Dr. Greg & Milledue try to make sense of the Civil War...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dr. Greg, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. -GREG-

    -GREG- Been here awhile

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    Love reading your reports Dr. Greg! I'm kinda partial to your bike of choice and you definitely are a class act with a name like Greg.

    If you visit the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War, I'm a local. There's a roof and furnished garage at the base of Lookout Mountain that you are most welcome at. :-)
    #21
  2. rusty44

    rusty44 Been here awhile

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    Dr. Greg was a great guest and look forward to having him visit again.

    Have a safe trip.....Joni and Alan
    #22
  3. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    Looking forward to your report pearls and pics. :thumb
    #23
  4. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Hell, I used to work with an African-American guy that refers to y'all as Yankees. Like the license plate says:

    [​IMG]

    Looking forward to the rest of the ride report.
    #24
  5. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    :lurk

    Congratulations on your newest member of the family. She is beautiful. Thanks for the ride report, I am enjoying it.
    #25
  6. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Wednesday 9/26: Scurry, Texas - Shreveport, Louisiana

    After a wonderful night's sleep somewhere in East Texas (why do I always sleep BETTER "on the road" than at home?) my host Alan managed to find me a few fragments for breakfast. In all fairness, he DOES make a mean pot of coffee, which he served in the largest mugs I have ever seen (sorry for not taking a pic...guess I was too well rested)
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    A Non-Interstate Route out thru East Texas

    The country in East Texas is definitely different than West Texas...namely, it's green.
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    I mean, look at that!
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    Sorry for getting so excited, but I come from BROWN New Mexico---and before that---BROWN Southern California. So GREEN (just like running water) is sort of a foreign concept for me...

    Alan suggested a route which kept me on secondary roads---definitely my preference. After all, I only had about 200 miles to ride to Shreveport, Louisiana. So I headed out thru Athens, Jacksonville, and Rusk, finally culminating in a lunch stop at the tiny town of Cushing, Texas. Some of those cool back roads had "overhanging" trees:
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    Lunch at the "7th Street Restaurant"

    I was advised to stop in Cushing at the aforementioned restaurant. Doesn't look like much on the outside:
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    After asking the (lovely...will you marry me? Oops, I'm already married) waitress for her recommendations, I ended up ordering just a hamburger and fries (I'm a hopeless conservative at heart). BUT it was the thickest hamburger I've had since my 3rd son Mark fixed me my "65th birthday burger" in Yantai, CHINA. See?
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    Who Says Dr. Greg Isn't Cultured?

    While eating my (excellent!) hamburger (which I ordered with Jalapeno peppers, being a New Mexican) I did a little reading on my phone. Now how many ADV riders read about Wagner (that's the composer for you culture-deprived morons) while eating a burger? You guys probably don't even know who Wotan is...just kidding, just kidding.
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    After lunch I strolled around to the back of the "7th Street Restaurant"...wow, the place really IS is junkyard...
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    Just my style.


    Nicholas Trammel (Flamel?)

    In an effort to waste time (I couldn't get to Shreveport too early, cuz my hosts wouldn't be home) I stopped at all possible "historical monuments." *This one was all about Nicholas Trammel.
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    Hmmm, Nicholas Trammel? Wasn't he in Harry Potter? Oops, no...that was Nicholas FLAMMEL, right? Wasn't that the name? Man, I can't remember. * ' old.

    Well, in any event, here's Nicholas' historical marker and a familiar bike:
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    Another Way to Waste Time...

    As I was going through Carthage, Texas, I pulled over into a big "church" parking lot to take a break (and waste some more time). In a few minutes, this guy:
    [​IMG]
    came over and started talking. Turns out he was a rider, and was intrigued with the Multistrada 1200S. He was kind of an interesting guy: had most of facts right, but not all. Have you ever spoken with someone like that? Had most of his facts right, but not quite. For example, he thought the Multi had THREE riding modes, but it really has FOUR. Now how could someone make a mistake like that?

    It did, however, waste 45 minutes. *Excellent.

    Between Carthage and I-20, I crossed another river. Water! And you know my weakness for running water...
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    Stopped at yet another Texas "picnic area"...this one JUST BEFORE the Louisiana border. Look at all the trees!
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    I strolled out among the trees, and found these luscious-looking berries:
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    Having never had a biology class (honest!) I figured with my luck they were poisonous...


    Arrival in Shreveport, Louisiana...

    After a moment of panic (nobody home!) I arrived at the home of my hosts (Jeff and Becky), who graciously volunteered for a photograph:
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    And look at the GUMBO dinner that Becky fixed!!
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    And it TASTED even better than it looked. *We won't talk about dessert (I'm still trying to finish it...yum!)


