Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fort Pillow State Historic Park, Tennessee

Yesterday we woke up to rain at the Crown Winery. And seeing that we had internet we were in no rush to leave early and so we sat in the parking lot until about 10:30am and started heading west and a bit south.

Kevin had made arrangements through to stay in Lana's driveway in Memphis but that wasn't going to be until Thursday so he scouted out a place on the internet that was a little north of Memphis called Fort Pillow State Historic Park right on the Mississippi River and that is where we headed for the night.  This campground is well of the beaten path and is rustic, in fact they say it is for tenting and small rigs only.  There are no services but they did have two bath houses for the 38 site area which was split into two groups, one being for family camping.  The park itself is 1,642 acres and the Confederate Army built extensive fortifications here in 1861 and this is why it is a historic site.  They have picnic areas, a museum, a 25 acre lake that allows boating and fishing plus hiking.

Sherman, parked up all by himself.

Talking about hiking, once we got set up and had our lunch we decided to take a hike.  We were on some bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and Kevin wanted to see the river and found a trail that he thought would lead us to it.  We actually couldn't see the river from the campground, one because it was overcast and foggy (the rain had stopped by this point) and there were too many trees to see it.  Did I mention we were the only ones in the campground (probably the only ones in the whole park).  Anyways seeing that no one was here we let Whiskey off so she could keep her own pace and off we went.  The trail was pretty muddy in spots and went through lots of forest (almost looked almost like a rainforest) up and down we went and through areas that you could definitely tell there was a lot of erosion damage due to rain runoff. 

We never really got a good view of the Mississippi although it was a pretty hike but it led to nowhere, we got to the end of the trail and saw a sign post saying end of trail.  That was it, it just ended there in the middle of the forest!

We had thought that maybe it might have come out on the road or something, or at least with a view, but no it simply ended there!  So around we turn and start heading back.  Along one little bit I had thought to myself that maybe over this bank Kevin could view the river so on the way back I mentioned it to him, he didn't think so and wasn't going to go up on the bank but I guess he had second thoughts and did.  He didn't see the river but shouted back to me that there were some grave stones up there so up I go.  They were pretty old ones, you could hardly read them, there were maybe 8 or 9 of them, in the middle of nowhere.  I guess at sometime this trail was more of a road to these people.  I think the dates of death were between 1868 and 1914 on the ones that we could read.  So the hike was not totally for nothing.  We got our exercise and saw some history.

I am always worried that we push Whiskey too much after all she is 14 1/2 years old and today I figure we walked about 3mi (5km) but she was up front and never once hung back unless it was for a sniff.  On the way back she was just abut running and everytime we got out of sight she would stop and look back for us and as soon as she saw us, she was off again.  Once we just about got to back to the campsite she went across an old river bed and started trying to climb a huge cliff, not sure why.  She knew we were camped up there but this wasn't the way we came.  Kevin tried calling her, but she's just about deaf and I guess she didn't hear him, finally he got her attention and she came running.  Whiskey must have been exhausted after that walk, she was also filthy.  We had to try and wash her off at the outside tap and then towel her off before coming in.  Boy she sure had fun.

Their bath houses are really quite nice.  We both had showers which worked well, lots of hot water pressure and very clean.  I did some baking again, and Kevin did some reading.  In the evening we watch the movie "Blind Side"  which was a good movie about football and coincidentally took place in Memphis.

It promised to be a peaceful nights and it was.  Other than hearing the distant sound of a couple big boats or barges going by on the Mississippi there wasn't a sound.  In fact, we never saw another person the entire time we were there. Cost was $8 for the night. We were up at 7am and are now parked up on the side of the road in Covington getting caught up on the internet thanks to Captain D's restaurant.

Today we go into Memphis.

Wednesday's drive from Crown Winery in Humboldt to Fort Pillow State Park was about 65 miles, and today's drive from Fort Pillow to Memphis is about 65 miles. Currently in Covington.


  1. Fort Pillow looks like a pretty neat place.

    Travel Safe

  2. Kevin & Ruth,
    We feel the same as you do regarding Whiskey. Seems 5km is about all he's into but we're so happy he's still able to to that. The past few days we've been taking him to the closed golf courses here and he just runs like crazy and rolls. Such a great feeling for us and him. I'm not sure if I've told you but he's been on a gluten free diet for the past 4 years and is thriving (touch wood). Safe travels. Kelly & Mojo

  3. That park and trail look great. Even though it ends at nowhere, it still looks like it would be fun to hike and soooo peaceful.

  4. I'd say you had a great walk to 'nowhere'! Whiskey sounds to be having a great time out there!

  5. Cruzin2some...Yes, Fort Pillow was a nice spot. Would have been nice to have had a little more time there. We never made it to the museum section of the park, it is quite a distance from the camping area. Another time.

    Kelly and Mojo...If you are still able to do 5km at 16 you are doing great Mojo, keep up the great work. Kelly if you make Mojo's food maybe you could email me the recipe you use. Gluten free is great, even I am doing fine with it.

    Pidge...It was peaceful, not a soul in sight. Could hear the birds singing away as we were hiking along.

    Rick and Paulette...I like hikes that go somewhere, or to see something like a waterfall or a beautiful view. It's also nice to have one that goes in a loop that way you see something different rather than retracing your steps. In this case it worked for us as we got to see the graves stones we missed on the way there.

    Kevin and Ruth

  6. Fort Pillow is best known because it's where Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men slaughtered 200 plus Union soldiers (black troups with white officers) AFTER they had surrendered. From what I understand the state park doesn't really make this apparent though. NBF is now a TN state and neo-confederate darling even though (maybe because?) he was a slave trader before the war, responsible for the Fort Pillow Massacre, and after the war became the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

  7. Anonymous...Thank you for the history lesson. We knew that there was a masacre there, but never really looked to see what it was about, and never went to the museum or any of the historical part of the park when we were there to see if anything was mentioned about it.

    Kevin and Ruth

  8. the federal soldiers would fake surrender and then pick their weapons back up and renew the fighting.there was bad blood between the combatants,because of old scores,and feuds.In most cases the federals brought it on themselves!The Memphis Bulletin admitted to fabricating the story.Gen.Sherman(U.S.)investigated the battle and absolved Gen Forrest of any wrong doing.Look it up yourselves before you swallow any beatnik,hippie,third world racist thug crap


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