m not much of an Elvis fan.  I’m a total rock ‘n roll fan, and somewhat of a student of rock ‘n roll history, so I appreciate Elvis’ huge contribution.  But I was born in 1950, and Elvis burst on the scene when I was still a kid in the ‘50s.  And I was one of those kids who held on to his kid-dome for as long as possible.  When I was 12 (1962), I remember actually thinking that I’d like to stay a kid as long as possible, fending off that pesky adolescence.  So rock ‘n roll?  That was for my sister Tacey (4 years older).

Let me show you the Wiki list of “Notable People” from Tupelo:


There are a couple of music guys in whom I have no interest (no fault of theirs; just my bias, and I’m in charge); along with a bunch of athletes, none of whom I’ve even heard of (not their fault).  And then Elvis. 

But there was another name I was looking for, but wasn’t there:  Paul Thorn!  Here’s what Wiki has to say about Paul:

Paul Wayne Thorn (born July 13, 1964) is an Southern rock, country, Americana, and Blues singer-songwriter whose style is a mix of blues, Country, and rock music.  Thorn was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin but raised in Tupelo, Mississippi after a family move when he was an infant.

Before his professional music career began he was a professional boxer. Boxing career highlights include winning the Mid-South Middleweight Championship in Memphis, Tennessee and a nationally-televised bout with former world champion Roberto Durán.

Paul became a professional musician in the late 1990s, and put out a series of albums.  Back to Wiki:

In 2014, Thorn released the album “Too Blessed to Be Stressed,” which he described as a collection of “positive anthem songs.”

“I wrote these songs hoping they might put people in a positive mindset and encourage them to count their own blessings, like I count mine,” Thorn observes. “There’s no higher goal I could set for myself than to help other people find some happiness and gratitude in their lives.”

So Jody and I have seen him four times:  Sellersville PA, Wilmington DE, Annapolis MD and Ardmore PA.  He’s a great storyteller; is absolutely genuine and positive, and he plays great rock ‘n roll.  He’ll be back in Sellersville (about 45 minutes from my home in NJ) in November.  We’ll be there!

Oh, geez.  What videos should I feature?  He’s got so many great songs.  Here’s an older song (2010), before he got off on being positive:


And here’s one of my favorites “You Might Be Wrong:”


Here’s a very cool video of Paul discussing his latest album:


So.  Not much in the way of scenic GE Pano shots.  Davis Lake is about 5 miles west of my landing.  Here’s a shot by GypsyRR:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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