Cruising the Mississippi

From New Orleans to Memphis on a Genuine Paddlewheeler

Non-Fiction - Travel
188 Pages
Reviewed on 09/18/2019
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Author Biography

Al and Sunny Lockwood have traveled by foot, car, rail, air and cruise ship. They've camped in national parks, hiked mountain trails, photographed springtime flowers in Death Valley and wintry surf along Northern California's rugged beaches.

They've watched July 4th fireworks over Lake Tahoe, explored the Taos Pueblo and ridden the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through forests ablaze with autumn colors.

They've ridden the amazing Falkirk Wheel in Scotland, the Flam Railway in Norway and Ushuaia's train at the end of the world.

They've photographed the Barbary apes of Gibraltar and Gentoo Penguins frolicking in the surf on the Falkland Islands.

Everywhere they go, they capture unforgettable moments with their cameras and notebooks, moments to share with their readers. Their work has been published in magazines and newspapers. It has been recognized with awards from the National Federation of Press Women, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards and Seven Sisters Book Awards.

"We write to encourage others to travel, to take a break from their ordinary routine and discover the many rewards of traveling with your eyes wide open," Sunny said. "Go somewhere new, even if it's only in the next county. And have fun exploring the sites, the sounds and flavors of the place. You'll be amazed at how much fun you'll have."

Al added, "We also write to share the wonder of our own travels. We hope our books give readers a real sense of our travel adventures."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Cruising the Mississippi: From New Orleans to Memphis on a Genuine Paddlewheeler is a nonfiction travel memoir written by Al and Sunny Lockwood. Even before they met, Al and Sunny were both natural-born explorers. When they did meet, it was in California. He was a photographer, she a reporter, and the two soon realized that they shared a love of travel. Their extensive ramblings across the Western United States were, unfortunately, cut short by a car accident. That taste of mortality convinced them to start doing the things they had planned to do some day and to plan them right away. They found common ground and necessary comfort in taking cruises to Venice, Istanbul, and Iceland, among other destinations. Then, they noticed a cruising opportunity right here in the USA. They would cruise the Mississippi on the American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship steamer, a six-decked, steam-powered paddlewheeler that they soon discovered was a floating museum and an absolute delight to travel on.

Cruising the Mississippi gives the reader a genuine sense that they are also on board the American Queen, exploring the small towns that line the river and luxuriating in an atmosphere that exudes the glories of a bygone era. I was intrigued to see how the couple, who were used to mega cruises with thousands of fellow travelers aboard, would react to the closeness and intimacy of this adventure, which was limited to several hundred and open to adults only. I enjoyed seeing the close relationship the Lockwoods and their fellow travelers develop with the crew and delighted in how the Lockwoods share those experiences with their readers. Their memoir is well-written and filled with fascinating historical and cultural details, and the outstanding photography brings it all quite vividly to life. Cruising the Mississippi: From New Orleans to Memphis on a Genuine Paddlewheeler is most highly recommended.