August 2 – Four States Today

We traveled through four states today enroute to Sarasota where we are planning on going to see Ken and Cheryl.  Ken has been hospitalized for the better part of two months due to his multiple myeloma, both viral and fungal pneumonia and some other undiagnosed reasons for the pain he is experiencing.  Meantime, Cheryl has had to deal with Ken, his doctors and the prognsis uncertainties surrounding his diseases.


There was little to distinguish the trip in Louisiana other than a 1957 Chevy truck.

Then on to

where speed limits were posted along with radar indicating a driver's speed.


Perhaps today's most interesting place was the Alabama Welcome Center

which had more sculptures and artwork than we've seen at any other rest area across the country.

An oyster shell adorend with the history and historic figures from Alabama

This Mark-8, 2,700 pound armor piercing projectile  – which was fired from one of the nine 16-inch 45 caliber mark 45 “big guns” aboard the USS Alabama (BB-60).   It travels at a speed of 2,300 feet per second or 1,568 miles per hour; more than twice the speed of sound.  The guns are accurate up to 20.97 miles away from the battleship.

Several colorful inlays in the Welcome Center floor

Model of the USS Alabama (BB-60)

Driving through Mobile,

RSA Battle House dominates the Mobile skyline

Navy F-4 Phantom and Battleship Alabama (BB-60)

Throughout our 150 mile drive through Mississippi and Alabama, we saw an unusual sign.

A little checking yields some interesting information we were completely unaware of. 

The United States and Spain held long, inconclusive negotiations on the status of West Florida.

Pink area west of the Florida peninsula

In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and resisted Spanish control. British settlers, who had remained, also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellon in 1810 and the establishment for 74 days of the Republic of West Florida.

In West Florida from June to September 1810, many secret meetings of those who resented Spanish rule, as well as three openly held conventions, took place in the Baton Rouge district.  Out of those meetings grew the West Florida rebellion and the establishment of the independent Republic of West Florida, with its capital at St. Francisville, in present-day Louisiana, on a bluff along the Mississippi River.

Early in the morning on September 23, 1810, armed rebels stormed Fort San Carlos at Baton Rouge and killed two Spanish soldiers "in a sharp and bloody firefight that wrested control of the region from the Spanish."  The rebels unfurled the flag of the new republic, a single white star on a blue field.

Fast forward … at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, December 10, 1810, "the men within the fort marched out and stacked their arms and saluted the flag of West Florida as it was lowered for the last time, and then dispersed."

We finally reached our fourth state of the day (and 22nd on this trip)

and our campground for the night, which recognized members of the military and fallen policemen

was extremely pretty .. as we overlook a small lake.

The last time I was in Pensacola, other than when heading either west or east along 

was in December 1960 when ourTufts University freshman Naval ROTC class took a trip to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for an introduction to Naval aviation.

Together with my roommate, Bob Serino (l), aboard the USS Antietam (CV-36)


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