Travels with Snowbirds Quest for the Stamp April 16 to April 18, Natchez MS

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April 19th 2017
Published: April 20th 2017
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Madison GA to Morton MS

Ocmulgee MoundOcmulgee MoundOcmulgee Mound

It was here that I cracked my head on the entrance timber.
Travels with Snowbirds Quest for the Stamp 04/16 to 4/18, The first stamps

My last blog was more for me to write down some thoughts ruminating in my head that I needed to purge. Today and going forward my writing will be for the readers enjoyment with an occasional history or culture lesson thrown in.

Before I left Country Boys CG on Easter Sunday, I opened my ALLStays RV app to write a review. Duh. I had already written one there in 4/15. It looked kind of familiar, but not really. Is that a big senior moment or what? I liked it then and I like it now. Good thing. The local town had a Walmart, a Pilot and a McDonalds. All open on Easter Sunday and I did it all on my way out of town.

I will repeat my facebook RANT here. I HATE it when car drivers think they should park in the RV only lanes at Flying Js, or Cracker Barrel, etc. They take up the full space and often it is the last RV space available, meaning I can’t park. Or, if they do park and there are open spots, they aren’t courteous and don’t leave enough room for my rear end to clear them when I try to exit. These people should have a bird shit on their heads. This happened to me once at a Cracker Barrel and I had to wait over an hour for the owner to come out and move his extremely old Crown Vic. Expletive deleted.

I had originally intended to visit Tuskegee Airmen National Monument in Tuskegee, GA. Good thing I checked their website, closed Sundays. Most National Parks are closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and many Christmas only. Tuskegee Airmen is closed every Sunday. Regroup and headed to Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon which wasn't even in my radar until I checked the National Park ap. This was providential for me; it seems part of I85 in Atlanta caved in causing massive traffic tie ups. I avoided it all by heading south toward Macon.

Plagiarized from their brochure: Ocmulgee is a Mississippian culture outpost on the Macon Plateau. From Ice Age hunters to Creek Indians of recent time, Ocmulgee testifies to 10,000 years of people living here. Two periods stand out for me. Between 900 and 1100 a farming people lived here, known as the Mississippians who spread out throughout the central and eastern US. Although it is far removed from such Mississippian centers as Cahokia in IL (which I hope to get to on this trip,) these people were heirs of an important culture and were as successful as those in Mexico. At one time, more than 1000 people lived here farming for crops including corn and tobacco. They built thatched huts and leveled an area near the river and built a series of earth mounds – for gathering places for religion and politics. They were not built to full height at once, but over the years. Think that they looked like the Mayan temples, only grass . They built wooden structures on top instead of stone. One large one was a burial site. The other was a meeting hall which has been restored as original and clearly shows 46 seats, probably for tribe elders for meetings. The ranger told me I could bring Winston into the lodge! I was thrilled. I had to duck way down to enter and continue along 10 yards until I could stand up in the center. This viewing area is hermetically sealed from the
POW wall at AndersonvillePOW wall at AndersonvillePOW wall at Andersonville

no editing software on new laptop, sorry it's dark
actual main part of the lodge and air conditioned!! What a riot.

We turned to leave and I didn’t duck enough and really bashed my head at the exit. I saw stars. Many of you who know me, know I live with a constant headache, often not bad sometimes awful. Now I have a reason for having a headache, and a large bump to go along.

The second reason this area is important is this was the last home for the remaining Creek Cherokee Indians before they were banished to Oklahoma. This is a sad shameful part of our history in my heart - The Trail of Tears.

Back in Moya heading for Andersonville National Historic Site, Georgia. I knew this would be a tough site for me to visit, and it was. It is the home of the National Prisoner of War Museum as well as the Civil War prison, Andersonville. I only stayed there long enough to get my passport stamped and take a picture of the prison stockade and statue, and moved on. Man’s inhumanity to fellow man is shameful and sad to me. The 16-acre stockade was built to house Union soldiers relocated from Richmond to get them away from Union lines. It was built to house 10,000, and at its peak held 32,000 with as many as 16,000 perishing. I only glimpsed at the POW museum, and then rode around the cemetery and thought I was in Gettysburg!

A busy day thus far. Time to move on to my overnight accommodation, Wind Creek Casino, Montgomery, GA. Yes, Creek Indian, and it is tribal owned. I read in my handy dandy RVing at Casino book dated 2015, that there was a separate lot for overnight RVs. I got there, and it was blocked off. Growl. I parked as far back in the lot as I could get, turned on the generator and A/C and left Winston for a 2-hour video slot binge. I checked with casino security and they said ok to park overnight anywhere along the edges. I complied. I started off by winning a few bucks and played the next 2 hours on that money, until they decided they wanted my initial investment back and I left when they had it. I figured I would have paid close to $40 for a campground nearby, so I could leave them a $40 donation. I drove around again and found a more remote site, but easy access to the exit and under light poles and I settled in for the night. Water pump worked just fine and I slept like a rock despite the cars racing thru the lot all night. Up early, showered and headed out for another nearby Walmart.

