Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Mississippi Museum of Civil Rights


  In 1964 Mississippi was ground zero in the civil rights movement due to the Freedom Summer Project. At the time more than a third of Mississippians were black but only only 6.7% of eligible black voters were registered. The Freedom Summer Project recruited northern college students (mostly white) to work with black residents to organize voting drives, to establish a new political party that would represent the black population, and to form Freedom Schools to teach history and politics. The students and local participants were met with violence and intimidation. The beatings, jail time, bombings, cross burnings, and the horrific  kidnapping and murder of three young men, James Chaney, Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman shocked the world and led to the passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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  This is a very good museum that covers all aspects of the civil rights movement. The exhibits start with a short history of slavery before moving onto the failure of reconstruction; the increasing restrictive Jim Crow laws; the enormous number of lynchings; the infiltration of the government and law enforcement by the Citizens Council and KKK; and the struggles to gain equal treatment and access to jobs, housing, recreation, schooling, transportation, and retail establishments.



  For an overview of Mississippi history visit the adjoining Museum of Mississippi History. We went to this museum first to have a better understanding of the early history of the state.

  The museum is accessible.

   RVs can be parked along North Street. The sidewalk of the museum block is in good condition. We had to park a block north in front of a church and the curb cuts in that section are in bad shape. Wheelchair users who do not have assistance will probably have to wheel down the street.  Museum   32.3013, -90.1789


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Museum of Mississippi History

  The first people to live in Mississippi were the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Most of them were forced west by the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which opened up land to large numbers of settlers leaving their overworked tobacco farms in Georgia and the Carolinas. The invention of the cotton gin assured a fast and steady population growth in the state which went from less the 8,000 people in 1800 to almost 800,000 in 1860. Over half of the 800,000 were slaves.

  Cotton was king in Mississippi before the Civil War and it continued to be an important crop after the war with most of the slaves becoming share croppers. Life went on without a lot of change for most Mississippians until the civil rights movement of the 1960s. This is covered to some extent in the museum but to get a much better picture of the racial oppression that black people faced daily in Mississippi visit the adjoining Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
  The dual threads of cotton and field workers run through most of the museum exhibits but there are also galleries covering natural disasters, the Great Depression, New Deal Projects, sports, and music.
The museum is accessible.

  RVs can be parked along North Street. The sidewalk of the museum block is in good condition. We had to park a block north in front of a church and the curb cuts in that section are in bad shape. Wheelchair users who do not have assistance will probably have to wheel down the street.  Museum  32.30183, -90.17851

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bogue Chitto State Park


 The two campground loops of this park are very different from each other. The Upland Area sites are full hookup and sit on high ground. The accessible site is paved and the table has an extended top. The Bottomland Area sites have water and electric. They are not maintained as well as the Upland sites but are more scenic and close to small ponds and the Bogue Chtto River. We were given a site on the water with it’s own little deck. None of the sites are designated as accessible but many are usable.

The Bottomland Area was almost empty during our stay but the park is probably popular in the summer because it offers fishing, canoeing or kayaking, hiking, and horseback riding. The trails are not wheelchair accessible.

 We thought that the price was high for the area and were surprised at the added reservation fee charged for a one night, walkup site. A $25.00 site became $33.50 with all of the added taxes and fees. I also mistakenly thought that Louisiana state parks accepted Golden Age/Golden Access Passes for half price camping. They do but only if your home state is one of the three states that also honor the pass.  Park   30.77404, -90.14727


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Abita Mystery House

  John Preble, artist and creator of the Abita Mystery House, accepts all types of found material ( some may say junk :-) ) and builds dioramas, arranges things in collections, and covers the ceilings and walls of a maze of small buildings that comprise the museum. There are hundreds of paint-by-number canvases; arcade and pinball machines; buttons to push; and old and new signs – an amazing jumble of stuff. Parts of the museum could use some sprucing up.
  Surprisingly the aisles are wide enough for wheelchair access. The only things that are not accessible are an old aluminum trailer and a small shed housing a collection of hot sauce. 
   RVs will fit in the parking area along the side of the museum.  Museum  30.47742, -90.0363

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Parking and Ferry to New Orleans


  The last time (2014 Post) we visited New Orleans we parked at Algiers Point and took the ferry across the Mississippi to New Orleans. That worked so well that we did the same thing again except this time we asked the man collecting the parking fee if we could stay overnight. Yes! The fee is $5.00 on weekdays and $10.00 on weekends for 1-24 hours.

