Talking Tourism: “And Yet” Travel Moments

Guest post submitted by Chuck Martin, Executive Director
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

I just read a blog post by my friend, Lisa Palmer, who is the Coordinator for the Mississippi River Hills Association. I asked Lisa if I could share her article and she graciously agreed. It’s worth the read:

“And yet . . .

I’ve connected with a number of travel bloggers lately. Oh what wonderful places they have taken me! Thanks to Visit Flyover Country’s suggestion, I recently read a blog – Travel With No Regrets – by All Colores. She reminds us that travel is a privilege. Although her blog has been all over the globe, in the blog she states “Some people can’t even travel locally due to illness, war or a financial fight for survival.” This is so true, and although I have not left the country, I feel privileged that I have been blessed with the opportunities to see several of these United States. And yet . . .

My travel regret? From Fairbanks, Alaska, to Clearwater Beach, Florida, my biggest travel regret is not taking the time getting to know my own backyard. But thanks to knowing lots of people, I don’t feel alone in my regret. (Is this an unfortunate statement or just life?) Just the other day, while in Cape Girardeau County, I mentioned Trail of Tears State Park to a woman. I told her how I enjoy seeing the river and its bluffs from the Park’s amazing view. Instead of an affirmation I received a “Really?! I’ve never been there” reply. (Might I add she was not a teen but a ‘seasoned’ woman of about my mid-century age?) And yet . . .

This did not catch me by surprise. As the coordinator for the Mississippi River Hills Association (MRHA), I’ve been privileged so see many ‘wonders’ in these six counties (Yes, there are more than 7 ‘wonders’ in the world!). From the simple beauty of a winding county road to the Mississippi River view at Trail of Tears State Park or Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area in Ste. Genevieve County.

My first visit to Trail of Tears in particular left me in awe. I had been working on the MRHA project for just a few weeks. Letitia ‘Tish’ Johnson, CD of University of Missouri Extension – Ste. Genevieve County, and I were giving a regional tour to a group out of St. Louis, John Grizzell, of Grizzell & Company, who had secured the bid to design the MRHA logo. As us stood overlooking the Mississippi River and its amazing bluffs an eagle majestically floated across the view directly in front of us! The look on John and his guests’ faces was pure delight! Tish and I could not have orchestrated it any better ourselves. And yet. . .

How many of us have stopped for just a few hours in our busy lives to see the view at Trail of Tears State Park? I’ve also had a similar eagle experience at Magnolia Hollow. Both locations are handicap accessible by the way. Magnolia Hollow’s view is about a quarter of a mile from the parking lot; however, the path is nicely paved for wheelchairs, and has a bench at the half-way point for those with difficulty walking. And yet . . .

Do you have any ‘And yet. . .’ moments that have left you with travel regrets? Remember you don’t have to travel far to see ‘wonders’. I mean, let’s face it. Folks from other countries travel here to visit us! What’s even better, is the excitement of those locations can be renewed with every visit when we allow ourselves to appreciate even the simplicity around us. What is your favorite wonder to wander to in your backyard? ”

Lisa J. Palmer, Coordinator, Mississippi River Hills Association

River bluff at Trail of Tears State Park, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
View of the river and bottoms at Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area, Ste. Genevieve County, Mo.

 

Sunset in Palmer’s own “backyard.”