Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goin' down to the river

After the basket ball game Sunday, I trotted over to Beale Street and started clicking. (I'll post some of those photos another time.) You've heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, right? I may have shutter finger syndrome. When my finger was numb from overuse, I decided to walk down to the Mississippi river. It's nearly one mile wide at Memphis, and I love to see this mighty creation of nature, and watch the boat traffic. Some things in life change, but not the river -- it just keeps moving south, and you have to admire its power. Join it or get out of the way -- I'm just sayin'.

The photos were taken with my point-and-shoot. FedEx Forum won't let me take my good camera in. I was told that I might take a photo and sell it on e-bay. Ha, ha, boy, that's great -- gimme a break! If I had thought about it beforehand, I would have brought my good camera and left it in the car, then retrieved it after the game. Anyway, the small camera is still pretty good, as you'll see in the photos below.

When I was close to riverside, it was almost sundown. I started running to get in a good position to take some photos. When the sun begins to set, it happens fast. So much for giving my finger a rest.

My small camera has presets. One of those is dusk/dawn and another is sunset, and I used both. The photos with purple are the ones taken with the camera settings from the dusk preset, like this one:

The orange and gray photos (see bext) are taken when I was using the sunset preset.

Memphis has four bridges. Two are for cars and two for trains.

The southern-most bridge (above)was completed in 1949. It's named the Memphis and Arkansas Memorial Bridge, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who knows it by that name, let along calls it that. If you asked a Memphian its name, they would just say, "It's the old bridge." If you asked the name of the other bridge, they would likely just say, "It's the new bridge." New and old, I guess that describes them pretty well.

The Frisco Bridge was the first bridge built here. It was opened in 1892 and, at that time, was the third-longest bridge in the world. It was originally for trains, but later they opened it up to automobiles, too. It's now used for trains only, as originally intended. The bridge is located 200 feet north of the Memphis and Arkansas Memorial Bridge. When you look at them above, you basically just see one bridge, but there are actually three (there's a second train bridge called the Harahan Bridge).

We lie on the New Madrid Fault where one of the world's strongest earthquakes was recorded in the early 1800s. Last year, they retrofitted the bridge to make it earthquake proof. Interstate 55 crosses the Mississippi here. Let's hope we're ready for the "big one."

I love how the clouds reflect the sunset (below) with a blue-sky background.

The northern bridge (above) is the Hernando de Soto Bridge, named after the Spanish explorer, and opened in 1973. As I mentioned above, it's usually simply called the new bridge. It's six lanes across and nearly six miles long. Interstate 40 crosses it. What you see here is less than one-fourth of it.

The bridge is what's called a tied-in double-arch structure and cost $57 million to build. The arches are to the right and not shown in the image above.

Nature really is amazing.

Each evening, Mother Nature gets out her easel and her paints and puts on a show for us.

Do you prefer the purples and blues, or the burnt oranges? I can't decide.

Click here to learn more about the Memphis bridges.


  1. More great pics!

    I was thinking about heading to Memphis last weekend, but things just didn't work out. I still plan on coming sometinme this summer -- after a stop at Lambert's Cafe, of course.

  2. @bastin: thanks

    @laightning: be sure and keep me posted -- we can show them how bloggers do pokering!

  3. Great pics! I love the blue/purple. You are so right; they are the 'old' and 'new' bridges to us. lol

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