6.03.2010

Tupelo and Buffalo

As a native of the South, I know a few important facts about the city of Tupelo, which is located in northeast Mississippi. First, I know that Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Will & I visited his tiny two room home a few years ago, which was decorated to resemble it's actual appearance in 1935 when Elvis was born in that very house.  I know that Tupelo is also the headquarters of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a long, beautiful stretch of two lane road that connects Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace is also the route that we take from Florence to Tupelo, and over the years Will and I have explored many of the historical sites and nature trails along the way.  Lastly, I know that Tupelo has been the inspiration for many songs in popular culture, sung by a multitude of famous artists, from John Lee Hooker to Van Morrison to Elton John. 

Conversely, there are quite a few things about Tupelo that I didn't know....the city's name is derived from a type of tree that is native to the area, the Tupelo tree. Tupelo honey is actually more commonly produced in the river swamps of the gulf coast, rather than in the actual city of Tupelo. And Tupelo is home to the largest herd of American Buffalo east of the Mississippi. Last Saturday, we got to see the Buffalo....up close and personal.

Will and I are always on the lookout for spontaneous adventures. When we woke up to a cloudy morning this past Saturday, we were craving an exciting voyage to kick off our Memorial Day Weekend. As I sat in my pajamas, wearily chatting with my perky "morning-person" husband, we discussed possible road trips. Immediately, I suggested the Memphis Zoo, which is always a favorite, and definitely on our to-do list with little Hudson...but it was a bit to late in the morning to take the 3 hour trek to Memphis. Together we brainstormed, and I pulled out my trusty iPhone to find somewhere worthwhile to visit. I ran across a site for Tupelo. As I mentioned already, Will and I had previously seen much of the small town a few years back when we attended the GumTree Art Festival and toured the birthplace of Elvis. I honestly wasn't sure if there was anything else worth checking out in Tupelo, and then I saw something intriguing...a website boasting a special zoo in Tupelo, called the Tupelo Buffalo Park. As I had never heard of any such place, I assumed the so called zoo would be a bust, someplace for local Mississippians to visit maybe, but probably not worth the two hour ride over from Florence. Then, I read some further information on the Buffalo Park website, and I found myself quite captivated, to say the least....The Tupelo Buffalo Park is home to one of the largest herds of buffalo east of the Mississippi River, and also an extremely rare White Buffalo, which the Sioux Indians believe to be the most sacred living thing anyone could ever encounter. In fact, a White Buffalo is said to be born only once every 100 years.  The Zoo at the Buffalo Park is also home to a multitude of exotic animals, including kangaroos, monkeys, a cougar, a black bear, llamas, zebras, camels, and two giraffes, one of them being the tallest giraffe in captivity!  After reading this interesting information to Will, we decided to ride over to Tupelo and check out the Buffalo Park...and I'm so glad we did. I can't wait to tell Hudson about all the amazing animals he met on his very first Memorial Day Weekend.


{Tupelo Buffalo Park}


{Will is pretty excited.}


{Alligators!}


{All Aboard! Riding the trolley to see the buffalo!}


{We spotted this cute camel along the way....}


{....and two baby zebras! They are so young, their stripes haven't turned black yet!}


{"I love animals!"}


{Buffalo!}


{Hudson was so good on the trolley ride. He enjoyed trying to get the attention of the little boy seated in front of us.}


{glad we rode a trolley instead of this!}


{Buffalo Crossing!}


{"I like buffalo, Dad!"}


{huge tortoise!}


{One big indian & Two silly boys}


{Meet Tall-Boy! The tallest giraffe in the USA!}


{Daddy & Hudson aren't scared of a giraffe....}


{....but Mommy sure is! Yikes! Look at that long tongue!}


{Patches the Giraffe}


{"I like watching these giraffes eat!"}


{"I'm getting hot. A refreshment would be nice."}


{Fun with the Buffalo}


{"Okay, Mom. Enough pictures."}


{"Aaah, finally! Thanks for my first taste of ice cream, Dad!"}


{"Bye Bye Buffalo Park! Great Ice Cream!! Oh, and great animals, too."}

2 comments:

Jeannie said...

What a neat place. Didn't know it existed. As usually great pictures. Sweet Hudson having a sweet treat!

M.E.H. said...

look at that sweet baby. He looks just like you in those pictures. p.s. i love the baby carrier that will is wearing.. you should definitely borrow it for our next lunch date! It could be like the hangover-- so don't forget the aviators!!! :) xoxo.