Gulf Revisited – 2011

Driving from Pearl to Memphis home

May 10 – 19, 2011


Part 1: Memphis to Trapp Farm

Part 6: So-So Golf for Birthday Boy

Part 2: Trapp Farm to Gulf Shores, AL

Part 7: Score of ‘59’ beats golfer’s age

Part 3: Golf Practice at Gulf State Park

Part 8: Upgrading Library Privileges

Part 4: Shopping at  Big Box stores

Part 9: Gulf Shores to Pearl, MS

Part 5: Condo Owners. Meeting

Part 10: Drive to home in Memphis


- Updated June 9, 2011


Several photos of the interior of our condo at Gulf Village, Ala., are posted on the website of our property manager, Kaiser Realty, which also has pix of the exterior of the complex as well as area beach shots. There are additional pix mainly taken by Betty Nolan during our trips to the area in recent years. They are posted at in various albums registered under Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email for instructions how to access the Kaiser pictures and also the Nolan pictures. 




May 19, 2011 – Thursday – Drive from Pearl, MS to our home in Memphis


I arose in a guest bed at SuAnne Turnage’s home in Pearl about 7:30 a.m., roughly 30 minutes after Betty got up to see her friend off to work and thank her for such warm hospitality.


I was feeling a little rocky after a night that was pretty sleepless due to my overindulgence in high-carbohydrate Mexican food and beer. Betty wasn’t feeling all that well either due to having to get up and move to a firm couch in the wee hours to ease the discomfort of a painful lower back that is a result of the aging process aggravating a birth defect.


SuAnne’s nice home seemed a little cool to us during the night, mainly due to unseasonably cool weather in Pearl and much of the Deep South where many new record low temperatures were being set at this unusual time of year.


Back “on duty” over a hot stove, Betty cooked me the last great breakfast of our late Spring trip of nearly two weeks. We then re-packed her car and drove to a nearby Shell station which honored her Kroger promotion of a 10-cent-per-gallon discount on gas purchased at a Shell partner station. Most of the early morning traffic through Jackson had largely thinned by the time we got onto Interstate 55 and headed north to Memphis in the midst of lots of sunshine and decent temperatures.


It is normally about a 3 ½ hour drive from Pearl to Memphis and it took about that long on this day because we stopped for a takeout lunch at a roadside McDonald’s near the exit to Greenville, Miss. Once at home and partially unloaded, we quickly switched to my Ford Taurus station wagon and drove across the Mississippi River (now three miles wide due to the historic flood) to pick up our pet greyhound, Fiona, from a boarding kennel at the dog track in West Memphis, Ark.


From the high bridge named in honor of Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto (which happened to be the subject of a special section of The Commercial Appeal newspaper I edited and published nearly 35 years ago to celebrate the opening), we had a magnificent view of the river now at its highest level in about 80 years. It was out of its west banks and covered a great many acres of land that normally grows cotton and soybeans. The fast-flowing water was about half-way or more up tall cottonwood trees, railroad trestles and embankments.


We were pleased that the horrendously expensive construction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others of mainline levees in Arkansas over the last half-century had held up pretty well to the near-record flooding. Memphis sits atop a high river bluff so no levees were built on the east side of the levee at this section of the river passing by Memphis. Consequently, only a very small area of low-lying land on the city’s outskirts had been touched by the second worst flooding of the Mississippi River in recorded history.


(Continue with Part 1 of this trip  /  Return to Nolan Travels Home Page.)