Saturday, June 12, 2021

Our West Trip Starts

 We finally left Southeast Indiana to start our summer trip. Our first stop is Nashville TN, not exactly west, yet. We are here for the weekend then heading to Red Bay Alabama for eight days to have a coolant tank replaced on the radiator. The Freightliner shop there works mostly on motorhomes so they know the best way to replace it. The rear engine diesel can be a pain to work on. From there we will be in Little Rock Arkansas for three days, then we head straight north to South Dakota. I will have more posts as we make our way to Glacier National Park.

We fueled up here and these photos show why. Much better than Indiana! Our sixty cents off Kroger points help on the first 35 gallons of diesel. I hope it's this "cheap" when we get to the Kroger store in Little Rock.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Tennessee in March

 We came to Two Rivers Landing in Tennessee when we left Alabama. We did not want to be near the big winter storm in Texas and Mississippi. We will be heading to Indiana on April 1st. Meanwhile, we were asked again to fill in for a work camper that left early. One month for a free stay, easy work. The park has been sold so this is probably the last time we will be work campers here. We may be back for short stays in the future but the daily rate in the spring, summer and fall seasons is quite expensive.

The park's garage and workshop.

Trees are still bare but maples are starting to bloom out.

More pine straw, every spring.
I have done my share over the last three years we have stayed here..

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Foscue Creek COE, Demopolis Alabama

 After leaving Mississippi, we crossed over into Alabama on US 80. Foscue Creek is a Corp of Engineers Park. This is the best COE park we have stayed at. Plenty of space between large paved sites, full utility hookup, paved roads and water inlet from the Tombigbee River. A few sites are on the river edge where barge traffic is seen every day. The Lock and Dam is part of the COE property.,_Alabama

We planned to stay eight days but cut it short after four days. On Sunday, we were going to drive to Selma, Alabama and the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge where Bloody Sunday occurred in 1965.,_Alabama

The ice storm and very cold temperatures were forecast for Mississippi, about 60 miles west. We left on Sunday morning for a 400 mile drive back to Tennessee where the forecast was much better. It's cold here in Tennessee at 25 degrees, much better than 0 or lower in Mississippi. We will be in Tennessee through March, then head to Indiana for about three months. We plan on going west in June, barring any problems.

The campground was not empty at all at least until we left early.
The entire park was large and had many Cypress trees with the usual moss.

The Coast Guard has a station located in the inlet off of the Tombigbee river.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Natchez Mississippi

 We are now back in Alabama as of yesterday. We were in Natchez for eight days, staying at the Rivers View RV Park in Vidalia, Louisiana. The rv park is on the Mississippi River across from Natchez. We had a good view of the river and the many huge barges that travel the river day and night. The river at that point is about .6 miles wide. There was no flooding while we were there.

I was interested in Natchez due to a series of books I have been reading. The books are fiction mixed with many things that actually happened in the 1960's. The author Greg Iles lives in Natchez. As they say, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. There were plenty of not so innocent people in the area. The books loosely tell the stories of scandal's, civil rights and race issues of the 1960's. 

Here is a link to some of the stories, researched by Stanley Nelson, editor of the Vidalia newspaper. Vidalia is the town across from Natchez. The book referred to is one of the series by author Greg Iles.

Story behind the book Natchez Burning

Natchez was a major slave trading point.

This is where most the slave trading companies were located,
a junction where two major roads came together.

These leg and neck shackles are embedded in concrete at the
Forks of the Road. These were actually used on the slaves.

This is the national military cemetery.

The new section with military graves for those that served in war.

The City Cemetery is huge and quite old. If you look close you will see these headstones say Unknown Soldier. These were from the Civil War.
There are many more like this in the cemetery.

This is called the Turning Angel, mentioned several times in Greg Iles books.

Family plots at the cemetery were fenced in with wrought iron.
Many of these are very old. Some are buried, some above ground.

The bridge over the Mississippi is about 1.2 miles end to end.

Lots of Crepe Myrtle trees allover Natchez. They bloom every spring. I know
Crepe Myrtles because I trimmed many of them while working at Two Rivers Landing RV Resort.

Many mansions in the area. Some were closed due to Covid-19. We did not take any tours. This one is part of the National Park Service, called the Melrose.,_Mississippi)

Cypress trees at the Melrose.

The book author's house.

The Rosalie, tours are available.

No river front would be without a casino. We did not give them any money.

This was the Jerry Lee Lewis museum in Ferriday, Louisiana. It was closed. 

Now here is a house with a history. This was a brothel until 1990.
Take a look at this link for the entire story.
Nellie Jackson Mississippi Madam

This street goes down to Natchez Under the Hill.
River boat casinos were docked here but no longer.

This is a real restaurant south of Natchez. It still open for lunch,
closed when I took this photo.

We took a city tour with Rev (masks on). He knows the history.

Standing where the river boat casinos once docked.
I had my glasses off because they fog up with the mask on.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Vicksburg MS National Military Park

 We were in Red Bay Alabama in January for a few motorhome repairs. Our current location is Vicksburg Mississippi where a large Civil War battleground was preserved by the National Park Service. The visitor center was closed (Covid-19) but the park was open. We drove through the park on a fifteen mile paved road. There are many monuments and markers where major action took place. We have been to Gettysburg and this is similar but different. Vicksburg overlooked the Mississippi River and the battle was for final control of the river by the Union soldiers under General Ulysses Grant. The river has since bypassed the loop where the battle occurred, now called the Yazoo River. The Mississippi is still at Vicksburg, just shifted about two miles south. The river has changed course many times, the link below explains the changes.

Here are some links to Vicksburg history

River Course Changes

The Shirley House was there during the war.

Red markers were the Confederates, Blue markers were the Union.

This overlook shows the Yazoo River. In 1876, the Mississippi River changed its course, shifting west several miles and leaving Vicksburg without a river front. 
In 1902, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers diverted the Yazoo River into the old river bed, forming the Yazoo Diversion Canal.

USS Cairo Ironclad, recovered from the river where is sank during the war.
It was recovered in 1965, 100 years after the war.
The museum was closed and I could not get closer than the fence.

Parts of the main structure are intact. The "ironclad" covering can be seen in the front.
I believe you can walk on/over the boat when the museum is open.

The paddlewheel.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas in Tennessee 2020

 Here we are still in Tennessee for Christmas. We will be going to Alabama the second week of January. We ended up with a white Christmas which has not happened here since 2010. There are a number of people here now and next week the park is full for New Years day. I think some cancelled this week due to weather. That's what we would do, no traveling in the snow. We decided not to travel back to Indiana due to virus concerns and advise from the various health experts. 

Merry Christmas to everyone.

At least 4 inches on top of the car