Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"What a Rush!"

“What a rush!” Those were Luke’s first words as he, Hudson, and Murphy reached the end of their long journey across the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge Tuesday afternoon. According to Kenna Tate, who was on the scene and sent us the photos of Luke and the Boys, the humidity was higher than the temperature, but despite the heat, all three made the long walk without incident and emerged on the other side, happy to see the people who had gathered to meet them.

“Today was not a bad day to cross a bridge over a mighty river” wrote Kenna, who was on hand with two of her dogs, Brock and Stella. “Before his arrival, I tentatively walked down the walkway and got as far as the banks of the river before I had to turn around. The bouncing and vibrations were just too much … traffic is no more than 3 feet from you. … [but] Hudson and Murphy were nonplussed and didn't seem to understand what the fuss was all about! This was definitely worth seeing.”

This part of the walk alone has been quite a journey. Despite opposition, Luke was determined to cross the Mississippi on foot, and he doggedly refused to take no for an answer. He and others (including Ginger Morgan with the Memphis Humane Society) have been working long and hard to make this historic crossing come to pass. Thanks also to Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee and his office for their help in making it a reality. As you can see from Kenna’s pictures, WREG, News Channel 3 was also on the scene to report the event.

The bridge, commissioned in 1939 and opened in December of 1949, is the third of three bridges spanning the Mississippi in West Memphis Tennessee/West Memphis, Arkansas. Approximately 150 feet separate the three bridges. The overall length of the bridge is 5,222 feet, making it just under a one mile hike for Luke and the Boys. The bridge has 4 lanes of traffic and 2 sidewalks. But as you can see from the pictures, these sidewalks are seldom if ever used anymore. Additionally, Luke and the Boys were walking 112 feet above water -- notice the tight grip Luke has on both Boys as they cross! Luke admitted to being a bit acrophobic, so the crossing was significant on a very personal level as well.

Pictured are: (1) The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge as seen from the banks of the Mississippi (2) Luke and The Boys just emerging in the distance; (3) Big Grins as the three see friends waiting on the other side; (4) a shot looking down one of the walkways on the bridge; (5) a closer look at the walkway and traffic passing by; (6) the interview with WREG Channel 3 -- looking on with a big smile is Ginger Morgan; (7) The Boys getting ready for their close-up; (8) Luke, Hudson, and Murphy descending the stairs from the bridge.

Well done, Luke! Well done Hudson and Murphy! Well done all! Puppy Up!

Many thanks to Kenna Tate who provided location photos and commentary. Special thanks to Ginger Morgan who kept Luke full of peanut butter and banana sandwiches until they could make the crossing happen. Additional thanks to Congressman Cohen and his office; participating local police departments, and all those who made this part of the journey a reality.

Location photos courtesy of: Kenna Tate. Bridge photo courtesy John Weeks III (used with permission). Sources include: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Wikipedia and John Weeks III.


Anonymous said...

"Little by little one walks far." Congratulations Luke, Hudson, and Murphy!

Vicki Tankersley said...

Good job, you guys! Another milestone in your wonderful journey.

MyFuZZyButtZ said...

It's sooo exciting to watch this happen for you! Keep on looking forward boyZ!

Lovin' PurrZ and HeadbuttZ ♥

Jerry G Dawg said...

OOOOOOOH! Yeeeee hawwww! You guys are AWESOME! Congratulations.