Southern Flashback: Football Pregame in The Grove at Ole Miss

ole miss football grove

Here’s another Memphis Flyer travel column from back in the day, this one from 1999. I took a Texas friend to a football game at Ole Miss, known formally as the University of Mississippi if you didn’t know that.

And while the column was written more than 21 years ago, I doubt much has changed at Ole Miss, at least in terms of the football party. The team has gotten worse, but the party probably only bigger. And they moved the confederate soldier statue from the middle of campus to a Civil War cemetery.

Otherwise, it’s Mississippi, so things change slowly, if at all.

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Photo and Video Slideshow: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, 1-14-2021

silver falls state park oregon - north falls

I don’t have anything impressive or important to add here. I just slipped through a somewhat rare dry-day-in-January window to get out to a waterfall haven called Silver Falls State Park. It had rained a lot the day before, so the show was particularly great. Here’s a bunch of photos and videos.

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My 1989 Visit to Wall Drug in South Dakota

wall drug south dakota

I doubt that Wall Drug, “the world’s most famous drug store,” has changed much since I went there in 1989, on a roadtrip from Memphis to Wyoming. It may well be bigger and weirder, though that’s a little hard to believe.

10 years later, I must have been looking at a Memphis Flyer travel column deadline and an empty ideas bin, because I dug up a photo and the 10-year-old memory of a place which, as I described it in this article, was “a drugstore, yes. It’s also a museum and a restaurant and a mall and a tourist attraction. It is essentially the only industry in the town of Wall, South Dakota, employing more than 100 of the 800 residents and taking up a quarter of its business district.”

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Magic Mountain; Or When This Tennessee Boy Visited Mount Shasta in 1999

Another from my years a travel writer for the Memphis Flyer — and in this case, “Memphis” is an important part of the story.

Not that the story happened in Memphis; far from it. It happened in Mount Shasta, California, which as someone told me in the article is “Just down the road from Weed.” I had only lived on the West Coast for three years at the point this story went down, so I was still, well, let’s say reserved about the spirituality I encountered there.

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Hiking Eagle Creek Trail After the Fire, 1-1-2021

eagle creek trail columbia river gorge oregon fire

I got a chance on New Year’s Day 2021 to go and hike some of the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge for the first time since the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

The trail reopened around December 31, 2020, and the highway exit on the following day. All of that can change any time, because especially after the fire, landslides will be more common in the area. That’s why the exit was closed, and Eagle Creek Canyon will be even more prone to slides than usual for quite a while.

Update: This trail did, in fact, close again in early January because of landslides. Check with the Columbia Gorge NSA for the latest.

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Up in My Own Personal Shangri-La

Linton Meadows in the Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon

One fun aspect of going back through my old Memphis Flyer travel columns has been re-living my first experiences with the state of Oregon.

Places which I have now been to several times, places which I am already in the process of missing as I make plans to move on from Oregon, were once places that revealed themselves to me on magical, epic journeys into a new land.

One such place is Linton Meadows, which I referred to in this Flyer article from April 8, 1999 as my own personal Shangri-La. I had been there for the first time in the summer of 1998.

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Travel Story: Old Friends on the Wall


Funny how life seems to go in little circles. For example, lately I’ve been combing through the 250 or so travel stories I wrote for the Memphis Flyer before 2012. Why? First to preserve them, but also to share them, since in everything I have ever done, I imagined I would one day tell the story to an audience, even an imagined one. To me, it’s all interesting.

I never did know what the actual audience in the Flyer was. I know that the audience for these posts now is incredibly small; only a dozen or so people ever click on any one of them. So I’ve considered cutting off the project, because what’s the point? I do want to save all the pieces, and I might as well share the “good” ones, but why? Hell, why save them at all?

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