Monday, October 21, 2013

Delaware Seashore State Park

Delaware Seashore State Park
We just spent two weeks in Delaware Seashore State Park, and had a great time.  I was at this state park many years ago, but this was my first visit with Bob.

Our Campsite at Delaware Seashore State Park
There's nothing special about the campground.  It's basically just a huge parking lot - no trees or anything - but all in all it's fine.  The park has full hookups, and is in a wonderful location - in between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach.  The campground borders the Indian River Inlet, and it's a short walk to the beach.  We got really lucky, and hit a span of five days of summertime weather in October.  The daytime temperatures were in the 80s, and the water was warm enough to swim in - about 69-70 degrees.  Although the water was a little chilly, Bob and I were determined to get a few last swims in before the real fall weather hits.  They let dogs on the beach on October 1st, so Mirra got to go on the beach with us.  She seemed to enjoy  the whole experience!

Bob and Mirra at Delaware Seashore State Park
Mirra and me at the Indian River Inlet

This bridge is beautiful at night - it's all lit up with blue lights.

Bridge at Indian River Inlet at Delaware Seashore State Park

Fishing seems to be a big thing here, especially on the Indian River Inlet.  They were catching rockfish, blues and togs.  I was told that the togs are really good fish to eat.

Tog caught at Delaware Seashore State Park - not a keeper!
It's a good thing that we enjoyed the magnificent summer weather, because on October 9th, a wicked Nor'easter blew in, and rocked the trailer for three days solid.  Our last few days down here were filled with howling wind and buckets of rain.  Take a look at the video - it was pretty wild!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Carlisle Chrysler Nationals

1968 Road Runner just like the one Bob owned (and misses to this day)
Bob and I spent last weekend at the Chrysler Nationals Car Show in Carlisle, and it was great.  Bob owned a maroon 1968 Roadrunner back in the day.  He used to race it as well as drive it on the street.  His love of Chrysler cars has continued to this day, so one of the things on his "bucket list" was to go to the Chrysler Nationals.

Here are a few of the many excellent cars that we saw.

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi in Vitamin C
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T rag top - Plum Crazy

1970 Dodge Challenger in Panther Pink - I want it - it matches my top!

1970 Panther Pink Plymouth Barracuda AAR - I want this too!

1950 Chrysler New Yorker
1970 Plymouth Superbird
A whole row of Dodge Charger General Lees - Yee Hah!

1948 Chrysler

Beautiful Chrysler 300 - one of many in the show

1957 Plymouth Fury with every option - even a record player!
1952 Chrysler Imperial 331 Hemi
Two Sheepdogs were at the show - Mirra would have like them.  We left her back at the trailer.
1963 Dodge 426 Max Wedge factory race car

Plum Crazy 1970 Plymouth GTX

1968 Plymouth Road Runner - every option and the premium interior - just gorgeous!

1964 Dodge factory 426 Max Wed judged best in the world 

1969 Dodge Charger - one of 500 made for NASCAR racing

1967 GTX - Best car of the show in Bob's opinion - perfect!
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 383 convertible
We really enjoyed the show, and may go back again some other year.  Bob and I both love old cars, as you can see from our restoration project - a 1993 Cadillac Coupe DeVille - the last year they were made.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chattanooga - Some History, and LOTS of rain

We left Vicksburg on May 2nd, and headed towards Chattanooga taking the Natchez Trace Parkway.  It was a good thing that we took this route, because we drove in heavy rain all day, and fortunately the Parkway was practically deserted.  We decided to stop after about 5 hours, and stay at Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi.  I had reserved a site, but it wasn't really necessary - when we pulled in we practically had the place to ourselves.  Our closest neighbor was a pair of Canadian geese who seemed to highly resent our presence and loudly let us know about it.  At first we didn't realize why they were so upset, but then we saw that they had babies and were just being protective.

Geese at Tishomingo State Park

Tishomingo State Park, MS

Campsite 14 at Tishomingo State Park

We headed out for Chattanooga the next day (Thursday), and fortunately the rain had stopped.  When we got to our destination - Holiday Trav-L-Park in Chattanooga - we checked the weather forecast.  It was horrible - heavy rain every day starting on Saturday.  That left us one day to do some sightseeing.  We got up early on Friday, and headed over to Point Park on Lookout Mountain.  Although it was a cloudy, cold and windy day, at least the rain hadn't set in yet.  What a view!

View From Lookout Mountain

New York Peace Memorial at Point Park

Point Park

In the afternoon, we headed over the the Chickamauga Battlefield and did the Auto tour.  It was interesting, but we found that it wasn't as easy to envision the battles that took place as it was in Vicksburg.  There were monuments put up by the states that were involved, as there were in Vicksburg.