    Tomorrow: Natchez, Mississippi

    The plan for tomorrow is to take I-20 (yeah, I don't like interstates) over to Vicksburg, MS, and the Civil War stuff there. *Any of you guys heard of the "Siege of Vicksburg?" *After that, I'll head south towards Natchez, and hook up with an inmate in that area.

    Sorry...I feel like this is kind of a crummy report. But it was a short day, and it was hot. *And I'm tired. *Good night, see *y'all (see, I sound like a Texan!) in the mornin'...

    --Doc

    PS. Oops, being in Shreveport, Louisiana (birthplace of "Fast Freddie" Spencer), I was gonna post the pic of Freddie and Doc, but I forgot. Too tired now, but tomorrow morning for sure.
    #26
  7. TheRoss

    TheRoss IBA# 522

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    Now that you have been to Carthage, might I suggest the film "Bernie" for when you return home?

    Enjoying the report Dr Greg!
    #27
  8. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    As promised, here's the pic of "Fast Freddie" Spencer and Dr. Greg:
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    This was taken at the Santa Fe, New Mexico airport in 1998. Freddie was the "guest speaker" at the 1998 Honda Sport Touring Ass'n. "STAR" rally. As rally organizer, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Freddie, then taking him to the airport.

    He was (is) always one of my heroes. Can you IMAGINE the mental and physical effort of winning BOTH the 250cc and the 500cc (er, MotoGP) classes IN THE SAME YEAR?!? Of course, that was 1985. It was rumored the effort so drained him he was never the same, which seems believable.

    A very nice guy, and still looked pretty fit to me. Here's to ya, Freddie! Hee, hee...note the huge cell phone hanging off his belt :D

    --Doc

    PS. Yes, I did ask him about "THE PASS" in 1983 in Sweden where he beat Kenny Roberts for the 500cc title. I believe Roberts' quote was: "I underestimated what he was prepared to do to win..."

    PPS. Someone said that I bore a resemblance to Eddie Lawson in that pic. Believe me, any similarity ends there! :evil

    PPPS. My host (Jeff) here in Shreveport (Freddie's hometown) said his neighbor remembers riding with Freddie when he was a kid. Too bad I won't have time to talk to him. Of course only a tiny fraction of USA residents would even KNOW ABOUT Freddie and motorcycle road racing at that time. And to think the USA dominated...KR, Freddie, Eddie, Wayne, Kevin, and several more...sigh.
    #28
  9. rusty44

    rusty44 Been here awhile

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    Sounds like you had fun ride through East Texas.
    After seeing all these other great meals you're eating, I'm going to have to vastly improve my "hosting" skills. :D
    #29
  10. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    WEll Doc, great RR and I hope since you are that far 'South' you will be taking advantage of your area and riding the Natchz Trace for it is one beautiful ride and rich in history.

    safe ride, gale
    #30
  11. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    Dr. Greg, if you want to read an interesting book on Gettysburg (I assume you will be going there), there is a book by the same name authored by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. This is a "what if" account if Lee had done some things a bit different. If you have never been there, I would recommend reading this book after you have visited and seen the area. What a wonderful museum, exhibits and battlefields exist there. It is really something to read about the battle, but see the terrain and such is really quite an experience. I think we spent about five days in the area a couple of years ago.

    I am enjoying your ride report.
    #31
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Hi Doc - I missed a few days but I'm here now!

    Cheers
    P
    #32
  13. jeffabner

    jeffabner Gear Jammer

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    Doc,

    Enjoyed your visit and we'll be keeping up with your RR - stay safe and have fun!

    Jeff & Becky

    PS - Becky tells me that the berries you came across at the Texas picnic area are Callicarpa americana, or American beautyberry. Apparently they make one helluva good jelly...
    #33
  14. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Following along Doc as you work your way closer to them northern agressors :D BTW, check ur PMs.
    #34
  15. woodshed

    woodshed coaster

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    Lake Powell AZ
    Hi, Doc. this is the 2nd trip I've followed you on. I enjoy your itineraries, and your interest in history. Since you are going to catch civil war sites, I would like to suggest a couple of stops. My wife & i traveled from Nashville to Natchez last spring, in a car though :eek1, but it was fun. We tried to stay on the Natchez Trace Parkway much of the time. Although the speed limit is only 45, the good thing is that you get totally sheltered from today's civilization by the way they have designed the roadway. It is easy to pop out of the Parkway and go see other sites. If you do follow the Trace, a good meal stop (or overnight) is French Camp, MS.

