Sunday, June 28, 2015

Southeast Road Trip, Days 12 and 13

After waking up in Birmingham and having a quick hotel breakfast, we were back on the road and in Mississippi by lunch time.
6 years ago, we drove through here and had a fun time at Planet Playground in Meridian, so we decided to pick up lunch and hit the playground again.

Josh and I sat down at the picnic tables to blissfully eat our lunch in peace

And the kids ran around until they were ready to sit in the air conditioned car again

Unfortunately, the playground has not had the upkeep it needs, so I would no longer endorse it as one of the coolest playgrounds around.  There were several things broken and lots of wood that needs to be replaced.

Near the end of the day, we pulled off the highway to stop by Vicksburg National Military Park

We arrived too late to see a cannon demonstration, but they were just starting a rifle demo.  First step, get out a cartridge
Bite off the paper on the end
Pour in the powder and bullet
Use the ram road to push it down into the gun

Replace the ram rod....with your pinky.  Cause the army can't have you blowing off your whole hand if the gun goes off, but you'll get by just fine without a pinky (not sure how accurate that is pre-antibiotics, but that was the thinking, anyway)
Then it was time to prime the cap and fire

After a quick loop through the small exhibit section inside, we asked about visiting the USS Cairo.

 The rangers told us that due to being so close to closing time, the best thing to do was drive through town (instead of the park road), so we took off.

We arrived just ahead of a storm and they were closing off the pathways around the ship, so we didn't get to get too close, but it was still really neat to see

We hung out inside while the storm rolled over.  There's a really cool little museum with all sorts of artifacts they found in the wreckage.
(yes, someone had changed the date on the stamp and I didn't catch it.  Rude!)
Once the lightning stopped, we ventured outside for a few pictures before dashing through the rain for the car

After jumping back on the interstate, we crossed in Louisiana

And Sedona practiced her shotgun duty skills to find some snacks for everyone so we could put off dinner until later
After another Cracker Barrel dinner to put the kids in a food coma, and another night of driving hotel to hotel before finding one with a room, we finally got some shut eye in Shreveport.

The next morning it was just a few more hours to home!  I missed the Texas sign, but I just barely caught the old sculpture at the border.
We called in a pizza order and had lunch at HOME! Only 13 days, 11 states, 7 national parks/sites and 2,800 miles later!

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