A raindrop that falls into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota will reach the Gulf of Mexico 90 days later.
When I learned that, my world was sent spinning in a new direction. I knew in that instant that I would make a 90-day road trip, following the entire course of the Mississippi River, while keeping pace with an imaginary raindrop that I would call "Serendipity."
From that moment on, this adventure has created itself in ways that often seem magical. People offered lodging in places that let me slide body and soul into the local culture. There was a fisherman's cabin, a trendy downtown loft, a tugboat converted to a B&B, a plantation mansion, a sharecropper's cabin - and once, an entire 30-room manor!
The Mississippi is one of America's greatest treasures. It is embedded in our history, our present and our identity as a nation. Along its roughly 2,400 mile journey, it is transformed from a tiny creek into an immense force of nature. It passes through dramatic changes in geography, climate, culture, lifestyles and accents.
Gayle Harper has been a travel photographer and writer for more than two decades. She knows from experience that the world is made up of fascinating destinations and remarkable people. When she turned her eyes, heart and camera toward the Mississippi River and her people, however, she was simple captivated.
It began with making time for little "River trips" in a crowded calendar of assignments with regional and national clients and publications and then, gradually, but inexorably, moved into making time for anything else.Roadtrip with a Raindrop is a gift of gratitude to the River and her people - and Gayle's way of paying it forward to you.
Her home is wherever she is, but she is often at home in Springfield, Missouri, with her husband, Mike and their cat, Louie.
Praise"...a beautiful, warm and intimate portrait, as stunning to look at as it is to read...It's an exterior trip that prompts an interior journey." -From the Foreword by Bob Krist, Photographer for National Geographic Traveler and Smithsonian and 3-time winner of "Travel Photographer of the Year."
"I love the spirit of this project. So many ways to wander this world!" -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love.
"The pages of this book capture the allure of the Mississippi and of her colorful people - and it shows us why the Mississippi is an American icon." - Chad Pregracke, CNN Hero of the Year, Living Lands and Waters.