October 18, 2019
I woke up on October 17 to a cloudy, but rainless, sky. I departed at 8:30 am and arrived in Vicksburg at 1 pm.
Jill Upton greeted me at the waterfront. Jill is a retired physical education teacher and has a doctorate in Exercise Science. She lives in Jackson, Mississippi and has been following my blog for many years. She is a fellow adventurer. Jill has climbed many mountains and trekked to Everest Base Camp. She is also an accomplished women’s basketball coach. She coached her Mississippi University for Women team to a National Championship. As a player for the American Athletics Union, her team won two National Championships.
I was not able to find a safe place to hide my canoe, so Jill took over. She called her friend, Glenn McKay, who is the local Constable. Glenn was able to locate a nearby storage yard. But, we had no way to transport the canoe from the River to the storage yard. Jill drove around town asking owners of pickup trucks if they could help us.
David Darby answered the call. David is quite the southern character. He has a heavy southern accent and a can-do attitude. He is also a non-stop talker and photographer, using his handy smart phone. When I explained my need for transport, he replied “for 50 cents, I will do anything you ask.” We placed my 17-1/2 foot canoe across the bed of his truck and drove to the storage yard. David is a deeply religious Christian and invited us to a revival dinner at his church. I had to pass because I was filthy dirty and desperately in need of clean-up and rest. Jill needed to return home.
I checked into the Anchuca B&B, a fabulous antebellum home. Jill and I enjoyed a beer and the Homecoming Parade in downtown Vicksburg. The prime ribeye dinner I had at Anchuca was one of the best I have ever eaten. After the last few days on the River, I guess this is understandable. At dinner, I met a group of wonderful southern women celebrating two birthdays.
Anchuca (“Happy Home” in Choctaw) was built in 1832. During the Civil War, it served as a hospital where Union and Confederate soldiers were treated. It was struck over 17 times by canon fire. Every window was broken. All the furniture was gone, either because it was looted or burned for fuel. After the war, it was leased by Joseph Davis, the older brother of Jefferson Davis, who was the President of the Confederacy. In 1869, after serving two years in a federal prison at Fort Monroe, Jefferson Davis visited his brother at Anchuca and gave an address to friends from the upstairs balcony. Anchuca is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
On October 18, I enjoyed my breakfast of grits at Anchuca. Jill picked me up at 10 am and drove me around Vicksburg where I picked up supplies. Because of the cold weather, I purchased warmer clothes and a heavier sleeping bag.
We had a 2 pm appointment with a Guide at the National Military Park in Vicksburg.
The Mississippi Birthday Girls