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Old 09-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #31
Ol Man
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Dr. Greg, if you want to read an interesting book on Gettysburg (I assume you will be going there), there is a book by the same name authored by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. This is a "what if" account if Lee had done some things a bit different. If you have never been there, I would recommend reading this book after you have visited and seen the area. What a wonderful museum, exhibits and battlefields exist there. It is really something to read about the battle, but see the terrain and such is really quite an experience. I think we spent about five days in the area a couple of years ago.

I am enjoying your ride report.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #32
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Hi Doc - I missed a few days but I'm here now!

Cheers
P
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:01 PM   #33
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Doc,

Enjoyed your visit and we'll be keeping up with your RR - stay safe and have fun!

Jeff & Becky

PS - Becky tells me that the berries you came across at the Texas picnic area are Callicarpa americana, or American beautyberry. Apparently they make one helluva good jelly...
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jeffabner screwed with this post 09-27-2012 at 10:13 PM Reason: postscript
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:34 PM   #34
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Following along Doc as you work your way closer to them northern agressors BTW, check ur PMs.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:20 PM   #35
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Hi, Doc. this is the 2nd trip I've followed you on. I enjoy your itineraries, and your interest in history. Since you are going to catch civil war sites, I would like to suggest a couple of stops. My wife & i traveled from Nashville to Natchez last spring, in a car though , but it was fun. We tried to stay on the Natchez Trace Parkway much of the time. Although the speed limit is only 45, the good thing is that you get totally sheltered from today's civilization by the way they have designed the roadway. It is easy to pop out of the Parkway and go see other sites. If you do follow the Trace, a good meal stop (or overnight) is French Camp, MS.

If you liked Vicksburg Battlefield, you will also like Shiloh. But my suggestion is one that we stumbled over when still in Tennessee. It was the Battle of Franklin, in Franklin, TN. Franklin is just south of Nashville. You can get a ticket to see 3 sites: the Carnton Plantation, where the plantation home was taken over for a field hospital, and then 2 homes in Franklin, the Lotz & Carter houses. There is a visitor center about the battle behind the Carter house. The battle raged within feet of the home and I'm sure you will be moved by the story they tell. Our guide was James Knight, the author of Battle of Franklin. He can move you to tears.

Another spot I was amazed at is the Cumberland Gap, and the historical influence there. That area has great roads for riding.

Anyway, I hope you have a great trip. Many of us will enjoy the trip through you.

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #36
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Sorry, forgot one thing. Here is info on the Battle of Franklin. http://battleoffranklintrust.org/
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:47 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Hi Doc - I missed a few days but I'm here now!

Cheers
P
Well, howdy there Pantah...since much of this route is due to you, it's good to have you on board!

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:48 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCrider View Post
Following along Doc as you work your way closer to them northern agressors BTW, check ur PMs.
Will do. I'm looking forward to sharing some bourbon...

...and other stuff, too. I'm not just interested in bourbon, y'unnderstand!

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:49 PM   #39
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodshed View Post
Hi, Doc. this is the 2nd trip I've followed you on. I enjoy your itineraries, and your interest in history. Since you are going to catch civil war sites, I would like to suggest a couple of stops. My wife & i traveled from Nashville to Natchez last spring, in a car though , but it was fun. We tried to stay on the Natchez Trace Parkway much of the time. Although the speed limit is only 45, the good thing is that you get totally sheltered from today's civilization by the way they have designed the roadway. It is easy to pop out of the Parkway and go see other sites. If you do follow the Trace, a good meal stop (or overnight) is French Camp, MS.

If you liked Vicksburg Battlefield, you will also like Shiloh. But my suggestion is one that we stumbled over when still in Tennessee. It was the Battle of Franklin, in Franklin, TN. Franklin is just south of Nashville. You can get a ticket to see 3 sites: the Carnton Plantation, where the plantation home was taken over for a field hospital, and then 2 homes in Franklin, the Lotz & Carter houses. There is a visitor center about the battle behind the Carter house. The battle raged within feet of the home and I'm sure you will be moved by the story they tell. Our guide was James Knight, the author of Battle of Franklin. He can move you to tears.

