While on our visit, Jess organized a BBQ for us to be able to spend some time with her family.
When Jess was living in Minnesota, her family would come visit and we would have a BBQ at the North Mississippi Regional Park which is just under a mile from our house. So it was very fitting that we would have this BBQ at a the Columbus-Belmont State Park on the Mississippi in just over a mile from her parents house in Kentucky.
I have always loved that we all grew up hanging out at the same river, only Jess was 800 miles down river. Or we were 800 miles up river.
It may be the same river but it sure does look different all the way down here.
I have always heard people say "The muddy Mississippi" but I never understood it. The Mississippi I know is pretty clear.
The Mississippi Jess knows looks like coffee with cream. And look how wide it is! I could not swim the width of that even if there wasn't a current. I also noticed that when I look out in either direction there is no visible crossing of any kind. The view is clear for miles and miles in both directions but there is no interstate crossing.
My Mississippi view, from my park has a different view. Look to the North and there is the 694 Interstate crossing. Look to the South and you see the blue Camden Avenue bridge. Enter near Minneapolis and you see a number of bridges, enter in St. Paul and you see even more.
I am continuously amazed by the mass of this river and the difference in it's appearance over it's 2320 mile life. After this trip, I have a deep want to see much more of this river. I hope that many of our vacations include the cute little river towns that reside up and down this river.
The park lays claim to a Civil War battle. Part of the battle happened on this land, the rest of that land gave way to erosion during some major flooding in 1920. Scattered throughout the park are items found after the flood believed to be used in the battle or the war.
The largest item on display, and used for a mini photo shoot staring my family, is this large cannon. It is so large it has a name! Lady Polk was name for Confederate General Leonidas Polk's wife. He was the General who lead the battle on this ground.
My girls could be models for a cannon magazine!
All of the kids spend more time playing on the cannon than they did on the playground.
The park is also home to a museum and interpretive center. I am not one for snapping a ton of pictures in a museum but I had to get this shot of Willy chilling on a cannon ball with his favorite leaf. Man, I love this child!
The museum was very interesting. Shawn and I could have spent so much more time in this little house packed with relics and information. It was a fantastic history lesson. And being from Minnesota, we don't come across Civil War history every day!
But the kids grew tired of the museum and when they decided the gift shop was a toy store it was time to move on. Next time we are done in Columbus we will return, hopefully sans kids!
Outside the museum the grounds were beautifully landscaped. Ryan and Jess were married on the steps of the museum over looking the river.
After we took in all the sights and activities, we hung out in the pavilion and ate dinner. It was nice to catch up with Jess's family and meet some other who never made the trek to Minneapolis.