We were in this beautiful state park from June 15 to June 20, 2016. Part 1 is dedicated to the drive here. Part 2 will be about the actual grounds and two other places we visited. Part 3 will contain the Civil War history we learned while we were here. The most notable thing we learned was how pivotal Kentucky was to the North (they originally were going to remain neutral) and how important this particular battle was – although every battle ground we have visited, we seem to walk away with that impression. One thing we now know, it’s best to really learn the history up close and personal!
We are trying to visit as many State and Federal Parks while in Kentucky, that means we’re not driving very far from each location. Generally that means, a short drive and a fun day! But as you can imagine, that was not the case after the harrowing journey here. Our camp hosts, James and Christine, were wonderful and very friendly. Bill and James hit it off and they talked for over an hour after the torrential rain and hail storm. James told me where the walking path was, so I headed off for a good walk. It had been so dry, the rain was welcomed and the ground soaked it up.
I walked around the park, took pictures, read about the Civil War battle fought here November 6-7, 1861, and was just in awe. Here is a sampling of its beauty from that and our subsequent walks around the park:
We walked around the park every day during our stay. It was just so serene and well maintained. But oh, it was hot and humid, so we tried to go early in the morning. We met a nice couple who camped next to our site, Bob and Betty. They are from Kentucky and have been long time campers. They were a wealth of information. They recommended a few places to see, so two outings rounded out our time in this state park. We plan to stay in touch with them.
We enjoyed this park so much, we asked if we could stay an extra day. Sure could, but the site (#31) we were registered to stay on was in the full sun, we would only have 30 amps and no sewer. James helped facilitate the extension and put us on a large and shady site!
Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee is a definite place to spend a day. If you are really into the history about America, you can get a discount 2-day pass. We would have bought that if we were a bit closer and had more time in the area. The drive was about 45 minutes from the campground. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, but we didn’t arrive until 1:00 pm.
We only saw about 1/2 of what we would have liked to see! It left us wanting more so we may return one day. We both really enjoyed the Oral History Project given by community members about their time in World War II. Both of our dads and Bill’s mom served during the war. My dad was a bombardier, Bill’s dad was in the army and was part of the D-Day invasion, suffering only minor injuries and Bill’s mom was an Army Lt. Registered Nurse. Our parents never talked about their experiences in the war, so we listened eagerly to their stories.
We really enjoyed all the exhibits we saw, but Bill’s favorite one was the classic cars and motor cycles.
And my favorite exhibits were in the Enlightenment Gallery, from the website: “Enter this mysterious gallery through a bookcase door to view a unique and eclectic mix of artifacts from local and foreign lands. Cast in a faint blue light, this versatile gallery features a piece of sunken treasure, musical instruments, and African artifacts. A suit of armor is on display, as well as a size replica of the Ark of the Covenant.” I was so pleased to see this:
And then the life-size replica of the Ark of the Covenant:
We then went outside to see “The Settlement,” “The Barn,” “The Great Lawn” and two gardens, the European Garden, the Maze and the Japanese Garden. We love being outside and love gardens so we really enjoyed a quick walk around. We stayed until closing time, about an hour outside. Here are a few pictures:
The other outing was to visit the Wickliffe Mounds, a State Historic Site. This was only about a 30 minute drive from the campground. From the website: “A Native American village once occupied the site of Wickliffe Mounds, about A.D. 1100 to 1350. Here, people of the Mississippian culture built earthen mounds and permanent houses around a central plaza overlooking the Mississippi River. Today, this Native American Indian archaeological site features mounds surrounded by abundant wildlife, museum exhibits, a walking trail, welcome center, a gift shop and picnic areas.” This was new history for us so we enjoyed it. Especially the short walking trail as it was in the shade! Here is a short slide show:
We try to attend church every Sunday. We sadly missed last Sunday; I wrote about it here, in my personal blog. So we really needed the fellowship of like-minded believers this Sunday, June 19, not to mention it was Father’s Day and my birthday! What a blessing the service was and to be joined by our Camp Hosts and another gentlemen along with the “pastor” who volunteers his services. Hopefully, I can write up the sermon from my notes as it was short, sweet and to the point about “wanting our own way!”
Next up, Part 3, the Civil War history as it relates to the Columbus Belmont Battle.