Another spot I was amazed at is the Cumberland Gap, and the historical influence there. That area has great roads for riding.

Anyway, I hope you have a great trip. Many of us will enjoy the trip through you.

Thank you VERY much! I might be in that area tomorrow, so your response is very timely. BTW, I did about 250 miles on the "Trace" today, and enjoyed it IMMENSELY...as you will soon see in my ride report update.

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:16 PM   #40
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Thursday 9/27: Shreveport, Louisiana - Gloster, Mississippi

Sorry for being "out of touch" for a day or so...there's a very good reason for that, but I'll discuss that later. *Suffice it to say that things are going very well...

BTW, the (free) text editor I'm using on the iPad (my device for this trip) seems to insert asterisks at odd points...for a while I manually edited them out, but I'm tired of doing that. *So just ignore all the asterisks. *Thanks.


Leaving Jeff and Becky in Shreveport

So in the morning I told Becky..."I know you're not big breakfast people, so couldja maybe please make me a piece of toast with peanut butter. *I should've known better...


She brings out this incredible plate of scrambled eggs + goodies + toast + who knows what else. *Needless to say, I couldn't finish. *Good thing they have a couple of dogs...what a great pair of hosts. *Bless you guys.

Vicksburg, Mississippi and the National Military Park

I took I-20 from Shreveport, LA to Vicksburg, Mississippi. *Normally I avoid the interstates, but I wanted to get to Vicksburg with as much time as possible to look around. *Why? *Because the "Siege of Vicksburg" was maybe THE pivotal point in the Civil War, that's why. *So here's what I-20 was like:


You know my weakness for running water, well here's the OLD MAN, the Mighty Mississippi:

Best I could do while riding...

See? *I was really there!


Any of you guys remember DeSoto? *No, not the CAR...sheesh.


And---like I said---this is why I was here.


BTW, the last few photos were taken at the "Mississippi Welcome Center," which I feel is a very nicely done "welcome center"...based on the many "welcome centers" I've encountered in my diverse travels.

Here's a pic of the Mississippi River from the Welcome Center (east bank of the river, of course):


And here's a "closeup" of a barge being shoved upriver. *The Mississippi River was THE key to shipping, which is why President Lincoln said that "Vicksburg is the Key to the Civil War", and "we need that key in our pocket."



The Vicksburg National Military Park

There's a lot to see in Vicksburg. *But---given my limited time---(yeah, I know I'm retired, but...) I wanted to focus on the "Military Park." *When I rode up to the "guard shack" I flashed my "Senior Pass" and they waved me thru! *Hey, age has its privileges! *The first thing I saw was this plaque about ARTILLERY:

Man, what could be SCARIER than artillery?!?! *Uh, on the receiving end, I mean.

And here was the "murderer's row" of artillery, right out front:


Man!! *Gives me the shivers just to look at the pic. *And the big bruiser in middle had this nameplate:

Don't think it had anything to do with "Dennis..."

MORTARS play a big part in any "siege"...look at this thing! *Its "stroke" is not much longer than its "bore"...yikes. *These things just give me the willies. *Small arms are one thing, but...


And the f'ing projectiles that they threw!...like this "Solid Shot"...I've read about these things taking the head off some random officer!!!??!! *Howdja like to be riding next to some poor bloke one second, and the next WHAM a 10-inch bowling ball screams thru and removes his *head. *MY GOD!!! *How did these soldiers keep fighting?!?


Sorry, I just get carried away... *Of course, then there's THIS GUY who probably did even more damage:


I mean, come on, guys. *I think everyone should be required to tour these battlefields and think about what these poor boys went through.

Ah, yes...life in the trenches.


