Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sky Lake & Leland, MS 3/21 - 3/23/2014 - Part 2

On the road Friday March 21

Sky Lake Wildlife Area.  

This boardwalk meanders through ancient bald cypress.   The walk is 1,735 feet long and about 12 feet high.  It was built the summer of 2010 when  they experienced a drought that had the water its lowest level in 50 years.


 Many knees.

 Next stop Leland, MS. the birthplace of Kermit the Frog.
 Also the birthplace of Jim Hensen.  He spent a lot of time with his Grandmother.

A playful Jim charming a snake.  (garden hose)
 On the Ed Sullivan Show.  In 1955, Jim Henson created the puppet that would become Kermit the Frog, from his mother's old green coat and ping pong balls, for use on his first television program Sam and Friends.
The earliest known reference to Kermit being a frog was in 1965 on The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson referred to him as Kermit the Frog. His froggy evolution continued through the 1960s & early 70s as Kermit gained an 13-point collar and two flippered feet. 

Rowlf was the first character he and his friends created.  Rowlf was in Purina dog food commercials, hosted his own show Our Place and was a sale man for IBM.
 The friends continued to create many Muppets who starred in Sesame Street & many movies.

Bridge in honor of Jim but the family didn't want it known as the Jim Hanson bridge.
 First sketches of Big Bird.

 What a delightful tour we were treated to by a charming lady.

Interesting blog about Kermit:
 We stayed at Arkabutla Lake, Corp of Engineers Park near Coldwater, MO.

On the road again Saturday March 22 but first we had to winterize.  That means drain all the water, making sure to get it out of all faucets including our outdoor shower lines.  Then we add RV antifreeze turn on the pump and circulates it through all pipes.  Remember to pour some down the inside shower drain.  Then run it out the macerator till we see pink.  We have seen the prediction of COLD temperatures at home so must do it.

Shortly after leaving our campground in Mississippi we were in Tennessee and then quickly in Arkansas.  (20 minutes)  The another hour into Missouri.
 We stayed overnight at Flying J Truck Center in Wayland, MO.  BRRRR, it's cold.

On the road again Sunday March 23
20 degrees this morning but the sun is up.

We attended mass at All Saints in Keokuk, Iowa.
 Once again we traveled out of 2 states quickly to enter into......

We went to Macomb, IL to take our grandson, Jason, out for lunch.  Good to visit with him and hear about his studies and his "job" opportunity.

We got home at 6:35 pm.

Wow, what a great trip once again.  5,322 miles in 44 days.  We explored 7 states (KY,  TN, AL,  FL, MS,  LA & TX) and traveled through 4 more (IL, IN, AR & MO).

We learned about rice, crawfish, catfish, cotton plantation, ginning and sharecrop farming.  We left in a snowstorm, something we said we'd never do, but eventually rested on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico.  We visited National Parks and Historic Sites, Museums, State Parks and Corp of Engineer Parks.  Learned about orphans traveling the trains, mud painting, leprosy, Civil Rights Movement, Corvette factory and Museum (36 hours before the sinkhole).   We saw how they print money,  saw longhorn cattle parade in near the stockyards, saw how Jack Daniels brews whiskey and experienced our first Mardi Gras parade.  We enjoyed weekending with family in Houston and partying with other Roadtrekkers at Gautier.  Looking forward to the second annual "Smokin' on the Bayou."

We are so blessed.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Belzoni, MS 3/21/2014 - Part 1

On the road again Friday March 21
Since we had catfish on this trip when we learned there is a Catfish Museum,
we had to check it out.
 It's in the town of Belzoni, MS.
I scurried around town to take photos of the Catfish Artwork.

So I had to run around town taking pictures of their artwork.
In nature catfish are generally bottom feeders.  In farming catfish the food is on the 'top." 

 As we drove by catfish ponds we saw these aerators slowly revolving.


 The clay soil of the Delta region provides a leak resistn soil for the ponds.
 Belzoni is in the west central part of Mississippi.

 Interesting brickwork on this building.

 Confederate and World War I Memorial.

 Now a Day Care Center, previously might have bee a Coca Cola distributor.

We talked with a lady who had been a catfish farmer.  Now it is difficult to compete with the imported fish from China and Vietnam.  She had 54 ponds in 716 water acres.  Catfish farming is a 24 - 7, 12 months a year operations.  She talked about checking the oxygen of the ponds, adjusting the aerators when needed.
 Share the Road.
 We went to "Lunch Basket" for some Soul Food.
Catfish, frog legs, shrimp and the fixin'.