   We stayed for two nights and found it to be a quiet, peaceful place. People who want to experience New Orleans's nightlife will have to cut their time short, though, because the last ferry leaves the city at 9:45pm on weekdays and 11:45pm on weekends. Check the schedule.


  The neighborhood is residential with cute little houses built in the late 19th century. There are a few places to eat and a 2 mile paved trail on the levee. The lot has a porta potty and trash can.

  I do not recommend this lot for large RVs or if you are towing  The streets are very narrow and often have cars parked on both sides. Low hanging live oak branches stretch over some of the streets.

Ferry   29.95387, -90.05466


Monday, February 19, 2018

Ogden Museum of Southern Art


   With a wide range of styles and mediums this small museum presents an interesting and thought provoking collection of artwork which includes everything from 19th century landscapes to modern folk art.





  The museum is accessible.

  We parked in the lot at Algiers Point, took the ferry across the Mississippi, and walked/rolled the mile to the museum. The sidewalks are in bad condition with chunks of missing concrete and uplifted slabs. Paid parking is available in lots and on the street near the museum. Smaller RVs will fit in the lots.  Museum  29.94358, -90.07133


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Audubon Park


  During the late 1700s the park was a sugar cane plantation owned by Jean √Čtienne de Bor√©  who successfully processed the first granulated sugar in North America. The land, purchased by the city in 1871, became the site of a World’s Fair and the World Cotton Centennial of 1884. Today it features a golf course, zoo, swimming pool, ball fields, and walking trails. The main trail is a 1.7 mile loop that circles the golf course.

  The trail which was a park road at one time, is wide and smooth with lines to separate walkers and joggers from bikers and skaters. It’s shaded by large live oaks. Some are survivors from the ones that lined the entry roads to the plantation. The trail passes by a pond with a small island that is a rookery for many species of birds. It also a seasonal home for hundreds of black-bellied whistling ducks.

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       Oversize parking is available in the zoo parking lot.  Park  29.92511, -90.13159


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Scenes From New Orleans


    A few months ago we discovered that Gary and Sharon, our friends from Canada, were escaping the cold and snow to spend a couple of weeks in the southern US. Their trip wrapped up in New Orleans which gave us the perfect chance to zip over for a quick visit. It’s always great to see them!


  After enjoying bowls of gumbo and and piles of beignets we wandered over to watch a street performer.



   He cleared the line of people and landed on his feet!




 New Orleans


Friday, February 16, 2018

Mardi Gras in Mobile

  Rainy weather greeted us for our first parade. Few people on the route meant that we were buried in beads – so many that we stopped trying to catch them and stayed far back on the parade routes for the rest of the weekend. On the last day of the celebrations we gave our bags of beads to a group of kids who were planning on taking them to Krispi Kreme where they could trade twelve pounds of beads for a dozen donuts. The beads are then sent to groups that sort and package then for resale – a great way to keep them out of the landfill.

          Wet!                           Must eat at least one moon pie!
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  By Fat Tuesday the weather had cleared and the crowds were huge.
   I blogged about Mardi Gras in 2011 and since this information is still accurate I won’t repeat it. We still don’t know who owns the lot where we park but this year we decided to stay overnight. The lot is on a street that gets little traffic and is bordered by the cemetery and businesses, and is adjacent to the Big Zion Church. Most of the congregation parks on the street so the lot doesn’t get used even on Sunday. Fat Tuesday was a different story however! Groups of families and friends set up barbeque grills and shade canopies early in the morning and settled in to enjoy the day. After the last parade everything was packed up and we were alone again.
  I’m not sure about the rules for RV parking in the city but we saw a few lots taped off and filled with RVs. We also saw some RVs parked along the side streets. Pay close attention to the signs to avoid getting towed and fined. There’s a large area under the I-10 overpass that Mobile has dubbed RV City. It’s just a parking lot with as many RVs as possible crammed in. Spaces are about $400.00 for 20 days of dry camping during Mardi Gras season. We strolled through and decided that it was really awful but it sells out every year. In fact most spots are grandfathered in.
    Last parade and the final clean up begins.IMG_0306
Mardi Gras  30.68572, -88.05135