And then the poor civilian buggers in Vicksburg...they ended up living in CAVES to avoid the carnage. *I mean, can you IMAGINE living in a CAVE in Vicksburg, Mississippi in friggin' JUNE and JULY? *It's bad enough being on the surface! *No offense to any Vicksburg residents, y'unnerstand.


They tried to portray what these caves might have been like...yikes!



The 16-Mile Vicksburg Military Park "Tour" Route

There is a 16-mile "tour" route thru the Military Park. *Naturally I rode it. *After the first couple stops I quit wearing my jacket (it was HOT) and gloves. *That sped things up a little. *The first sign I saw was:

There was a similar "Entering Confederate Lines" sign later down the road, but I don't think I got a pic of it.

Lotsa monuments like this:


The surrounding countryside was very "rolling"...so many places for artillery emplacements like these:





The Poor Soldiers...

The Northern soldiers at Vicksburg seemed to come primarily from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin. *This statue of a Wisconsin boy just touched my heart:




The USS Cairo Union Ironclad

The Union "ironclad" boat USS Cairo has been raised and is on display:




During battle, when a 10-inch "solid shot" would hit dead center on the steam boilers of these ships, the resulting explosion would often claim many lives. *Boilers like these...


I'll put a plug in here for the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), my professional organization. *In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, steam boiler explosions killed a lotta people. *The ASME developed a "code" for safely designing boilers and pressure vessels. *Save many lives. *See, engineers do good stuff!

Here's some of the rest of the big steam engines on these ships...now, that's a REAL engine:


Seems like the Confederate boys came from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi:


It just (literally) brings a tear to my eye to think of these Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin boys firing away at the Alabam, Louisiana, and Mississippi boys. *Seeing these historical sites somehow brings the reality of war home to me in a way I didn't expect. *This trip is definitely worthwhile, for me at least.

More Mississippi guys:


This statue of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman caught my eye...talk about a dramatic pose:


That concludes my visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park. *It affected me profoundly. *Hope you "enjoyed" it.


Looking for WALT in All the Wrong Places

My contact for the evening was ADV inmate "DWalt" (Walt). *We had agreed to meet up somewhere in Natchez, Mississippi, but of course I screwed up. *After about 45 minutes and several phone calls we finally made connections. *Note Walt flat-footing his V-Strom:


I was a little "ticked off" for losing so much time, but Walt was so enthusiastic that I couldn't stay upset too long. *What a guy (as you will soon see...)


Bad (er, Full) Moon Rising

When Walt finally "showed up," I was ready to get a motel. *"Hey, it's a beautiful 40-mile ride to my place," he said. *And it WAS! *The time we lost simply made the rising full moon even more beautiful. *Walt set a spirited pace on his V-Strom and I'm sure the Multistrada thought "at last, I get to stretch my legs." *It was indeed a beautiful ride on down to the vicinity of Gloster, Mississippi (southern part of MS). *My only concern was that a DEER would jump out in front of me, but Walt later assured me that couldn't happen. *Of course his "guest house" was festooned with innumerable deer antlers! *Yikes!


Best Dinner I've Had in a Coon's Age...

Once we got to Walt's "hideout" (Greengate, BTW), I met his lovely ladyfriend Joanie (left below), friend Danny (right below), and his folks Mary and Walt, Sr. *What a great buncha folks!


And lookit this dinner! *Fresh-killed teal (duck), shrimp, bacon, and a buncha other stuff that I ate more of than I expected. *Man!


Here's a better pic of Walt. *That darn guy is the EPITOME of what I'd consider a GOOD OL' BOY...and in every way the best sense of the word. *Friendly, kind, and looks able to still start on most college football teams. *Good thing he's a friend of mine!


Here's a final pic of my dinner plate: black beans, salad, teal+bacon, other stuff (sorry, I don't recall the terminology). *Plus I got to stay in the "lake house" all by myself! *I mean, where else can you go but ADVrider.com and meet people who will just take you in and treat you like (or better than) family? *I felt like I'd died and gone to Heaven...



