Traveling rivers


Just imagine what it was like when people mostly traveled by rivers. Explorers found a land that had lots of rivers and waterways.

Nothing over here but native people and wonderful systems of rivers that can seemingly take people anywhere.

All through the Northeast trappers and traders shipped goods down south, out west and to other ports. Spaniards fought alligators and got around Florida with boats. The Mississippi river tied all this together and now a system of interstate highways cross the nation. It is incredible that all this works. The amount of goods that goes into ports, transferred up and down rivers and ends up at people’s houses is amazing.

I’m a pilot and I pay particular attention to rivers. Navigation is a big part of flying. Rivers don’t change much and you can follow them to different destinations. Head north out of New Orleans and you can get to some interesting places. Lots of towns and such are near rivers.

One of my friends and I delivered a plane to Texas recently. We both pay a lot of attention to rivers that we see. We do have sort of a game. We’ll see a river and if we don’t know what it is, we look at our maps and find out. Then we try to tell something about it. For instance, we were crossing the river and it was the Pearl River. I immediately said that the river went up to Jackson Mississippi. Right after we crossed the Mississippi River and of course we both spouted off something about that river.

When we delivered the plane we drove back to South Carolina. To continue the river game you have to keep a close eye out for new rivers.

This country is so big there are lots of opportunities to learn new things.

We were driving and trying to make airplane like speed on the interstate.

This trip we only got three new rivers. You do have to be paying attention. Tchoulacabouffa River is in Mississippi and is only 31 miles long. It heads down towards Biloxi. It was lucky that we got enough letters down correctly to find out any information on this river.

The Wolf River comes from Tennessee and goes into Mississippi and is 105 miles long. It is a big part of the Wolf River Conservatory. It feeds into the mighty Mississippi. Just about all the rivers feed into something else.

Lastly we came upon the Escatawpa River. It’s a 129-mile long river that runs through Alabama and Mississippi.

As you can tell, none of this makes much difference in the big scheme of things. Most people don’t really like geography in the age of GPS and navigation systems. Still, for me keeping up with rivers is good for my mind to try to remember things and have a good understanding of navigation. One day it might come in handy in case of electrical failure in an airplane or just the failure of the navigation system. Neither of those scenarios is very likely but I am prepared.

Until that happens, I can hope that watching an episode of Jeopardy rivers will be the final Jeopardy answer and I will know how to spell Tchoulacabouffa.