Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vicksburg, MS and beyond

(Our southwest trip started May 1. All of my posts were written as the trip went along but were not posted live until we returned. If you want to read all the posts related to the trip, click on "southwest" in the label section below).

We spent the night in Vickburg at the (I hope) soon to be forgotten Battlefield Inn. (Click on the link to read my review, if you haven’t already).

We decided to try our chances at one of the Mississippi casinos in Vicksburg and we actually visited two the first night and one the next morning. Sad to say, we did leave money in Vicksburg.

In the morning, we visited the Vicksburg National Military Park. My husband is a student of the battle at Gettysburg and he was interested in seeing how things were presented in the south. There is a 16-mile drive and the park brochure gives an explanation of the numbered stops.

What really helped us was watching the short video presentation before we took the drive. And I learned that unlike Gettysburg, which was comprised of battles over a three day period, in Vicksburg it was siege of the city.

I found the display of the USS Cairo really interesting. The Cairo is a gunboat that was sunk, in the Mississippi, by the Confederacy. It was raised for the museum and put on display with a lot of the original framework, put together like a huge jigsaw puzzle.

At the park’s visitor’s center I picked up a brochure titled Vicksburg Area Nature Guide. We decided to find our way to one and spent some time at the Mahannah Wildlife Management Area. Saw lots of birds and a snake or two. Then onward to Monroe, LA where we stopped for the night.

Following day took us, literally, through Shreveport, LA and, after a few more miles, into Texas. We stopped at the welcome center and picked up a few brochures, including one that had information on a wildlife refuge along our route. We had to get off of I20 to get to the refuge and after spending about an hour trying to find the public entrance, the only thing we found was a padlocked gate over a dirt roadway. The only redeeming quality to the detour was finding a Dairy Queen.

Across eastern Texas to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. My husband said the topography didn't look like anything he imagined. It was very green and he was expecting expanses of dry wide open spaces. Obviously not in the area we were driving through. We could have been driving I95 to Florida for all the difference it wasn't.

Glad we got past Dallas and Fort Worth on a Sunday. The traffic was awful, including some stop and go due to construction. We finished the day in Weatherford, TX. which is loaded with motels and fast food places. There also was a Target nearby which was nice, so I could replenish the food supplies that were dwindling in our cooler.

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