Hmm, let's see; Gloster Mississippi to Tupelo, Mississippi?...

Yeah, I had a great night's sleep at Walt's place, and made it 300+ miles to Tupelo. *But that story's gotta wait a few more minutes. *Please stay tuned, and I thank you all for your concern (especially Jeff & Becky!)

--Doc
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Dr. Greg screwed with this post 09-29-2012 at 06:26 AM
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:36 PM   #41
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An interesting book to read is "Captains and Kings" you can google it . Its about money and power and influence.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #42
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Doc, As you are heading north you may be intrested in the Perryville, Ky.Sesquicentenial Battle reenactment taking place Oct. 5-6-7 .
The Battle of Perryville was the largest battle in Ky. during the Civil War.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:01 PM   #43
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Glad you enjoyed your visit to Vicksburg. A coworker told me about a pretty red Duc he saw in the park during his bicycle ride yesterday - he was blown away when I showed him your RR.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:43 AM   #44
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Dr. Greg enjoying following along on another of your journeys. Can't wait to be retired myself to enjoy this great big country at a slower pace. Our history is not that old but you have to wonder what things would be like if not for a great President Lincoln. Such a hard time a war between brothers. The most solemn thing for me when i visit battlefields is the mass graves boys fighting side by side for their cause laid to rest shoulder to shoulder. Be safe and thankful Best wishes Mark
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:53 AM   #45
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Friday 9/28: Gloster, Mississippi - Tupelo, Mississippi

After spending a wonderful night all by myself in Walt's "guest house and hunting lodge" on Lake Greengate, I arose to a phenomenon we rarely see in New Mexico:




Yup, fog. *Well, it's gotta burn off soon. *In the meantime, make some coffee and fix a piece of toast. *Finally, a "reasonable" sized breakfast.


Then a few minutes later Walt rolled up with some MORE stuff for breakfast for me. *What a guy!



Walt and Dr. Greg "Go Fishin' "

So I had remarked the night before to Walt that I had never done much fishin'..."heck, we'll go out in the mornin' and catch a few," replied Walt. *And so we did. *I followed him out to the end of the pier:


It was a beautiful, quiet, foggy morning. *Walt had a couple different lures which he guaranteed would get a "largemouth bass"...hopefully 4 - 5 pounds!


I told Walt I'd spoil his luck, but he kept tryin'...finally ended up with this little guy:


Walt finally had to leave, and I got Milledue turned around and repacked...


This time riding out Walt's driveway I could actually SEE, so I missed most of the bigger rocks. *Milledue in ENDURO mode for this little section...


I tried to get a few pics of the wonderful roads (75-mph sweepers, etc.) that we rode in on the night before (under the full moon!):


I thoroughly enjoyed stayin' with these good folks. *Salt of the earth, they are.


The Natchez Trace Parkway

At Natchez, Mississippi, I caught the Natchez Trace Parkway.


Even though the speed limit is 50 mph (I rode a GPS-indicated 60-65 mph), I thoroughly enjoyed the peace of "the Trace." *Virtually no traffic, beautiful, beautiful green woodland. *It was like a balm to my soul.


I pulled over at a few of the "historical markers."


And stopped at a few of the "picnic areas."


I could have taken 20 more pictures along the Natchez Trace. *But you'd get bored. *So I kept ridin' as far as Tupelo, Mississippi (where I am typing this from on Saturday morning). *IIRC that's the birthplace of Elvis Presley. *I guess I'll follow the "Trace" from here up into Tennessee. *I think the weather's gonna deteriorate, but it's not rainin' now. *I definitely wanna see the place in TN where explorer Meriwether Lewis met his fate end (near Hohenwald, TN, I believe).

Thanks for reading, more later.

--Doc
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