Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Vicksburg National Military Park

Gerri and I spent the entire day touring the Vicksburg National Military Park.  Instead of writing a lot of facts, we decided to share some of our pictures as we took this drive and walk through this park.  If you would like to read about this battle, google the Battle of Vicksburg and you will find several links to this very important battle.            
Vicksburg National Military Park Welcome Center

There are several hundred monuments honoring states and battalions that fought in the battle in this park 
On the first part of our tour, we are viewing everything behind the Union lines.
Notice the terrain of the land including earthworks looking toward the confederate lines

Notice the Illinois monument in the background

The Shirley House, called the "White House" by Union soldiers.  The only surviving wartime structure  in the park.
The Illinois Monument
Former trench now used as service marker above signifies Confederate lines
Our tour now takes us behind Confederate lines.

Texas Monument
This Monument marks the place of Grant's headquarters
The USS Cairo Ironclad sank int the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg in 1862
Part of the Yazoo River
Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton 

President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis
Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant of the US Army
Vicksburg National Cemetery where the remains of 17,000 Union Soldiers rest on 116 acres 
Another view Vicksburg National Cemetery                            
Cedar Hill Cemetery and Soldiers Rest is where 5,000 Confederate Soldiers are buried
Confederate gravesite
This ended our stay at Vicksburg for this trip.  We have had a fantastic time, learned a lot and highly recommend this historic stop for anyone who has not been here.      
Sunset on the Mississippi River

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vicksburg...Day Two

The day started out just as the weather folks predicted.  Rainy, cloudy and dreary.  I suppose if this is all we have to endure from Irma we did good!!                      
The view from the back of the Welcome Center overlooking the Mississippi
We started our day by returning to the Welcome Center, that had already closed yesterday when we arrived.  We learned a lot of things from a very informative lady.  She explained the driving tour on the map, the different places of interest and finally the Vicksburg Military Park.  We all agreed the military park should be postponed until Wednesday because of the rain.                 
A little blurred, taken from inside the truck

With maps in hand we decided to do the Historic Downtown Vicksburg route.  It was here we saw the original "town" of Vicksburg.  Very quaint with a brick road on a narrow street lined by local shops. We saw the Old  Depot Museum on Old Levee Street and decided to start here.  A beautiful building built in 1906 and featured the history of the war fought in Vicksburg along with the types of transportation this city was known for....riverboat town and rail center.  We saw a well displayed diorama of the two sides that fought this war.  The war was actually fought around this quaint town.  A video featured information pertaining to the war but as seen through the eyes of the townspeople.  Since the war raged around this town it was not safe for the women and children to remain in the town so they built caves in the sides of the surrounding hills where they stayed and dodged canons and bullets.  We are looking forward to learning more about this battle

The Old Depot Museum
The Clermont
Part of the Diorama
An overview of the Diorama
The Wexford Lodge the Shirley House. Grant stationed himself here
We were beginning to get a little hungry....we spent a lot of time in this museum.  The lady at the Welcome Center had highly recommended a place called The Tomato Place to eat.  She said it was a local place and very unique.  She was completely right!!!  The tourist booklet describes it as...." Caribbean/New Orleans-themed "funky little shack" hidden under the guise of a roadside produce stand."  That is pretty accurate!!  You would never know it was a place to eat by looking at it from the road.  Inside was quite different but we like the idea of eating local when we travel to new places and this was definitely local.  We found a place to sit and I ordered a chicken sandwich on bread I believe they make themselves and Mike ordered the signature sandwich which was a BLT club and we shared a side of baked beans.  I am not a baked bean eater but these were the best I have ever tasted.  It was a unique experience.  I can't say it was the best food we have ever eaten, except for the baked beans, but we enjoyed the experience.   

Later in the afternoon we returned to the Historic Downtown area and took a look at some of the places highlighted in the tour booklet.  Unfortunately, it was a rainy day and walking was not an option especially with cameras.  

We are having a quiet evening in our Ollie!!  Tomorrow we will head out to the Vicksburg Military Park and begin at their Visitor Center with another video and then a driving tour.   

To me, it is so interesting and important to learn our history.  Some of it good and some not so good but it all works together to make us who we are....a great nation!!   I hope you will join us tomorrow!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Having Fun Outrunning Irma

We had a great day in Tupelo but decided that Irma was still too close for comfort so we decided to head to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
 In looking at the map and the best route to take we noticed we could travel the Natchez Trace for about 170 miles +/- and then finish up on I20 to Vicksburg.   We are planning to do the entire Natchez Trace in October when we finish the warranty work on our Oliver but why not enjoy this beautiful road instead of the interstate!!!   We typically avoid interstates if we can and that was a good decision today!!                      

The drive was beautiful with very little traffic!!  It was a sunny day and we both commented on how less stressed we felt just traveling slowly, no 18 wheelers whizzing by, no commercial businesses to distract.  Just us and a beautiful day!!

Here are a few pics of our trip today.  Some were taken through the truck window on the move so excuse the lack of clarity.

We arrived in Vicksburg around 4:15 and found our way to the Ameristar Campground in Vicksburg,   We stayed here several years ago when we were full-timing in our Dutch Star!!  It is very clean with a fair amount of grass between sites and concrete pads.  We noticed right away we are by no means the only ones running from Irma.  There are a large number of Florida tags.                     

Late this afternoon we drove to the Welcome Center but it was just closing so we will visit there tomorrow.  We did take a walk around the Welcome Center and took photos of the bridges crossing the Mississippi River!!!   Of course, we took plenty of pictures of this great river.  It doesn't matter how many times you've seen it or where you saw it..... it is still a magnificent site!!  Such great history surrounding the Mississippi!!!

Going uphill from the waterfront

Tomorrow we will take it easy.  The weather app is calling for some showers so we will work around that.  The Ollie needs a bit of cleaning and I might do a load of laundry.

Wednesday we plan to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Thanks for stopping by as we outrun Irma!  Prayers continue for the people affected by Irma in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Continuing to remember and pray for those still struggling to put their lives back together in Texas from Harvey and don't forget all the wildfires out west and those people!!!   Gee, so many people and places to remember in our prayers!!

Today is September 11th......please take a moment to reflect on this day in history.  So many left home that morning to never return.  We lost our fellow Americans and others on that day!!