Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alabama to Tennessee

I guess I have sort of fallen behind with this blogging business. I am now three states away from my last blog. My, how time flies.

On the last day in Alabama, Miko and I went down to Tuscumbia to the Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve. Way back when, two students came to northwestern Alabama for graduate school and loved it so much that they decided to settle here. They bought forty acres and then bought a little bit more land and then a little bit more until their land holdings were up to 750 acres. When I talked to the mister, he said that they just bought up land that nobody else wanted. For the past forty years, they have developed all this land into a nature preserve. They have gorges, they have waterfalls, they have bluffs with wonderful views. They built trails throughout this land and now allow the public to come and enjoy their land. When you pull in, you go up to their gazebo and register. They chat with you, give you some fancy maps, make sure you have a walking stick and water and send you on your way. They have also erected porta-potties at strategic spots and have coolers available on the trail with fresh cold water.  What a treasure this is and how wonderful that these people have done this for others. Miko and I probably spent about four hours walking through the preserve and when we finished, the owners were there to greet us and make sure that we had a great time.

Cane Creek Canyon Preserve:

The waterfall - notice the guy in the hammock about half way down

Who knew Alabama had hills?

More from the bluff

Another itsy bitsy waterfall

Miko and I broke camp and drove a whole hour up to Pickwick Landing State Park in Pickwick Landing Dam, Tennessee. Seeing as how it was the middle of the week, there was hardly anybody in the campground and we got a huge beautiful spot in the woods. Miko and I walked a couple of miles out on a peninsula in the Tennessee River where Miko spent about ten minutes chasing waves. I am please to report that there were no ill effects from her wave chasing. She is definitely a fresh water dog.

The reason to come to this area (besides my snail pace move back up north) was to go to Shiloh, the National Military Park. Last time I was in Shiloh, it was 1972 so I don't remember hardly anything. Shiloh was a battle that occurred early in the Civil War Time line. It was a two day battle where the Confederate army won the first day and then made a grave error figuring that the second day would just be a matter of mop up. Because of this error, the Union Army routed the Confederates and pulled off a victory. 23,746 casualties – the most casualties of all wars put together that were fought on the North American continent up to this time. Shiloh, by the way, means House of Peace.

I watched the movie which was excellent. Most of these movies at these National places are 15-20 minutes long. This “award winning” movie was 45 minutes long. I then picked up my Junior Ranger book and headed out onto the battlefield. Three hours later, I had taken the auto tour, filled out the minimum amount needed for my Junior Ranger badge and headed back to headquarters. I had to quit my junior rangering because they were closing at 4:30 and I wanted to make sure I was sworn in. I only scratched the surface of Shiloh.

The Confederate Memorial - Lady in the middle represents The Confederate - she is surrounded by Night and Death
These are the memorials to specific men of rank.  They are erected on the spot where they died. They all are the same with the four mounds of cannonballs on each corner of the memorial
This is the Minnesota Memorial - sort of hidden away, but very near to where they fought

My spacious campsite at Pickwick Dam Landing State Park  Site #33


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