On the way out of Cairo headed to Mound City National Cemetery on Hwy 37, we passed HS Auto Salvage, which had a bunch of fire trucks parked in front of it. They weren’t fighting a fire: they evidently had been scrapped.
There were engines and ladder trucks from Cairo, a truck from Thebes and another from Tamms Volunteer Fire Department. There was nobody around to ask what the story was in August, nor in November when I passed that way again.
I bet there are some fire buffs or Pike fraternities who would love to have these old red workhorses.
Fire truck photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around. Let me know if you have any idea what’s going on with this equipment.
I rolled into Cape Girardeau not long after dark-thirty, got the van unloaded and the computer gear set up.
On the way up, I stopped for a 17-minute nap in the first Kentucky rest area on I-24. When I got out to stretch my legs, I noticed that the trees were blooming and some flowers were popping out. Birds were chirping and some bees were making their rounds. Does that mean I dodged winter?
Kentucky photo gallery
Boaters and fisherfolks were taking advantage of the super weather in the Land Between the Lakes area. All of us who hold our breath going over this bridge will be happy to see this construction projection finished. And, finally, I just had to pull off the road near Wickliffe to capture the sun setting over the Mississippi River bridge near Cairo. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.
Cairo is a town of subtraction. I still take visitors there, but there is less and less to show them. It’s gotten so I hardly pull the camera out because there’s nothing but open ground where a vibrant downtown once flourished.
Here’s a view through a floodgate opening at 8th Street in some time around 1967. You can click on the photos to make them larger.
Looks pretty much the same in 2010
Except for being in color, the two photos are pretty much the same. This one was taken October 26, 2010.
2012 fire erases old buildings
A fire started in an adjacent building and quickly spread to these two old warehouse buildings. This was taken November 13, 2012.
Nothing left but pile of bricks
When the fire was over, nothing much was left except a pile of bricks and some columns.
Not even the bricks remain
By July 10, 2013, you would never know the buildings existed.
A line has been added to show the 2011 record 61.7-foot highwater mark on the floodwall. There is a common misconception that the Bird’s Point Levee was blown just to save Cairo. In fact, it reduced pressure on the levees and floodwalls in Brookport, IL, Paducah, KY, Cairo, IL, Hickman KY and Tiptonville, TN. Some have speculated that Olive Branch might not have flooded if the levee had been breached earlier.
The reason Cairo got so much attention was that the Cairo river gauge was the one used to judge when it was time to activate the floodway that had been in place since 1937.
Older Cairo stories
I’ve photographed Cairo since the 1960s. Here are some older stories and photos.
Speaking of disappearing
- The gas and motel bills are starting to filter in from my trip and my bank balance is starting to disappear. This is a good time to make a couple of pitches: if you are going to do your Christmas shopping on Amazon anyway, click on that big Click Here button (or the one that’s at the top left of every page). It will take you directly to Amazon just like always, but it will contain a code that will give me about 6% of whatever you purchase without adding a penny to your bill. It’s a painless way to say “Thanks” for the stories and photos I send your way almost every day. Here’s more info that Kid Matt provided a few weeks ago.
- Don’t forget that 2013-2014 Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendars are still available. The calendars, when filled in with family special dates, make great gifts that will be appreciated all year long. (And, if you write your birthday down, maybe you’ll get a gift from someone that will be worth more than what the calendar cost.)
This photo was taken in 1966 or 1967. I read somewhere that this is one of the best views of the Mississippi River you can get without leaving the comfort of your car.
If you don’t mind a short walk, I like the overlooks at the Trail of Tears State Park north of Cape or the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in Cairo.