Thursday, May 3, 2018

Day 3 - Greenville to Alexandria

Alexandria, LA: A very long day, only 325 miles, but much of it on the backroads around Vicksburg.  I'll update this when I have time.  Tomorrow to Lake Charles via Gueydon.

OK, here's the story:  We left Greenville about 0715, with our first crossing of the Missisippi back into Arkansas, then south into Louisiana to Poverty Point World Heritage Site, ancient earthworks about 3500 years old.  We visited  about 7 years ago, and the site is much improved.  This large bird-shaped mound is unusual in Archaic sites.  Here's a couple of pictures:

Then it was on to Vicksburg, where Sandra took this shot of this old bridge after our second crossing of a certain river:

After lunch at Cracker Barrel,  it was on to Vicksburg NMP.  We took a partial tour - the road had been washed out by hurricane rains last year, but the part we wanted to see was accessible.  Can you identify each of these places?

Right - the first is a view of Stockade Redan up Cemetery Road, the second is a detail of the Confederate side of the Missouri monument (the only one honoring soldiers of both sides) and the third is the recently-refurbished Missouri monument.

Now came the fun part - wandering through backroad Mississippi looking for the Big Black and Champion Hill battlefields.  I really wanted to find Ratliff Road, where Wade's Battery was posted near the Ratliff House.  This was complicated by the fact that the Park has no interpretation or instruction for those who'd like to visit other important sites.  We found the Coker House, which had a display telling us, sort of, how to find the Crossroads, focal point of the battle of Champion Hill.  So after several miles on 3rd rate roads, we found it:

More miles on narrow, curving roads, and we found the Natchez Trace Parkway, followed it to US-61 south of Port Gibson, and boogied on to Natchez, where we found slow going thanks to a single-laned bridge.  Another 75 miles and we were at the Best Western in Alexandria.  The neighboring sea-food place next door was too proud of its cuisine, so we walked on to the Pitt Grill next door.

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