Head for the hills!

One of my most defining childhood memories is the Mississippi river bluffs of SE Iowa.  Here’s a picture of Burlington’s famous Snake Alley. Look on beyond the foot of it, and you’ll understand why the city bus routes have names like “South Hill”. ( That was the route to my grandparents’ home and another story for another day.)

Fast forward to my, um, “mature” years, and I’m living in Louisiana,  where the land is mostly river delta.  Admittedly, that delta is made of good Iowa topsoil that washed away, but here it is flat!  I’m like a woman who spends too much time in high heels, then can’t stretch her heel far enough to stand barefoot.  I need my bluffs; leave me too long on the flat, and I get melancholy.

(Insert disclaimer:  Baton Rouge has a river bluff.  I’ve seen driveways steeper than their “bluff”.  When we first came here in the 1970’s, and they pointed out Highland Rd as the river bluff, I lay on the floor laughing!  Just saying…)

Fortunately, there is a solution within driving distance, and yesterday DH surprised me with a day trip to see the hills.  We headed north up Highway 61 to Natchez, MS.  Yes, Natchez is built on river bluffs, but it is the hills you see on the approach to Natchez that make my heart sing.  As you come to the top of my favorite hill all the valley lays out before you.  DH indulged me and stopped the car so I could capture the scene.  Then I turned to the right and took a picture of the very top of the hill there. Why is that special?  If I had enough money I’d track down the owner of that land and build my dream house right there…with windows overlooking that glorious view.Here is the woods below “my” house site, just beginning to have some fall color.    Every time we drive by, I say “There’s my hill!”

Now you’ve seen my favorite spot in this part of the world.  Tomorrow, I’ll take you on a noon-time adventure in old Natchez.



  1. Knitnana said,

    November 5, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Oh! Roadtrip! FUN!!
    Mom’s sisters always got a chuckle over her saying she lived in the mountains of VA. Coming from Vermont, they referred to the Blue Ridge as “hills!”

  2. Jennifer said,

    November 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Great post. And anyone who ever thought Iowa was flat never road on RAGBRAI!

  3. AlisonH said,

    November 6, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Oh, amen. We live where it is so flat–but at least we have the coastal mountains in view. I’d go nuts if not for that. I grew up where everything was a steep uphill or downhill in our neighborhood, very little flatness anywhere, even for a block’s length.

    Love your pictures!

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