Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh. My. Word.

  Here it is nearly October, and I never finished posting the photos of our last trip. And we've been home since the end of August!

Well, I could hang my head in shame, or I can just get on with it and post them now.  Hard to do anything with my head hanging down.  So, I'll just swallow my embarrassment and truck on.

We had a wonderful time in Abita Springs, Louisiana.  We were there for 3 1/2 weeks.  Here's some of the highlights:

We drove to Bogalusa one day, just because we liked the name of the town.  It just makes me happy to say I've been to Bogalusa, Louisiana.

Cowboy caught lots of fish in this lake.  It's on the property of Abita Springs RV Resort, where we were staying.  One of the bass he caught was right at two feet long.  We had people coming to the door of the trailer asking to see "the big fish"!!!

In Slidell, they've decorated nearly every downtown street corner with these wild pelicans!

At the Civil War Museum in Slidell, Cowboy got to play with the guns!  The young man standing behind him was our guide.  Such a friendly young man.  He loves the local history, and I think he enjoyed telling us about it as much as we enjoyed listening!

Isn't this lovely?  They hold a public "Farmer's Market" here on Sunday afternoons.  We bought hummus, and cinnamon pear jelly, and tamales and peanuts!

Once again, we attended Pearl River Baptist Church, where a friend of ours is the preacher.  It is one of the friendliest churches we've ever visited.  This time we were blessed to be included in an outreach to a Women's Mission, the Baptist Friendship House in New Orleans, just outside the French Quarter.  The church had been collecting school supplies for the local children, and we went and helped fill back packs and passed them out.  We met so many nice people. Made some wonderful new friends.  And, our bus driver took us on an impromptu driving tour of the French Quarter!  So much history in that area.

The last few days we were in Abita Springs, our daughter and her husband and the two girls came down and stayed in a cabin at the RV Resort.  What a joyous reunion! As I've said a thousand times, the only downside to travel is missing family and friends! 
We had a lot of fun with the kids.  We visited the Insta-Gator Alligator Ranch, where we learned all about alligators.  The girls even got to hatch baby alligators in their hands!
Then we all went to the Abita Mystery House Museum.  This kitschy little place is beyond description.  My favorite exhibit here is the collection of paint-by-number paintings.  But the computer parts nailed all over the ceiling is also
We also did some antique shopping, spent some time at the resort's club house, visited with the neighbors, made several trips to Wal-Mart and one or two stops at the Mall.  And we ate. Mercy!! We ate good.  I'm pretty sure that southern Louisiana has the best food in the world.  And since it will be a while before we get back there, we made sure to eat all we possibly could! 
So, there you have it.  We came home around August 23 or 24.  

Our horses were waiting for us.
It's good to be home.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Last of Natchez Trace

We've been in Abita Springs, Louisiana for a week.  And I'm just now getting around to updating the blog.  It's not as if we've been terribly busy, either.  Other than going to church (First Baptist Church at Pearl River) and eating a few great meals, we have been extremely lazy.  Tim's done a little fishing, but he's had a terrible earache, so stayed inside more than usual.  It got so bad he actually went to a "doc-in-a-box" (walk-in clinic).  He seems to be on the mend, now.  I hope.

Another factor has been that the humidity here is beyond belief.  Every time I step outside my glasses fog over! Southern Louisiana in late summer may not have been the best idea.  But Tim and I both just had a really bad feeling about traveling any further northeast, and the recent weather reports confirm our decision.

Anyhow, here's a the last of the Natchez Trace pics.  Enjoy!

This is what's left of the Elizabeth Female Academy.  Founded in 1818 in the town of Washington, it was the first female educational institution in Mississippi.  John James Audubon was on the faculty of the Elizabeth Academy.

Kudzu.  Want some?

Submarine used to smuggle bootleg whiskey during the Prohibition. Grand Gulf Military State Park, Port Gibson, Mississippi

William Ferguson, and his wife Paulina purchased Mount Locust in 1784 and operated the farm until William’s death in 1801. A short time later Paulina married James Chamberlain, an overseer at Mount Locust, and they continued to build the growing farm. Besides farming, they opened the house as a "stand" on the Natchez Trace, where travelers could get a meal and/or a bed, or at least a place to throw a bedroll.

We took lots of pictures of the furnishings, but my favorites were these toys from the period.

Spinning wheel.

