Just 1 more night...

Trip Start Mar 14, 2014
Trip End Mar 25, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yep - it's hard to believe this is the last night on the road and the trip is nearly over - - tomorrow I'll be back home!   There hasn't been any more grand and unusual scenery to talk about in a while now, but at least I am back on the right side of the Mississippi today.

Spent yesterday really focusing on rally bonii to bring my score up and only made it to 1 national park. For the rally, yesterday I made 14 stops and bagged 32 points and today made 6 more for 17 additional points - so nearly 50 points in 2 days, thats about 20% of my total points (and we have been collecting since Jan1).    For anyone that really doesn't "get" the rally-thing - - this one is pretty neat...   it's called the Big Money Rally (no prize money involved - its a joke) and it is nationwide and web-based, running from Jan 1 to May 25.   We were issued a book with thousands of locations, each with one with different point values and everyone just goes and gets scores what they can

Here's the link to the main scoring page...(copy & paste in browser if it doesn't work)

As of now, you can find me in about 17th spot from about 150 riders (only about 125 seem to be really trying though).   When I arrive at a location, I have to take a cell-phone picture which is to include the bonus itself, the bike (or some descernable portion of it, to show you rode the bike), & my rally placard with my name & number - leave 1 of those ingredients out & you will get 0 points for your effort.   Once that is done, we are to immediately send it to a web address which was issued to each us at the rally beginning - this puts it up on the home page to be scored.  The scorers review the pic and either grant points or not - and it is nearly real time - some of these scorers must not have day jobs!  Once I send my pic, I normally don't leave the location until I see it post on the web site, then when I stop for the next, I check to see if I got my points.   You can click on my name in the scoring page and it will show you every photo I have submitted - - so you can see what I have been chasing the last few days.     There are several different point themes in the rally, but for me I have focused on county courthouses - 1)because they are high point value and 2) because it takes you off the interstate and puts you in some sleepy little  towns - generally great roads to ride.  If you snoop around the site you will find it's pretty sophisticated - on the home page, just keep refreshing & you will see guys out there all day sending in pics and being scored.

And one last thing on the court-houses, then I'll move on...  the inspiration for this theme was a senior IBA member who rode his motorcycle to EVERY county courthouse in the contiguous US...  here he is...

Now, as far as national parks - - yesterday I stopped at Little Rock Central High School historic site...   Most of my generation probably knows almost nothing about this since it was in 1957 - sure we've heard about it, maybe breezed past it in history class, but they have a nice visitor's center set up there, with a very good set of exhiits, where you can really learn about the events that happened there and see video of the turmoil, etc.  Now I clearly understand the "Little Rock 9".  I didn't know the President sent the Army 101st airborne to escort those kids to class, booted the national guard out of the way basically.  The school itself is still an operating school, by the way - - the visitors center & a restored gas station (where the press set up camp during the commotion) are across the street from the school.

Then, today was mighty Vicksburg Battlefield - - this is the 2nd time I have visited here and I had forgotten just how big the park is...  but more importantly I had forgotten how well marked it is - there are markers EVERYWHERE in this place - you can't spit without hitting a marker.  It was actually one of the parks formed soon after the civil war, when many of the soldiers that fought were still alive, and nearly every spot has a plaque for some regiment or general!  Then the memorials, statues, etc are countless...  if anyone is even the slightest bit interested in the civil war, this is a must see place.  

Another neat thing about Vicksburg..  near the rear of the park there is actually an iron-clad gunboat (USS Cairo) that was brought up from the river and has been restored/partially re-assembled in a manner where you can walk through it...  and right alongside it is the museum housing all the artifacts found from inside the wreck - the number of artifacts is awesome and the great condition they are in is astonishing.  So, the USS Cairo is like another park within the main park.  It would be very easy to spend an entire day wandering around this place!

Lastly, if anyone noticed very strange paths on my tracker today, my original track had me catching a small archeological park in the NE corner of Louisiana...  well, it seems this has become a state park now...  so I re-routed and today, I went back west into La to be sure I had that state covered (and La doesn't have alot of national parks either) - - I went to Cane River Creole Historical Park, which had me riding through some of the Bayou country.  This is actually comprised of 2 old plantations - with slave quarters, etc - nice set up...  a neat thing here is that is was an unmanned site - no rangers on duty..  I guess they come by in the morning to open & evening to close & probably just patrol around - - it was just me and a retired couple there - had the place to ourselves.  In an alcove by the restrooms, they have the guest book and the park stamps set out for us! -Perfect.

So, since that diversion changed my overall path, I am going to sweep through lower Alabama tomorrow and try to stop at the Tuskegee Airmen sight, and hopefully Horseshoe Bend Military Park (where Gen Andrew Jackson fought the Creek Indians) on the way home... 

Hopefully, I'll have 1 more post from home, maybe on Thursday....
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Ginger on

I have really enjoyed your trip blog! Seems like I've been right there with you. I have to be honest though, I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!! Good luck getting Paris off your side of the bed! She's kept it warm for you:) Enjoy the rest of the ride & we'll see you soon. ❤️, G

Pat Wheaton on

Vicksburg is a big park. Laura and I rode it, on bicycles, on our honeymoon, in July. Very hilly. Love the Cairo

Sharon on

I have been looking forward to reading your next blog entry! I'm glad you have enjoyed the adventure and can't wait to hear more about the trip! I'm sure you (and Ginger) are anxious to get home. :)

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