Today begins the second week on the road. We will cross 5 states today, FL, AL, MS, LA, AR, and then back into MS. This is fairly typical up here in New England, where we grab MA, ME, NH, VT, NY and if ambitious CT. For me CT is easy since we live in that corner where MA, CT and RI come together.
First stop is Fort Barrancas for INK. We first tried coming in from the east side, however one must travel thru the Pensacola Naval Air Station. We turned away from the gate and told to go to the other gate on the west side. Back in 2009 it was a snap to get in there. So we head to the west and get to the other gate. At the gate they determined Crystal did not have proper boots on to enter on a motorcycle. To enter a military base on a motorcycle you must have on the minimum protective gear on consisting of helmet, gloves and over the ankle boots. She failed on the boots.
We turned around, being too early anyways, and headed for a Waffle House not too far away. Had breakfast (think I mentioned I like Waffle Houses), and I left Crystal and headed back to the base. Both of us have been here so not seeing the fort was no big deal. However if you haven't been here, 3 great things to see, The Fort, National Museum Of Naval Aviation, and the lighthouse.
In speaking with the Park Ranger, the change to only allowing folks thru the west gate came in 2016. Not sure how far you can travel thru the base. I didn't try.
Mobile, Alabama is a hop skip and you don't even have to jump, from Pensacola. We took US98 all the way into Mobile. Just as you cross Mobile Bay, on the left is Battleship Memorial Park. I had 2 National Historic Landmarks here to pick up, however my first thoughts were to just move along. Passed it and turned around and headed back to the park. Paid the parking fee.
Battleship Memorial Park is a military history park and museum located on the western shore of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. It has a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum. The USS Alabama and USS Drum are both National Historic Landmarks
Grabbed the Korean Memorial for the Americana Tour.
Then concentrated on the two ships.
Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. She was retired in 1962. In 1964, Alabama was taken to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum ship the following year. The ship was added to the National Historic Landmark registry in 1986.
USS Drum (SS-228) is a Gato-class submarine of the United States Navy. Drum was laid down on 11 September 1940 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. Drum was the twelfth of the Gato class but was the first completed and the first to enter combat in World War II. She is the oldest of her class still in existence.
When we come back to this area, we will definitely come back to the park and go on the boats. Of course we have a similar site not more the 45 minutes from our house, Battleship Cove and I still am saying I have to go there for more than a picture.
Not quite as big, not a National Historic Landmark, but a local landmark are the El Camino Chickens. One has to wonder if the El Camino will be replaced by a more recent vintage vehicle, so the El Camino can be restored.
I use MapSource, Garrmin route planning software (which has been replaced with BaseCamp)(Which I have no desire to go to). We are on US90 heading for the Welcome to Mississippi sign right down the road a piece. When I was planning the route the software would not let me pass thru the border of Alabama to Mississippi on US90. Nope it would try to force me to go to the Welcome Alabama sign reverse me on US90 and then get to the Welcome Mississippi sign coming in from the west heading east. WTF!!. I looked on Google Maps and found, traveled along the route, saw no blown out sections of the highway, no ROAD ENDS HERE, fences, Jersey barriers, Alien Warships. If I followed the Garmin method it would have added at least 30 miles to the trip to go literally 10 feet. I ended up splitting todays route into 2 sections, with one ending at the Welcome Alabama and the other starting at the Welcome to Mississippi sign.
Well how did it work out. We crossed the border and grabbed our TeamStrange Strange Election Grand Tour picture.
Our next town is Biloxi, MS. We picked a couple of Americana Tour items here.
Something Cool - Hard Rock Café Guitar. From this view point it is a left hander.
A really neat Seascape Mural
A just outside of Biloxi, in Gulfport, Gulfport Dragway. This one was a little more out of the way than I expected.
Somewhere we jumped on I-10 to head into N'awlins
Destination was the Chalmette Battlefield for the only INK to shore up Louisiana as a state for the IBA National Park Tour. We got sidetracked at the Chalmette Cemetery, blowing about 10 crucial minutes and arrived at the Visitor Center a wee bit late. It was CLOSED, damn, damn damn. The Ranger came out to let us know if they would be closing the gates pretty soon. I pleaded with him to let us get a stamp. He closed the door and then came back a minute later with 2 slips of paper with the INK on them. I then preyed upon his southern hospitality asking him if he would mind stamping the Passport Book. He took the book and returned a minute later and I thank him. While I could have taken a picture of the Spyder in front of the Visitor Center that had a sign indicating where we were, I just didn't want to take the chance with the only INK in this state. The Park Rangers are some of the most helpful public employees I have ever met. They understand that we are all tourists and they are there to assist us in anyway.
On St Claude Ave in New Orleans we stopped for a mural. There is another Specific place for the Americana Tour deeper into New Orleans, however the last time we were here, I ended picking up a horse shoe nail in our rear tire that sliced a big hunk out of the tire. Not that I am superstitious, however I did play it safe on this one and said "It is only 1 Point"
Originally we were head west into Texas, but decided to simply hang a right at N'Awlins and head north. This cut of 4 states for the National Park Tour, TX, OK and KS. It also cut out something like 700 to 1,000 miles, eliminated a couple 500+ miles days at the end of the trip.
In Amite, LA we picked up the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse, which works for County Courthouses. Also on site was a WWII Memorial. Other than the courthouse there is really nothing very interesting about this town.
Just before we got out of Louisiana, we picked this up for Something COOL. Not that impressive, but I started to fret we would find nothing.
About 40 miles away is McComb Mississippi, we are at the Best Western for the night. McComb has a bunch of famous people that either were born here or lived here. The town has a bunch of singers that came from here; Bo Diddley and Britney Spears are among them. They also have a fair amount of NFL players from here. Right across the street from Best Western is the Golden Corral. I have never eaten at one of these places, but I had a preconceived notion it was not very good. After looking what was available I acquiesced and settled on the place. The food was FANTASTIC, except for the steak, They would cook it right there for you but the cooks are kids, and really don't under medium rare. But the rest of the stuff was great.
Now this leads into another story. At one of the tables behind us sat four gentlemen. It appears they were brothers. Two of them had some height to them with one probably 6"2 and the other probably 6"7. Then another family group came in and one of the guys was over 7' making these 2 look like shrimps. It doesn't end there. Another party came in and there one guy that had to be pushing 7'5 or so. These guys didn't look like the basketball types, but NFL material absolutely. There must be something in the water out in the fields that is special.
The day trip looked like this. Just shy of 400 miles, coming in at 378 miles for the day.