    If you liked Vicksburg Battlefield, you will also like Shiloh. But my suggestion is one that we stumbled over when still in Tennessee. It was the Battle of Franklin, in Franklin, TN. Franklin is just south of Nashville. You can get a ticket to see 3 sites: the Carnton Plantation, where the plantation home was taken over for a field hospital, and then 2 homes in Franklin, the Lotz & Carter houses. There is a visitor center about the battle behind the Carter house. The battle raged within feet of the home and I'm sure you will be moved by the story they tell. Our guide was James Knight, the author of Battle of Franklin. He can move you to tears.

    Another spot I was amazed at is the Cumberland Gap, and the historical influence there. That area has great roads for riding.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great trip. Many of us will enjoy the trip through you.

    :clap
    #35
  16. woodshed

    woodshed coaster

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    #36
  17. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Well, howdy there Pantah...since much of this route is due to you, it's good to have you on board!

    --Doc
    #37
  18. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Will do. I'm looking forward to sharing some bourbon...

    ...and other stuff, too. I'm not just interested in bourbon, y'unnderstand! :evil

    --Doc
    #38
  19. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thank you VERY much! I might be in that area tomorrow, so your response is very timely. BTW, I did about 250 miles on the "Trace" today, and enjoyed it IMMENSELY...as you will soon see in my ride report update.

    --Doc
    #39
  20. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thursday 9/27: Shreveport, Louisiana - Gloster, Mississippi

    Sorry for being "out of touch" for a day or so...there's a very good reason for that, but I'll discuss that later. *Suffice it to say that things are going very well...

    BTW, the (free) text editor I'm using on the iPad (my device for this trip) seems to insert asterisks at odd points...for a while I manually edited them out, but I'm tired of doing that. *So just ignore all the asterisks. *Thanks.


    Leaving Jeff and Becky in Shreveport

    So in the morning I told Becky..."I know you're not big breakfast people, so couldja maybe please make me a piece of toast with peanut butter. *I should've known better...
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    She brings out this incredible plate of scrambled eggs + goodies + toast + who knows what else. *Needless to say, I couldn't finish. *Good thing they have a couple of dogs...what a great pair of hosts. *Bless you guys.

    Vicksburg, Mississippi and the National Military Park

    I took I-20 from Shreveport, LA to Vicksburg, Mississippi. *Normally I avoid the interstates, but I wanted to get to Vicksburg with as much time as possible to look around. *Why? *Because the "Siege of Vicksburg" was maybe THE pivotal point in the Civil War, that's why. *So here's what I-20 was like:
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    You know my weakness for running water, well here's the OLD MAN, the Mighty Mississippi:
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    Best I could do while riding...

    See? *I was really there!
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    Any of you guys remember DeSoto? *No, not the CAR...sheesh.
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    And---like I said---this is why I was here.
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    BTW, the last few photos were taken at the "Mississippi Welcome Center," which I feel is a very nicely done "welcome center"...based on the many "welcome centers" I've encountered in my diverse travels.

    Here's a pic of the Mississippi River from the Welcome Center (east bank of the river, of course):
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    And here's a "closeup" of a barge being shoved upriver. *The Mississippi River was THE key to shipping, which is why President Lincoln said that "Vicksburg is the Key to the Civil War", and "we need that key in our pocket."
    [​IMG]


    The Vicksburg National Military Park

    There's a lot to see in Vicksburg. *But---given my limited time---(yeah, I know I'm retired, but...) I wanted to focus on the "Military Park." *When I rode up to the "guard shack" I flashed my "Senior Pass" and they waved me thru! *Hey, age has its privileges! *The first thing I saw was this plaque about ARTILLERY:
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    Man, what could be SCARIER than artillery?!?! *Uh, on the receiving end, I mean.

    And here was the "murderer's row" of artillery, right out front:
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    Man!! *Gives me the shivers just to look at the pic. *And the big bruiser in middle had this nameplate:
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    Don't think it had anything to do with "Dennis..."

    MORTARS play a big part in any "siege"...look at this thing! *Its "stroke" is not much longer than its "bore"...yikes. *These things just give me the willies. *Small arms are one thing, but...
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    And the f'ing projectiles that they threw!...like this "Solid Shot"...I've read about these things taking the head off some random officer!!!??!! *Howdja like to be riding next to some poor bloke one second, and the next WHAM a 10-inch bowling ball screams thru and removes his *head. *MY GOD!!! *How did these soldiers keep fighting?!?
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    Sorry, I just get carried away... *Of course, then there's THIS GUY who probably did even more damage:
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    I mean, come on, guys. *I think everyone should be required to tour these battlefields and think about what these poor boys went through.