Charlie Chihuahua liked the old brick sidewalks.  Slave labor probably made these bricks. Ugh.  Seems like there are reminders of slavery everywhere.  How could it ever have been an acceptable way of life?  Some things I will never understand.

This house on stilts was in a mobile home community near the Mississippi River, near Grand Gulf Military State Park outside Port Gibson, MS.  The sign says, "The Smith's The Flood of 2011 Soul Survivors"

Ferns and moss grow everywhere.  So pretty.

We had planned to spend some time in Natchez, seeing the sights there, but problems with the fifth wheel's landing gear prompted us to head to the nearest Camping World which was in Hammond, LA.  Turned out they couldn't help us, so we just decided to get to Abita a little earlier than planned.
Poor Cowboy has to hand crank the  (insert technical term for "thing-a-ma-bob") to get the fiver off of the pickup, then crank some more to get it level on the ground.  Then do it all again when we hook back up.  Not fun.  Especially in the heat and humidity.  Not fun at all.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Natchez Trace - Tishomingo State Park

Our God is such an amazing artist, isn't He?  We are still taking our time to enjoy His handiwork driving down the Natchez Trace. We are staying at Tishomingo State Park one more night so we can enjoy the surrounding here.  Here are a few highlights from the last few days.

Buzzard Roost Spring

John Coffee Memorial Bridge, Alabama.  Longest bridge on the Trace.  Crosses Pickwick Lake, on the Tennessee River.

Cabin in the woods at Tishomingo State Park.  On the plus side, it's wide open for anyone to walk in and explore.  On the negative side, too many people have used this easy access to carve graffiti into the old logs. Sad.

Charlie loves to hike.  I love all the moss on the ground.  Looks like green carpet.

Closer view of the cabin.

Inside the cabin.  Can you see the graffiti on the left side?  There's lots more that doesn't show up in the photo.  Silly people.

Swinging bridge built in 1939. 

Bear statue outside the park office.

We love quirky museums, and this is one of the quirkiest.  The Apron Museum, in Iuka, Mississippi.  This apron is from the Civil War Era.  And in perfect condition!

This is the owner of the museum, with a designer apron from the fifties.  You can look her up on Facebook.  Just search for The Apron Museum.  This is a wonderful place.  The owner is so enthusiastic, even the Cowboy was interested!  She also sells some aprons made by local women.  At very reasonable prices.  I bought two!

Back on the Trace now. Stepping stones at Rock Spring, on Colbert Creek.

This stretch of our trip has been so peaceful.  I am amazed that we seem to be the only ones on the road most of the time.  There are only two other campers in the park.  And there is never anyone else at any of the stops we make to hike and explore.  AND, the weather has been perfect - cool, mostly in the 70's, with a little rain every now and then.  Maybe the rain is keeping other people away, but we think it's perfect!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Natchez Trace

We are so excited to be back on the Natchez Trace Parkway. No billboards, no McDonald's, no Wal-Mart - just 444 miles of American history and God's glorious creation!

We spent the last two nights at Columbia, Missouri, taking care of boring stuff like getting the oil changed, doing laundry, and buying groceries. 

But we're happy to be back on the trace today. Here's a few things we've seen so far.
This is a part of the old trace, used by deer, native Americans, pioneers, lumbermen returning home to Tennessee after selling the timber they'd floated down the river to Natchez, and Jackson's army during the War of 1812.
You can't see it, but there is a deer at the far end of the trail here.

Pretty moss covered rocks on the trail to Jackson Falls.

A little cave on the trail to Jackson Falls.

Jackson Falls.

This is the Gordon House, built in the early 1800's. This family ran a trading post and a ferry.

Scenic view from Baker Bluff Overlook.

War of 1812 Memorial. It commemerates the many soldiers who never made it home from the war, and were buried in unmarked graves along the trace.

Turkeys. I've never seen so many turkeys! Dozens of 'em! We've also seen lots of deer, including a doe with two adorable fawns. Back in Franklin, we even saw a mama duck leading her children across the road.

This is the Double Arch Bridge over Birdsong Hollow.  Isn't Birdsong Hollow a pretty name?

The view from on top of the bridge.

We are staying at Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi for a couple of days.  The woods here are so beautiful.  I keep expecting to see woodland fairies, or at least leprechauns, playing among the ferns and flowers in the woods!