After that morning ritual was done, I headed west along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic trail, only going in reverse from the actual route. This is a 54-mile route following the 1965 Civil Rights March that took 4 days to go from Selma to the state capitol, Montgomery. Another horrible time in our history, that only 150 blacks were registered to vote out of a 15,000 voting age population. After some bad starts, most notably Bloody Sunday, March 7, the march actually took place over four days, March 21 to 25. 4,000 started the march, 25,000 were at the end. I stopped at the Lowndes Interpretive Center and watched the 25-minute fabulous film and looked briefly at the exhibits. I talked to the rangers, and all agreed I probably shouldn’t drive the RV across the bridge due to height and they loosely told me how to go. Operative word is loosely. I crossed the Alabama River three times trying to get there. I finally found a parking lot next door to the Selma Interpretive Center, NOT a National Historic site. Moya hit bottom trying to get into the empty parking lot and I was pissed. I should have parallel parked along the empty street and taken up 6 spaces and I would have been happier. I walked to the bridge and took my pictures and walked part way up. Winston was with me and he was out of sorts; we turned around. I opened the door to the Selma Interpretive Center and asked if I could bring him in and was told, nastily, NO by a white man who looked and was dressed just like that old cop on Dukes of Hazzard. I almost laughed. Their loss, I would have bought a sticker.

I asked a nearby construction worker (Yankee by his accent) to guide me out of the now filled parking lot and he was a true gem helping me weave thru and out another driveway that didn’t look like I would bottom out. So much history
Edmund Pettus BridgeEdmund Pettus BridgeEdmund Pettus Bridge

I wanted to drive Moya across, but truck traffic was veered off. I was nervous about the height.
there, but not a pleasant experience for me at all.

From Selma I had about 350 miles to go to Natchez. I looked for a cheap campground to break up that long drive and selected Roosevelt State Park in Morton. (Have you yet noticed the preponderance of towns starting with M?) Along the way, the sky filled with black clouds. I hugged the right at 50 mph, sometimes slower, and tiptoed around the raindrops and made it to Roosevelt and set up camp in the rain. My gorgeous site cost $14/night with water, sewer and electric hookups which backed up to the lake. I was very proud of myself, I backed into the long narrow concrete pad in one try. My next door neighbor came over to help, but he told me I looked like I knew what I was doing. Smile. This concrete pad had a drop off of 6 inches to the ground. I didn’t want my wheels to fall off no how no way.

I took a great panoramic pic of my water view and another pic of the trailer trash in the next campsite. A real mess with lots of metal suitable for recycle in his truck bed. Nasty. Great TV reception, though.

Tuesday morning I was fogged in and my head bump hurt. I am still stuck on EDT; I was up at 5, way before the sun. I relaxed as long as Winston would let me, then I had to walk him, and was back by 6:30. Tea this morning, read a few magazine, played computer games, went for another walk and saw something slithering in the lake. It was either a long fat snake swimming with his head out of the water, or a small alligator, swimming with his head out of the water. I am going for snake. By 9:30 I was ready to go and the fog was lifting.

I20 in MS sucks. So many ruts and holes and badly filled cracks. It was a bone rattling ride thru Jackson, MS. Be careful what I wish for, my next route was 40 miles on County Route 28. Nicely paved, but 2 lanes and full of logging trucks. I took my time, pulled over when I could to let traffic pass, and eventually made it to the sign that said Natchez State Park. I missed the next sign that directed me to the campground and ended up in east bumfuck neighborhood right out of Deliverance. Fortunately, I only hit one low flying branch before I could turn around and find the right turn. No ranger, just a sign that said as long as I had a reservation proceed to my campsite. Fumble fumble, where the heck was the confirmation email to tell me what site. I found it and negotiated the four mile narrow driveway. Very similar to Roosevelt, but I was not near the water like I thought I was. I took a walk around the loop, and there are sites that have a water view, but it is way far thru the trees, so no need for me to feel bad. I started a fire in the grill and made myself a London broil, with quinoa and rice microwave packet and applesauce. Nice dinner.

7 channels on air antenna. NBC and 6 PBS channels. No Survivor Wednesday.

Winston is much calmer this trip. He doesn't pace up and back with nails clacking on the linoleum. He sleeps most of the time either on his passenger seat or on the floor next to me. He is feeling his age, like his mommy.

Kim and Ginnie arrive here tomorrow and we are here until Saturday. Lots of stuff to see here in Natchez.

Kat out

Additional photos below
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Trashy neighborTrashy neighbor
Trashy neighbor

note wrecked awning and peeling door. Nasty

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