Reelfoot Lake / West Tennessee

DCIM118GOPRO

DCIM118GOPRO

One of Braden’s favorite parts of the trip so far is apparently the way his voice sounds echoing off the concrete and tile of the bathhouse. This is a little annoying, but usually harmless if it’s whale sounds or a coyote howl.

Usually.

After trying out our kayak he and I got in the shower with me still in my swim trunks. That’s when he decided to ask loudly “What’s your name? Are you really my Daddy?”

Awkward. If he had added anything about going back to the camper to get candy, I might be writing this blog from jail.

This was just a few days after I had accidentally started playing Wynnona Judd’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”  while drying off in the shower stall instead of the baseball podcast I had meant to play. Public showers are interesting places.

Now, more from the Mississippi Delta.IMG_1185

From the LBL, we headed almost as far north and west as you can possibly go in Tennessee and mostly spent several days looking at trees. It was way more fun than it sounds.

IMG_0338The cypress trees at the very northern end of the Delta are pretty awesome. Reelfoot Lake is less than 4 miles from the Mississippi, about 80 miles downstream of where the Ohio joins Big Muddy at Cairo, Illinois. Reelfoot is Tennessee’s only natural lake. It was created in 1812 when an earthquake made the Mississippi River run backwards and spill into a shallow depression.

The Legend of the Native American Chief Reelfoot is much more scandalous and involves him stealing a princess and being punished by having his village flooded.

The cypress trees remind me of Florida. Very cool spot and the campsite backed right up to the water. I tried to string up my Eno hammock to one of the trees, but my 7-foot hammock strap wouldn’t reach around it.

We tried out our inflatable kayak for the first time and we were all pleased with how it handled/paddled. It was easy to set up, faster than I expected and very stable. It allowed us to, of course, look at trees from a different angle.We also saw a huge osprey nest with an osprey home. Sorry to sound like a hippie or a Lorax, but we just loved the trees.

Speaking of being hippies, Braden discovered Beatles on the trip and now requests their music regularly. The only two musical artists he knows are the Beatles and Johnny Cash. I’m ok with that.

On one rainy night, we watched Big Hero 6, which I think is one of those rare movies that’s fun for grown-up and kids. Balalalalalala.

IMG_0299Jess and Braden visited the Reelfoot Lake State Park Nature Center where Braden got to hold an owl. He also made friends with a little girl named Emaline on the playground.

A real struggle for us has been getting him to bed on time, especially with the long days and central time zone. We pay for it the next day when he’s grumpy so we’re working to do better on that.

On to Nashville!

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Best town name we’ve seen so far: Bucksnort, TN

Best welcome sign: Welcome to Hartford, Ky. Home to 2,000 happy people and a few soreheads

Best/worst road name: Old Husbands Road in Paducah KY. The only visible businesses were a gun shop, a Harley Davidson Dealership and ShowMes (Hooters knockoff).

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