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July 16, 2012 / Jim Fenton

Mississippi River Day 13: Little Rock to Vicksburg

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation traveling down the Mississippi River. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

Today was a longer drive again. We crossed into Mississippi a couple of miles after crossing the river, owing to changes in the course of the river since the state boundaries were established. Our first stop was at a visitor center where the host’s main focus seemed to be on making sure we signed in so that their visitor counts were good. After that, we were pretty much on our own. One thing we did learn there was that a few miles down the road was Leland, Mississippi, Muppets creator Jim Henson’s boyhood home and the “birthplace” of Kermit the Frog.

We had a pleasant picnic lunch on the shore of Deer Creek (no frogs seen, though) and spent a few minutes inside the very pleasant Jim Henson Museum. Then it was off to Vicksburg.

Vicksburg

Union Line at Vicksburg

Vicksburg, Mississippi was where General U.S. Grant obtained control over a significant amount of the Mississippi following a 47-day siege of Confederate fortifications. A driving tour of the battlefield took us first down the Union line and then the Confederate line. It was striking how close the trenches were to each other, and we read that many of the trees present there today grew since the Civil War, so they would have seemed even closer. An exhibit also showed the salvaged remains of the USS Cairo, the first ship to have been sunk by an electrically-detonated mine.

After checking in at our hotel, we had dinner at Walnut Hills, a local restaurant situated in an elegant historic house. We had excellent Southern food in perfect surroundings, followed by a few minutes in the rocking chairs on the front porch.

Mississippi River crossings today: 1
July 16, 2012

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