Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, Tishomingo SP

It is very nice here! There are very few people in the campground and all we can hear are frogs. It is only $13 a night for old geezers like us.

March 25, Trace Weather

After a stop at a very nice mall in Tupelo for lunch and a visit to Barnes and Noble, we drove back to the Trace. The sun was shining on us but up ahead the weather was changing. Sure enough, it started to pour as we backed into site 51 at Tishomingo State Park and kept pouring through most of our set up. As soon as we finished the sun came out again.

March 25, Tupelo Visitor Center

Galen is standing on one end of the Trace map in the visitor center and I'm taking the photo from the other end. Tupelo, our current location, is located in the yellow circle. The Trace is 444 miles long. There are no billboards or commercial vehicles on the Trace. The speed limit is 50mph.

March 25, Witch Dance

This was about the half-way point of the Old Trace. If you are going to see any ghosts on the Trace you will probably see them here. We didn't see any but liked the sign. It says: The very name conjures up images of eerie midnights, swirling black capes, and brooms stacked against a nearby tree! The old folks say the witches once gathered here to dance, and that wherever their feet touched the ground the grass withered and died, never to grow again. Impossible? Maybe so, but look around, look for a hidden spot where no grass grows.

March 25, Trace

It rained last night and was still grey and drizzly when we headed up the Trace this morning.

March 24, Kilmichael

After lunch we drove to Kilmichael, Mary Glynn's home town. It is a lovely little town of rolling hills and tall trees. The Kilmichael Methodist Church built in 1895 was torn down because it was on the verge of being condemned. The new church came in numbered pieces and was assembled on the site of the old church. I've heard of paint by number but not church by number. :-) Generations of Mary Glynn's family have played a large part in its success.

March 24, French Camp

We headed north on the Trace this morning and stopped in French Camp with Jon and Mary Glynn for a delicious lunch. This actually was a French camp in the 1840s, but today is the site of the restaurant, gift shop, and the French Camp Academy, a Christian boarding school for troubled kids. It is the only restaurant right on the Trace. Cozy ambience and good food. I highly recommend the broccoli salad.

March 23, Frog Level

We leave Frog Level RV Park tomorrow morning. The park is named after the road it is on and the road was named Frog Level because the area was once a swamp until they filled it to frog level. :-) The park is so pretty with all the ornamental pear trees in bloom.

March 23, Casino

This is the Golden Moon Casino on the Chocktaw Reservation in Philadelphia, MS. The Silver Star is directly across the street and before the economy got in such a state the two casinos were bringing in about a million dollars a day! We never got inside either one.

March 23, Logs

I didn't get a very good photo of it, but it was interesting to watch how they unloaded a truckload of logs at the sawmill in Philadelphia, MS.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 22, Peggy's

When you go to Peggy's, you walk into the house, grab a plate and help yourself to all you want. As you waddle out you leave your money in a bowl - $9 a person. That kind of trust is refreshing and the food was so good.

March 22, General Store

If you are a geocacher on your way to Philadelphia, MS, you might not want to read today's post.

Another must-see place in Philadelphia is the Williams General Store. This one is the real deal with saddles, boots and blue jeans, bacon and cheese sliced on the spot just for you, etc. It has been around since the early 1900s and still has that old time feeling to it. And out in the parking lot is a way cool geocache. I poked a suspicious looking thing in the telephone pole and it moved back into the pole. As I was wondering what the heck I was going to do next, Galen, who was standing on the other side of the pole, pulled it out. The hole holding the log-only cache went all the way through the pole.

March 21, Jon and Mary Glynn

We met Jon and Mary Glynn in Alaska in 2005 - Jon was the pastor of the Methodist Church we attended while we were there but I think his second calling is tour guide. :-) He took us to wonderful places in Alaska and told stories about the area that would not be common knowledge to a visitor. Jon pastors two churches on the Choctaw Reservation and once again has taken us to fun and fascinating places. This photo was taken after church. Steve and Robin are a delightful couple that work with John.

March 22, Tragedy

It is one thing to read about this sad time in our history but quite another to stand here, to drive the road where the victim's car was hidden until winter when it could be seen through the trees.

