Wednesday, November 9, 2016

End of the Trace time to move on

October 28
The ranger at Grand Gulf has been living and working in the park for the past 12 years and he is very proud of the heritage and history surrounding the area. He told us our camping fee also included entrance into the museum at the entrance to the park and the historic village on the grounds.
Grand Gulf takes its name from a large bend in the Mississippi River which forms a large "gulf." In the 1700s the town was a boom town for Big Cotton but natural disasters and disease wiped out much of the population. During the Civil War, the town was site of The Battle of Grand Gulf. Confederate General Bowen built two heavily fortified bulwarks placing artillery on the bluffs overlooking the river. Grant came upriver seeking to attack Vicksburg but was instead heavily shelled causing the Union Ironclads to retreat.
Grant then landed troops below the town and moved overland attacking the forts and claiming them for the Union. This gave him a stronghold to launch his attack on Vicksburg.
Prohibition saw the town used as a stop for bootleggers who ran liquor up the river in submarines powered by Model T engines.
Grand Gulf is now considered a ghost town and is a 400 acre state park maintaining the forts and buildings moved to the town or built on the grounds.  

 I took overall pics of the museum and of guns and other cool stuff. Becky took detailed pictures of ladies stuff.

 Modern commerce on the river. 
We left the park and headed back to the Trace Parkway. We saw the infamous Mississippi kudzu.

can you see the cars?

 After a drive through Port Gibson we got back on the Parkway.
Our first stop was the Sunken Trace which I put up yesterday. The second was Mount Locust. It is the oldest structure in the area built around 1780 when the plantation was started. Run by Pauline Chamberlain, from 1784 to her death in1849, she spawn 11 children with two husbands and ran the plantation growing it and eventually turning it into an inn where the Kaintucks spent the night on their way up the Trace. Five generations of Chamberlains lived on the farm the last leaving in 1944.

From there it was straight down to the largest Indian mound on the Trace.

 Our next stop was in Natchez because Patrick was set on having some boudin. I chose this place because the reviews said it had good boudin. Unfortunately is was only an appetizer. Patrick and I both had gator sausage on our sandwiches. Becky had shrimp parm.
I stole this photo from:

 The next stop was Natchez Visitors Center. It had interesting displays about the town but not much about the Trace. I pulled into the parking lot and  Becky said the building didn't have any National Park signs. I pulled out and drove down the road. The next thing was the bridge to Louisiana. We took the bridge and turned around and ended up back in the VC parking lot.

A statue of Bowie's sandbar fight where he was a second for a knife duel. A fight broke out between the spectators and Bowie was stabbed several times and brought fame to his knife of the same name. He lived through the experience and later was killed at the Alamo.

When we saw the cotton fields Becky wanted to touch it and see what it felt like. The VC had a display for us to see. 

From here we turned south and waded through traffic in Baton Rouge to stop at a Cracker Barrel for an over night. I think their theme song is "Calling Batton Rouge" by Garth Brooks. 
The Cracker Barrel was in the outlet mall parking lot. Stopping at the CB has turned into not a free stay but an expensive one because we eat at least one meal in the restaurant. After supper we walked the dog around the outlet mall and then hit the sack.

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