Friday, November 27, 2015
Beaumont was and is an oil town, you can see refineries on the horizon. The downtown was practically a ghost town.
There was a nice park near our campground and Tucker got a few nice walks there.
Crackerbarrel ended up to be our only choice for Thanksgiving meal but it turned out to be pretty good. And no leftovers or extra desserts was good for my waistline.
After talking to family we hit the last Hunger Games Movies at the theater next to Crackerbarrel. It was just OK.
First we ate lunch and it was hot and really really buggy. We decided a shorter hike than planned.
A lot of the park was dirt roads which was fun and then we took a short loop hike.
After some shopping and call with the friend who checks on our house our exciting time in Beaumont was almost over.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
In Natchez is a small Nation Historic Park comprised mostly of an Antebellum home which we toured and ate lunch at.
The Natchz Trace parkway also ends here, it is a scenic parkway kind of like the MI version of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We didn't drive much of it but you could spend a week on it.
It was a just a quick stop as there are only a couple interpretive panels.
On a prior trip we visited a much better mound site where some of it was recreated and there was much more information
Instead we had to hit a Steampunk Coffee shop downtown for coffee and a snack. But even they had no snacks... the world was against me!
The downtown is really cute with nice shops and a few restaurants. There is a nice walk right along the river where there is also a small casino.
In Natchez we also watched the Patriots game at a Ruby Tuesday only because the game was cable and none of the downtown places seemed to be open late enough to see the whole game.
It is pork and rice cooked in a sausage casing. We got two one smoked one plain. They were tasty.
We also had them for leftovers the next day.
Monday, November 23, 2015
First we finally drove all the way to Fort Pickens which looked close to where we were camping but turns out the Santa Rosa Island was a lot longer than it looked on google maps.
The for was cool but it was a very windy and chilly so we didn't stay that long.
The museum is on-base but it was no problem bringing the trailer through the check point I am sure lots of RV'er stop here.
We only spent a hour or so there so we could get back on the road. There was a lot more to see and learn and we didn't even see the planes they had out on the airfield
After that we motored to Hattiesburg AL and did our shopping and slept in the Walmart.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Our campground was a private resort which was taken over by a Florida state park so it was really nice and even had a pool and great trails for walking.
We also had dinner at their house the next night. He and his husband have two fun dogs!
He also got a nice trip a dog park although it was still flooded from the rain over the last few days. Not that he minded!
It was great to meet and get to know his husband Derek.
I am glad we took a detour to Florida.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
The storm did come and it rained pretty much for 18 hours straight.
Tucker did not like hanging inside the trailer so much. Will got some work done and I did our first laundry of the trip.
The BBQ was pretty good and I had a some leftovers too. I asked the waitress which was better the Bananna Pudding or the Lemon Pie and she said the pudding was better so we decided to split that.
To our surprise the waitress brought us both the pudding and the pie and said she thought we should try both... I never turn down a free piece of pie!
The pudding was better and something we don't get up north.
Monday, November 16, 2015
They also have their own campground which is dirt cheap and had FAST Wifi (If you are a RV'er you know advertising Wifi doesn't mean it works or even is fast enough to check your email).
Here is the launchpad for the Space Camp Rockets.
As a kid who launched a lot of rockets and really likes the space program and I am sure begged my parents to send me to space camp it was a bit disappointing.
Apparently the idea of re-usable space systems died with the shuttle because the entire campground and fields surrounding the launch area is littered with I kid you not thousands of rockets and rocket parts.
It was pretty sad, as were some of the exhibits in the museum so cracked and damaged by sun and exposure you couldn't read them. Of course they also had a brand new Saturn V Building where everything worked and looked nice.
After a few moom missions they stopped doing this as they decided there was no dangerous life on the moon to be brought back.
I am alway amazed at the tires and off-road capabilities the Germans think they will need to see America.
This seems to be an upper park of some kind of rocket with control thrusters. It also had a lof of electronic componenets still in tack.
That reminds me one of the most interesting things I learned about the Apollo missions is how the Saturn V was controlled by a ring of electronics including a computer with less memory/power than the electronics in modern kitchen appliance. This ring was below the command module and the LEM.
Originally the astronauts wanted to control the rocket but that was veto'd by NASA and lucky for one Apollo mission that was struck by lightning temporarily frying the command module but not touching the control ring or else they never would have made it to orbit.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
We ended up driving back to one of the places across the street from the Opryland and parking for free and walking over.
Inside the hotel they have 4 different attriums of gardens and shops, one even including a boat ride.
We walked them all and it was a bit like being in Vegas except no gambling.
We had parked here next to Cooter's Dukes of Hazzard Museum which I had checked out on Tucker's really long walk from the day before.
This time I had my phone so I took a picture.
On the site he had several homes ranging from the original log cabin (converted to slave housing) a bigger home (which mostly burned down) and a final home which was converted to a museum not too long after he moved out.
In the parking lot was this awesome restored VW Bus!
I have never seen so many used books, I finally found the 2 I had been searching for in Asheville.
Then we fell for the Temptation of the McRib my favorite McDonald's sandwich. They were 2 for 5$ and we we did drive through (very rare for us) and ate them with home made salad at the campground.
On one drive someplace I detoured through a patch of green on google maps and happened upon the biggest dog park I have ever seen. Tucker got 2 trips here before we left Nashville. He had a great time although he thought there could be more squirrels and of course a dog park is never as much fun without his buddies Duncan and Charlie!
Friday, November 13, 2015
First we took Tucker for what turned out to be a very long walk when we found a road on the map wasn't public.
After that checked out the replica of the Parthenon and took a walk around the park it was in.
We got there just in time as a very very long line formed after we arrived.
I had fried cat-fish, collards, mac & cheese and fried green tomatoes for my sides. Will had the same sides with meat loaf.
And of course we each got a piece of pie! It was a lot of food!
Each establishment has it's own cool bright sign. If it had been darker I would had take some more photos of them.
And to visit the Bails Bondsmen.
We had plenty of time left on our parking so we went into the Honky Tonk bar (3 levels of bar each with it's own live music) and had a beer and listened to some music.
This band on the first floor was great, the other two floors weren't as good.
Time for a rest we ended up walking around 12 miles between Tucker and the visit to the city and my dogs are barking!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Travelling in winter has been very different from our other trips. There is a lot less day-light for driving. A lot less considering both our other trips were north of home and had a lot more day light per day.
The drive was really pretty as we crossed the mountains. We stopped at the Cumberland Gap Nation Historic Site Museum ate lunch and watched a movie about the gap. Tucker got a nice walk on the trail around the park too.
In a first for us we used the BBQ to make a big steak in the parking lot. The briquets I used we the easy light kind and put on a big show but it didn't attract any negative attention.
We also drank a very expensive bottle of wine with our steak. Probably the most expensive meal ever eaten at a Walmart.
The nice thing about this plan was we had a nice day to spend at the Mammoth Cave Park. We pulled in by 9 am and got tickets for a tour at 1:15 (Because it was the long tour we wanted to take).
After that Will did some work and I took Tucker for a walk on the trails around the park.
This was a cool tree, maybe a shagbark hickory?
Well the caves cause a lot of sink holes and I hiked past this one. It was static so it wasn't going to suck me down underground.
This tree really really wanted to live!
The cave tour was interesting, Mammoth Cave claims to be the worlds largest cave system at over 400 miles of tunnels.
We toured a big former underground river portion of the cave which is now dry. We have seen a ton of stalagtites and "Cave Bacon" before so it was nice to see a different kind of cave.
After the cave we hit the road for Nashville, TN and ended up getting in just after dark but it wasn't too had to back into our sight and get settled.