    Ah, yes...life in the trenches.
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    And then the poor civilian buggers in Vicksburg...they ended up living in CAVES to avoid the carnage. *I mean, can you IMAGINE living in a CAVE in Vicksburg, Mississippi in friggin' JUNE and JULY? *It's bad enough being on the surface! *No offense to any Vicksburg residents, y'unnerstand.
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    They tried to portray what these caves might have been like...yikes!
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    The 16-Mile Vicksburg Military Park "Tour" Route

    There is a 16-mile "tour" route thru the Military Park. *Naturally I rode it. *After the first couple stops I quit wearing my jacket (it was HOT) and gloves. *That sped things up a little. *The first sign I saw was:
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    There was a similar "Entering Confederate Lines" sign later down the road, but I don't think I got a pic of it.

    Lotsa monuments like this:
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    The surrounding countryside was very "rolling"...so many places for artillery emplacements like these:
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    The Poor Soldiers...

    The Northern soldiers at Vicksburg seemed to come primarily from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin. *This statue of a Wisconsin boy just touched my heart:
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    The USS Cairo Union Ironclad

    The Union "ironclad" boat USS Cairo has been raised and is on display:
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    During battle, when a 10-inch "solid shot" would hit dead center on the steam boilers of these ships, the resulting explosion would often claim many lives. *Boilers like these...
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    I'll put a plug in here for the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), my professional organization. *In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, steam boiler explosions killed a lotta people. *The ASME developed a "code" for safely designing boilers and pressure vessels. *Save many lives. *See, engineers do good stuff!

    Here's some of the rest of the big steam engines on these ships...now, that's a REAL engine:
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    Seems like the Confederate boys came from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi:
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    It just (literally) brings a tear to my eye to think of these Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin boys firing away at the Alabam, Louisiana, and Mississippi boys. *Seeing these historical sites somehow brings the reality of war home to me in a way I didn't expect. *This trip is definitely worthwhile, for me at least.

    More Mississippi guys:
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    This statue of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman caught my eye...talk about a dramatic pose:
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    That concludes my visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park. *It affected me profoundly. *Hope you "enjoyed" it.


    Looking for WALT in All the Wrong Places

    My contact for the evening was ADV inmate "DWalt" (Walt). *We had agreed to meet up somewhere in Natchez, Mississippi, but of course I screwed up. *After about 45 minutes and several phone calls we finally made connections. *Note Walt flat-footing his V-Strom:
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    I was a little "ticked off" for losing so much time, but Walt was so enthusiastic that I couldn't stay upset too long. *What a guy (as you will soon see...)


    Bad (er, Full) Moon Rising

    When Walt finally "showed up," I was ready to get a motel. *"Hey, it's a beautiful 40-mile ride to my place," he said. *And it WAS! *The time we lost simply made the rising full moon even more beautiful. *Walt set a spirited pace on his V-Strom and I'm sure the Multistrada thought "at last, I get to stretch my legs." *It was indeed a beautiful ride on down to the vicinity of Gloster, Mississippi (southern part of MS). *My only concern was that a DEER would jump out in front of me, but Walt later assured me that couldn't happen. *Of course his "guest house" was festooned with innumerable deer antlers! *Yikes!


    Best Dinner I've Had in a Coon's Age...

    Once we got to Walt's "hideout" (Greengate, BTW), I met his lovely ladyfriend Joanie (left below), friend Danny (right below), and his folks Mary and Walt, Sr. *What a great buncha folks!
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    And lookit this dinner! *Fresh-killed teal (duck), shrimp, bacon, and a buncha other stuff that I ate more of than I expected. *Man!
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    Here's a better pic of Walt. *That darn guy is the EPITOME of what I'd consider a GOOD OL' BOY...and in every way the best sense of the word. *Friendly, kind, and looks able to still start on most college football teams. *Good thing he's a friend of mine!
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    Here's a final pic of my dinner plate: black beans, salad, teal+bacon, other stuff (sorry, I don't recall the terminology). *Plus I got to stay in the "lake house" all by myself! *I mean, where else can you go but ADVrider.com and meet people who will just take you in and treat you like (or better than) family? *I felt like I'd died and gone to Heaven...
    [​IMG]


    Hmm, let's see; Gloster Mississippi to Tupelo, Mississippi?...

    Yeah, I had a great night's sleep at Walt's place, and made it 300+ miles to Tupelo. *But that story's gotta wait a few more minutes. *Please stay tuned, and I thank you all for your concern (especially Jeff & Becky!)

    --Doc
    #40