That’s a good thing though.
I heard the pitter patter of rain on my tent last night just after 3am. I got up real quick to put the rain cover on my bike and to put my helmet undercover. It wasn’t a soaking rain but everything did get damp. My wife hates ants so I won’t tell her that I moved my helmet to a really stupid spot in the dark and I spent a good amount of time in the morning picking them out. They are the really small buggers too and I’m still finding them. Yikes. Hehe.
Got down to Vicksburg by 9 am and had breakfast at a great local spot called the Mad Baker. I asked the proprietor for some recommendations of things to do before the battlefield and she pointed me to a wall of murals and to the museum of the Mississippi river. That ended up being pretty interesting and not something I would have normally done.
The battlefield of course was a very special place. I found it interesting to learn that once the war was over, Soldiers came by the hundreds to mark on the ground where their units had been and where they had fought. It made Vicksburg the most well marked battlefield in the US. States were also encouraged to build individual monuments to their home units. The site is covered in markers resembling large tombstones for each of their companies that participated. Some are small and some are quite grandiose. The southern states took longer to recover economically and so their markers aren’t as prolific.
Next I checked out the skeleton of the USS Cairo (pronounced cay-roh). It was sunk after hitting a mine on the Yazoo river near Vicksburg in 1862. All of the sailors were able to escape with their lives and later manned an artillery battery during the siege of Vicksburg. Apparently Soldiers came from all over the battlefield to watch these guys in action because they still maintained their Sailor duties and customs. Anyway, the wreck was discovered in 1956 and salvaged in 1964. Very interesting.
Finally I had a very sobering drive through the Union Cemetary. 40% of the graves are of “colored” Soldiers which I found highly interesting and 80% of the graves are nameless.
I did a “scenic” drive the Vicksburg and now I’m eating lunch at a roadside fruit stand called The Tomato Place that came highly recommended. I was told to get the BLT. It was amazing.
Now I’m on my way to New Orleans. Big city driving. Not my favorite.