Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Postcards from the Journey - Day Two

Our second day of this amazing trip might be called lost in history.

We awoke in Winona, MS and headed north to Memphis, TN.  We joked about stopping at Graceland, but will leave that pilgrimage for another time.  We began to see signs that I-40 was closed due to the flooding.  We stopped at the visitor center at the Tennessee border and were told that it was the road west to Little Rock that was closed.  We were headed east to Nashville and the road was open - thank you Lord!  And please protect the people around the river.  Let the flood waters recede and the damage be minimal or nonexistent.

The visitor center had a very poignant commemorative plaque and sculpture honoring veterans.

As we drove through the beautiful corridor I-40 creates enjoying the lush green, Pam suddenly remembered that we were getting close to the burial site of Meriwether Lewis - of Lewis and Clark fame.  She had read a great book about their mission and the life of Lewis and really wanted to visit the place he is buried.

Pam called her sister Eileen who looked the site up on the internet and was able to give us the global position points which we fed into the GPS.  Up came the "Meriwether Lewis National Monument!"  The place was only about an hour out of the way so we decided to go for it.

One of the things that seemed a little odd is that we didn't find any road signs for the place along the way.  There were signs for Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch, and not just billboards, official looking directional markers, but nothing that would lead a visitor to the monument of this American hero.

If that doesn't say something about America today I'm not sure what will.

The monument is located in a state park along the old Natchez Trace Highway that includes the restored structure of the inn in which he died and a memorial monument a few hundred feet away.  History records that Lewis committed suicide, but many have long doubted the accuracy of that assessment.

The grounds of the inn are under repair, but the place was still beautiful.  The only sound was the wind using the leaves like a million tiny tongues, and the calls of the birds.

Meriwether, the deeds of even great men fade into memory and shadow.  Thank you for the sacrifices you and your men endured to open the great expanse that is America.

1 comment:

  1. This is very cool, guys. Great idea. I'll probably start planning my own trip to NY after I'm done reading this blog!