Review of Volume 4, DISCOVER! America's Great River Road
Memphis to the Gulf As reviewed in the S&D Reflector.
The newest volume in this comprehensive series of river guidebooks for the traveler/explorer along the Mississippi River features the Mississippi River Delta states: Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, to the very end of the navigable highway at Venice, Louisiana, river 10.8.
Volume 4 is the result of field work by river author, Pat Middleton, with her husband documenting their journey with excellent photography. There are many area maps in the book which cover the Great River Road section-by section, plus detailed maps of cities and historic sites which clearly identify locations of interest to travelers. The approach reminds this reviewer of the Ohio Guidebook produced under the 1930s WPA Writers Program. We have enjoyed our Ohio Guide for many, many years! So this is high praise indeed for the DISCOVER! America's Great River Road guidebook to the Mississippi River.
After reviewing this volume, we are sure the tourist would miss much of the flavor of the Delta if he simply planned to follow the green and white pilot wheel road markers. Middleton's writing style is clear and her inquisitive approach leads to interesting places somewhat off the officially designated "Great River Road". These forays include restaurants with local color and lodging ranging from hospitable B&Bs to the most upscale plantation inns. We noted one recommendation for a B&B where no breakfast is served... the B&B stood for Beer & Bed!!
Other volumes in the series include, Volume 1, St. Paul, Minnesota to Dubuque, Iowa; Volume 2, Galena, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri. Volume 3 covers the river valley from St. Louis to Memphis. The New Madrid Earthquake, the history of Acadians in Louisiana, the re-emergence of eagles, pelicans, and cranes on the river, the story of prehistoric fishes in the Mississippi River are just a few of the many many facets of life along the river that are covered in this series.
Volume 4 is soft-bound, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 221 pages, with an index, appendix, and booklist. It is well illustrated with both photographs, drawings and maps. It is available from better bookstores and gift shops along the river, or online at www.greatriver.com/order.htm $19.95 plus shipping. Call 888-255-7726 toll-free if you prefer to order by mail. Middleton's website at www.greatriver.com also offers a wealth of river information to the river buff.