Field trip to Wilkinson and Adams Counties,
Major Conclusions after visiting Rogue's home area:
- As a real world analog to Caldecott County, Wilkinson
County has the advantage over Adams County in the categories
of topography, history, language, and housing.
- However, I can not rule out Adams County.
Unfortunately, no tourist boats launch out of Natchez, nor
does anyone rent boats. The only "boat" at the
main dock in Natchez is really a stationary casino. Either
you have to own a boat or take the Delta Queen, or similar
paddlewheel, all the way from New Orleans to Cincinnati.
Although I was unable to inspect the entire Mississippi River
between Natchez and the SW corner of Wilkinson County, I had
all the topographic maps for that stretch of river with me
and field checked as much as I could.
Rogue's hideout spot, where she and Cody kissed, is unusual
for the lower Mississippi River. Her hideout spot has a cliff
next to the Mississippi State bank of the Mississippi River.
Uncanny X-Men #185, Classic X-Men #44, and Unlimited X-Men
#4 all agree about the basics of cliff, tree, and rope. Never
mind the intermittent waterfall for the moment. To get such
a cut bank cliff, Rogue's spot would have to be on the outside
of a curve in the river. The river erodes on the outside
of a curve and deposits point bar sediments on the inside
of a curve. The point bar is not going to have a cliff.
From the topographic maps, three areas in Adams and Wilkinson
Counties looked promising, all with hills just outside major
bends in the river. I will go through them north to south.
The first area is right at Natchez. I got a great view crossing
the bridge both ways. The cliffs (not quite vertical but
very steep slopes) are great. However, Rogue could have ridden
her bicycle from there to downtown Natchez and would not be
imagining piloting boats up to Natchez. That just does not
fit. Looking down river, the cliffs quickly tapered off.
The second area is the St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife
Refuge in Adams County. I stood at the east bank in three
locations. Looking up and down the river, not one cliff did
I see. Calibrating the topographic contours, I do not think
any cliffs are along this particular outside bend. I did
stand on a sandy beach that was just right for Rogue to sunbathe
on, but sand is hardly rare.
The third area is the vicinity of Clark Creek in Wilkinson
County. Standing on the Old River Control Structure on the
Louisiana side, looking through binoculars, I saw cliffs,
maybe twenty feet high, on the east bank. A forest of trees
topped the cliffs. And that is not where the river really
cuts into the Clark Creek highlands. Unfortunately, I could
not get a good view of that area from highway 15 on the Louisiana
side. From the Mississippi side, the west boundary of the
Clark Creek Natural Area is one and a half miles from the
river. I could have driven right to where Clark Creek joins
the river if I had been an Out Front Member. What is the
Out Front Club? How does one become a member? A little past
the Ft. Adams grocery store, a sign says "Private Road,
Keep Out, Out Front Members ONLY". North of the Old
River Control Structure on highway 15, I got good views of
the east bank from two locations and observed no cliffs.
Adams County may have a suitably located cliff that I was
not in position to see, but I know for a fact that Wilkinson
County has suitable cliffs.
Back to the intermittent waterfall. I like to call it "intermittent"
because it is present in UnlXM #4 but not in UncXM #185 or
CXM #44. I hiked the primitive trail and inside the banks
of Clark Creek. Very nice waterfalls but not near as impressive
as the one in UnlXM #4. I suppose if a tropical storm had
dumped over one foot of rain there, the waterfalls would look
like UnlXM #4. At least the cemented zones in the Fleming
Formation are there to result in many waterfalls (ten on the
map). So I feel better about the waterfall in UnlXM #4 than
I ever have before.
In UXM #185, the following described Caldecott County: "...and
stately mansions lined the river, ... , and most of the great
estates fallen into ruin. Of all that once was, only the
river remains." That is not literally true for either
county but fits Wilkinson County better because Adams County
has more than 20 antebellum homes still standing in good condition.
Wilkinson, well, I did not see any signs pointing out antebellum
mansions this way and that way like I did in Adams and in
Louisiana on highway 61.
I learned during my trip that Natchez became a French colony
in 1716. The British held the Natchez District from 1763-1779.
Spain conquered Natchez in 1779 during the American Revolution
but made no serious attempt at colonization. Americans came
in 1798, and Natchez District was part of the Mississippi
Territory from 1798-1804. My trip did not really add much
to Keri [Wilson]'s research indicating that Rogue would be
more likely to learn French in Wilkinson than in Adams.
You know how Mystique's house in Caldecott has the mosquito
screens on the porch (best seen in CXM #44)? That is SO like
the town of Ft. Adams in Wilkinson County. House after house
has porches enclosed by mosquito screens. They have a similar
style to Mystique's house, more frequently so than Woodville,
Sibley, Natchez, or the numerous isolated houses that I passed
in Adams County.
I could just imagine Mystique's house tucked away at the
end of the Out Front Members Only Private Road. According
to the topo, the private road goes right close to the Mississippi
and then up Clark Creek to the wonderfully secluded Tunica
Hills. The road ends west of the Clark Creek Natural Area.
In the Marvel Universe, Out Front would be secret code for
the Brotherhood of Mutants.
Details of Rogue interest
The Natchez Regional Medical Center is a big building and
handles emergencies, as does the Natchez Community Hospital.
I still have not managed to read Excalibur 76, in which Rogue
apparently took Kurt to a hospital in Vicksburg after UnlXM
#4, so I leave to others the question of why Rogue took Kurt
the extra distance to Vicksburg instead of Natchez.
I enjoyed seeing two long barges pass each other on the Mississippi
River, one up river and one down river - "Ah'd watch
the boats go by an' imagine ah was Mark Twain, pilotin' 'em
up t' Natchez an' St. Louis or south t' n'orleans."
Fascinating were the three massive structures that are so
far succeeding in keeping the entire flow of the Mississippi
River from going into Old River and then to Atchafalaya River
on a much shorter path to the Gulf. Nature will win one day.
But I am drifting off topic.
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