Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 57 and 58 of our trip to FL and SE

On the Road Again Wednesday March 23. We spent the night in the Walmart parking lot along with other RV'ers. One couple from Quebec, another from New Brunswick and 1more ...don't know where from. It was warm and muggy at first but eventually cooled off. We bought a battery operated fan when we boon docked in the Everglades. Good investment. Used it again.

First stop at Natchez National Historical Park. Tour of the William Johnson home was not offered till 10 am and we were ready to get on the Natchez Trace Parkway. It was first called Trace by the French, meaning follow the footsteps of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. The Trace connects Nashville and Natchez, a Mississippi port.

Visitors Center in Natchez

Seeing so many beautiful dogwood trees blooming.

On the 444 mile Natchez Trace Parkway, commercial vehicles are prohibited. This is a quiet peaceful road to travel.

The "Kaintucks" from the north brought their furs to sell in Natchez and New Orleans on their flatbed boats. They sold their boats for lumber and needed a way home. To get home they walked the Trace. People living along the Trace took in the travelers.

Mount Locust, one of the homes. Some homes where travelers stayed were called stands.

Wisteria in bloom throughout this area.

We took the exit to Vicksburg to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park. In 1863 this town was a Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. We learned about the siege of Vicksburg by watching a film and driving through the 16 mile driving tour. We listened to an audio on our cell phones, learning about the battles, forts, memorials and monuments.


One remaining home on the battlefield. The soldiers called it the White House.

More photos will be posted by 3-28.

USS Cairo, an Union ironclad gunboat that was sunk by the South is on display. Interesting to learn about the gunboat and the salvage of it.

We were on the road to our campground at 3:30 and thought we'd be there in 45 minutes. WRONG!!!!! We got on Hwy. 20 and sat there. After talking to some truckers, we learned a barge hit a bridge support so all traffic crossing the Mississippi River was stopped until inspection proved the bridge was safe to travel on. Knowing the reason others were driving on the shoulder to take the next exit, we did too. 63 minute we sat in the traffic. Kept saying, but we are safe, not in an accident. By the way, the Mississippi River slowed us down one other time. We were taking the Huey Long Bridge across the River. We didn't realize there was road construction till we were in it. It was TIGHT lanes and slow...but we made it safely. That's what's important.

Back Wednesday's travels...we stayed at Grand Gulf Military monument Park. This area was involved in the Civil War.

On the Road Again Thursday March 24.

Iris have been blooming at Grand Gulf.

Observation tower to see the Mississippi River.

The mighty Mississippi River

Kudzu vine is so invasive. Thought to help with erosion but has gone wild. Can topple trees because the trees get no sunlight.

Church from 1837

One man submarine used to transport...

Whiskey during Prohibition

Back on the Natchez Trace Parkway at mile marker 41 where we go off yesterday.

We walked through a deeply eroded section of the original trace.

Methodist Church built in 1837 at the deserted village of Rocky Springs.

The church is no longer used for weekly services, but is used for weddings and an annual reunion of church members

Oldest grave we could read. Laura, wife of..... born in 1820 and died in 1835.

Safe from the Post Office.

We camped at Trace State Park. As we drove in, thought this will be our last campsite as we plan to boondocks on Friday night. It almost brought tears to my eyes. This has been an incredible trip.

8 young deer near the road quickly retreated.

And what a picturesque place for our last campground.

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Location:Natchez Trace Parkway, LA and MS

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