Snodgrass Cabin - served as a Union Hospital

The battles at Chattanooga, fought in the fall of 1863, were some of the hardest fought battles of the Civil War.  Chattanooga was a key rail center and gateway to the Confederacy.  The battle of Chickamauga began on September 19th.  The Union army under Major General William S. Rosecrans fought General Braxton Bragg's Confederate troops, and the Federal troops were forced to retreat into Chattanooga.  The Confederates pursued them, occupying Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga Valley.  The Confederates were successful in preventing the Union Army from getting supplies, and Rosecrans army was in a desperate position.  Lincoln sent reinforcements through Major General Joseph Hooker, who brought 20,000 men and Gen. William T. Sherman, who added 16,000 in November.  Thomas replaced Rosecrans, Grant assumed overall command of the army, and things changed drastically.  On November 24th Hooker's men drove the Confederates out of their defenses around the Cravens House in the "Battle of the Clouds".  On November 25th, Sherman's troops attacked the Confederate right flank, and Hooker attacked the Confederate left.  Hooker was delayed crossing Chattanooga Creek, and Sherman's attack was blocked.  To aid Sherman, Grant ordered Thomas' army (that had been held in reserve at Orchard Knob) to attack Missionary Ridge, and Thomas' men scaled Missionary Ridge in one of the great charges of the war.  The Confederate line collapsed, Bragg's troops fled that night into Georgia, and the Union had control of Chattanooga and nearly all of Tennessee.  Later, Chattanooga was used as Sherman's base for his march to Atlanta.

Enough history....

The rain started here on Friday night and it hasn't stopped since.  The heaviest rain was all day and all night Saturday.  There was a reprieve on Sunday for awhile, then it started to come down again, and has been off and on all day today.  I think we've gotten over 5 inches so far.  There's been enough to put out flood watches, and the Tennessee River is really high.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) we head towards Virginia Beach, and will be stopping in Wytheville VA overnight.  We'll check into First Landing State Park on Wednesday. We may be going back into the rain, but let's hope not.  We could sure use some sunshine!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg National Military Park
We pulled into Vicksburg on Sunday the 28th for a three night stay at Ameristar RV Resort.  This is a good place from which to tour the Vicksburg National Military Park.  The RV park has level paved sites with full hookups for $22.00 a night.  It's only a couple of miles to get to the National Military Park, so we were pleased with this campground.

We toured the National Park on Monday. Bob was so excited, since this has been a historical site he's been wanting to see for a long time.  It's a wonderful park, so beautifully maintained.  We took the self guided driving tour, which takes you through the beautiful stretch of hills and deep gullies where the Battle of Vicksburg was fought in 1863. Bob's reading Grant's memoirs right now, and he told me that Grant described the land perfectly.

Sitting on a high bluff overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was heavily protected with artillery batteries and forts.  It was vital to the North to capture the city since control of this region would give the North control of the Mississippi supply route, and isolate Texas, Arkansas and most of Louisiana. Lincoln called Vicksburg the "the key" to winning the war, and ordered Ulysses S. Grant to clear the Mississippi of Confederate resistance.  Between May 16th and May 22nd, 1863, Grant battled Pemberton's forces, then finally on May 22nd Grant began a formal siege on the City.  The siege lasted 46 days, and finally on July 4th Vicksburg was surrendered.

The park is full of memorials built by the states that were involved in the battle of Vicksburg.  They're a beautiful tribute to the lives that were lost there, and a sad reminder of a war which tore this country apart.

Illinois Memorial

Ohio Memorial

Arkansas Memorial

Ulysses S Grant

Thayer's Tunnel

Shirley House - served as headquarters for 45th Illinois Infantry

The USS Cairo

The USS Cairo Museum was amazing.  The USS Cairo was one of the Union's seven ironclad gunboats that fought on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  The Cairo was sunk outside Vicksburg by torpedoes that tore holes into the ship's hull.  It was dredged up from the river in 1965, and restored.

Paddle Wheels of the USS Cairo
Monday night we went to the buffet at the Ameristar Casino, and then did a little gambling.  No winnings, but we had a good time.  The food at the Casino was average at best, so I'd recommend eating elsewhere.

Ameristar Resort - Vicksburg MS
On Tuesday we drove around the old city.  There are a number of old mansions which have been turned into Bed and Breakfasts down by the river.

Annabelle Bed and Breakfast

We drove over the bridge to Louisiana to see Grant's Canal.  Federal troops attempted to cut a canal across the Mississippi into DeSoto Point, but the canal kept filling in with silt, and the project was abandoned.  Many lives were lost due to Malaria and Yellow Fever.

Mississippi River Bridge to Louisiana
Connecticut Memorial at Grants Canal

Grants Canal

Tomorrow we're driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway to Tishomingo State Park where we stay for one night, then on to Chattanooga.