Sunday, April 13, 2008

Long Day on the Road

My Internet connection is a little weird tonight, so pictures will have to wait awhile. I think I'm piggy backing on some neighbor's wireless network and it is definitely funky.

Anyway, we are alive and well in Marion, Kentucky, tonight. This is a little town that you have to intend to go to, because I don't think there is any way in the world you would happen to be passing through on the way somewhere else. We arrived at dusk, so it's hard to say what it looks like at this point, but I got the impression of rolling green pastures. We will be meeting cousin Marty Hodge in the morning after breakfast for a personally conducted tour of Hodge historical sites.

Our morning began with a tour of the Shiloh National Military Park near Savannah, Tennessee. Shiloh is another place that you don't just happen to pass through. You have to intend to be there. A Ranger that we spoke to said he enjoyed his work there for exactly that reason. People don't come to the park as mere tourists. They have a personal reason to want to be there and are respectful and interested in what the park has to offer. He was able to tell me where a Lentz cousin was buried in the National Cemetery that is just across the parking lot from the Visitor Center and we made it a point to get a photo of his grave. We also spent a good bit of time in the bookstore and our suitcases are a lot heavier tonight as a result.

We purchased a CD with a narrative tour of the park and drove from spot to spot, stopping for photos and the occasional stroll down a path. It was bitterly cold and we only had light jackets, but we were determined to pay our respects to the fallen soldiers. In all, we spent about 2-1/2 hours on the driving tour and while we were satisfied that we had seen the high spots, we decided you really need to stay a couple of days and hike out to some of the more remote spots. And preferrably in warmer weather.

We left the park and drove to a cafe recommended by the hotel manager of the night before and he really gave us a good lead. We stuffed ourselves on fried catfish, hushpuppies, cole slaw and lemon pie. We felt no guilt at all.

After that, we made a beeline for Marion. It took us about 4-1/2 hours to cut through Tennessee and half-way across Kentucky. By chance, our journey took us through the little town of Linden, Tennessee, where my great-great-grandfather Jeff Frankum was born, so I was able to stop and get a photo of the city limits sign. It was beautiful in that little town. Several times on this trip we have stopped and asked ourselves why our ancestors moved away.

We are not doing much library research on this year's trip, but we are getting a feeling for where our ancestors lived and enjoying the scenery. But I really wouldn't mind if this cold weather would move along.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you hear that? Paddle faster! I hear banjos!
R Ging