"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away
from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tennessee River

Oct. 23 thru Oct. 30

For the past week we have been traveling down the Tennessee River. The river and towns along the way are rich in historical events, and wild life refuge.  In the fall more than 200,000 ducks and 25,000 Canadian geese arrive at the Tennessee national wild life refuge for protection.  Approximately 75 bald eagles over-winter here. In the picture to the left, if you look close you will see an osprey nest on top of a navigational marker.  By 1950 the osprey was nearly extinct due to use of of DDT, a commonly used pesticide.  In 1984 an effort to re-establish the population began. By 2002, a survey revealed 33 nests and 115 osprey. Adult osprey can be up two feet long and have a wingspan of as much as 6 ft.  Their nest can weigh as much as 200 lbs. What's really interesting is the duck blinds along the river, before and after the wildlife refuge. I must say they can be quite elaborate.

We went to the Shiloh Battlefield where on April 6th and 7th, 1862, "The Battle of Shiloh" took place.  The bloodiest military engagement in American history to date,  nearly 24,000 casualties in two days. A total  of 620,000 lives were lost in the civil war.  Many men, from both sides,  were buried in mass graves , and later moved to this cemetery.  A large portion of the tomb stones are marked "unknown soldier".

On a lighter note, we also went to Memphis TN, to Graceland.  I'm not sure that I ever
realized just how big of a entertainer Elvis was.  We were totally amazed at how accomplished he was in his short life.  A millionaire by the age of 21, 7 gold records in the first year, and 31 movies. Here are some pictures taken at his home.

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