Could you use a road trip? Well, hop in! I’m Gayle Harper, a travel photographer and writer working on a book about life along the Mississippi Great River Road. Click on the page About the Great River Road if you’d like to read about this National Scenic Byway. On August 24, I will begin a 90-day road trip covering the entire length of the GRR from its headwaters in Minnesota to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. Why 90 days? According to the National Park Service, a raindrop entering the Mississippi at its headwaters would take approximately that long to complete the entire journey to the Gulf. I’ll be wandering the GRR, keeping pace with my imaginary raindrop, visiting river towns and cities and rural communities. There will be time spent with hundreds of interesting people who will share their stories and their lives with us (I know this because it happens every time I have traveled any piece of the GRR). I’ll take thousands of photographs to capture every aspect of this experience, and many will be shared with you here.
The Mississippi River itself changes from a small wilderness stream to a majestic mile-wide current of power and finally to the point where it disappears as a separate entity and becomes one with the sea. Cultures, terrain, accents and lifestyles all change as we travel south. What seems to be consistent throughout all the changes, however, is a certain quality of authenticity and vibrancy to life along the Mississippi. It is this quality that draws me to this project and that I hope to share with you here.
Click on the page About This Journey if you’d like to read how life has delivered me to this point of loading the car and heading north, or just jump in with me and come along! You can sign up to be notified by email when a new post appears – just click on the box to the right or use the RSS feed if you like. I’ll post again in a few days and share some moments from previous GRR trips to give you a taste of the adventure ahead. You can just click and relax – I’m doing all the packing! Gayle