March 22, Choctaw Mound

This is believed to be where the Choctaw nation began. The mound is off the beaten path and in a swampy area - probably not a place where the average tourist would go which is why we liked it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 20, Jackson Parade

Kermit looks like he's trying to devour the parade watchers but is really only ducking down so he'll fit under the low overhang of the planetarium.

We went to see the St. Patrick's Day parade in Jackson today along with thousands and thousands of other people. I'm not a big fan of parades, but this one was great and we really got into the spirit of all the fun and silliness. I even got a shot of Galen wearing beads.

March 20, Neshoba County Fair

This is a county fair like none you have ever seen before. There are 600 homes on the grounds, many of them 3-stories tall and brightly colored. It was great fun driving around looking at all the different houses but I must admit I would not want to be there during the fair.

March 20, Choctaw Reservation

The Choctaw have been so smart handling the money they make not only from their two casinos but other businesses. They use the money to build schools, clinics, nursing homes and to provide training and jobs for their people. Doesn't it look like fun to go to school in a series of round buildings like this?

One of the businesses the Choctaw have is making bots for the military. They test them by this reservoir.

First stop this morning was at the flea market. The community, blacks, choctaws and whites, all come together here and it is quite a big deal. Not only did they have chickens for sale, they had bunnies, puppies, and a pony!

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, New Road

There is a new road being built between Philadelphia and Meridian. I took a photo of it because of the striking color of the earth.

March 19, Jimmy Rogers

We went to the Jimmy Rogers Museum and saw his Martin guitar, a guitar insured for one million dollars! It sits behind a window and inside a safe. There is a million dollar carousel in a nearby building which I would have loved to see, but that museum wasn't open today. :-(

March 19, Gypsies

Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian, MS is the site of the graves of Emil and Kelly Mitchell, the King and Queen of all the Gypsies in the United States. People travel from near and far to leave small gifts at the graves. Rose Hill has been the burial site for the Gypsy Royal Family since 1915.

March 19, Meridian

This is the tallest building in downtown Meridian, MS. It was finished in 1929, just before the depression. The depression put the owners out of business but the building still stands, though boarded up today. It has a funny name for the tallest building in town: The Threefoot Building. Obviously Threefoot does not refer to the height of the building. It is a family name.

March 18, Natchez Trace

Back on the Trace today. We stopped to take a few steps on a piece of the original 200 year old trail and to photograph a cyprus swamp.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, Bridges

Shot this photo on our way home from a long day of sightseeing and a good dinner at Rusty's Grill. Back to the Trace tomorrow.

March 17, Battlefield

We bought a CD audio tour and toured the Battlefield today and it was well worth what we paid for it. Even though Galen was a history major as an undergrad, we both learned so much from the CD and accompanying book. There are hundreds of monuments on the 16 mile trail. I'm only uploading one.

March 17, Buildings

The courthouse is now a museum. I'm not sure what the former train station is. The church steeples are still church steeples.

March 17, Murals

There is a series of Vicksburg murals meant to beautify the waterfront and across the street a very colorful children's art park and playground.

March 17, Coffee

This cool coffee shop was just a few doors down from the Coke Museum.

March 17, Coke

Coke was strictly a soda fountain drink until bottling it began right here in Vicksburg, MS. Our first stop today was a small Coke museum.

March 16, Port Gibson

We didn't realize Port Gibson was so interesting and photogenic until after we were well past it, but we did get a quick shot of this "hand of God" church on our way through town. The steeple sits on the Port Gibson Presbyterian Church built in 1807 under the leadership of the Reverend Zebulon Butler. Rev. Butler also has the distinction of being the subject of the first service - his funeral.

The hand is 12' tall and overall height from fingertip to sidewalk is 165'. The first hand, much to the delight of neighborhood woodpeckers, was made of wood and thanks to said woodpeckers was soon replaced with a metal hand.

March 16, Windsor Ruins

This was once a beautiful house that survived the Civil War but was later burned down by a party guest who tossed a cigarette where he shouldn't have. It is an eerie place made even more spooky during our visit by the scent of smoke in the air from a brush fire up the road - what was left of the road. The whole area is of full of deep gullies running through the land in all directions and one gully encroached so close to the road that half the road was no longer passable. We were towing our RV and wondered what other surprises lay ahead but the rest of the trip to Vicksburg was uneventful.