On my 39th birthday Karen, Michael and I drove down Natchez Trace to Tupelo, Mississippi. In the 1800s, men walked up this trail after sailing flatboats down the Mississippi River. Along the Trace, we saw Indian Mounds and the burial site of Meriwether Lewis. In Tupelo, we visited Elvis Presley's birthplace. Natchez Trace is a project of the National Park Service and free of commercialism.
I was reminded of other excursions. The Land Between the Lakes is run by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lakes are Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, formed by the damming of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Both rivers dump into the Ohio.
Cairo, Illinois, is where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi. Down around this area, we saw the archaeological site of so-called Mississippi Man. This burial ground is 1000 years old.
Karen and I visited Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park & Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro. Also Fort Campbell on the state line! We went to Mammoth Cave in 1980 and to Jonesboro in 1981 and 1982.
In 1982, we left the World's Fair in Knoxville in favor of the zoo.
The late 1970s and early 1980s was a time of travel. I roamed the country at will, seeing places I only dreamed of until my 30s. There were long trips west and short ones in and around Tennessee. I started alone. Then, I traveled with Karen. After Michael was born, things changed. We had a baby to raise!