Today was fairly low-key. My stomach still hasn’t recovered from getting glutened and so I was very sluggish today.

After breakfast, we went to a hair salon downtown and Travis made he and Sam appointments for later today. While we “killed time” waiting on those appointments, we decided to check out a historic Civil War fort in Pineville, Fort Randolph. (If you click on the different colored words in the previous sentence, it will take you to the wikipedia page for Fort Randolph.)

Educationally, it was interesting. However, it isn’t that great of a place for a 3 year old unless you spend the entire time on the boardwalk or grounds. We watched a 12 minute video about the history of Fort Randolph and then we went to explore the fort. All morning, I had been trying to describe what a fort looked like to Sam. However, my descriptions were based on previous forts I had visited- namely Fort Sumter in Charleston. This fort was NOTHING like that. NOTHING. It was actually an “earthen citadel” which basically means BIG DIRT HILL OVERLOOKING A RIVER. Yeah, not too exciting to a three year old. They built a boardwalk around the Fort so that you don’t have to swim through the swamp to check it out and so we did that, finished touring the visitor’s center, and then hopped back in our car and the boys got their hair cuts.

Never fear, I did take pictures. Quite a few, actually. Here goes…

From April 2012


From April 2012


Here is the fort…

From April 2012


Here is the really nice boardwalk…

From April 2012


There was a MASSIVE oak tree beside the boardwalk. I only had my 50mm prime lens on my camera so I couldn’t exactly zoom out to get a picture. Therefore, I took a shot in portrait and landscape to TRY to convey the size of this HUGE tree.

From April 2012


From April 2012


From April 2012


From April 2012


Swamp!

From April 2012


Cypress knees!

From April 2012


More fort…

From April 2012


From April 2012


From April 2012


A view of the Red River from the fort

From April 2012


From April 2012


Now back to the visitor’s center…

From April 2012


Apparently, on Saturdays they have people come in and do demonstrations on how things were made and such at the fort. One of those guys does stuff with wood shaving…

From April 2012


An example of how the soldiers slept…

From April 2012


This fort was built predominately by local male slaves…

From April 2012


Can you find the soldier trying to blend in with his surroundings? 🙂

From April 2012


The fort did have cannons and so there was a fake one on display. Sam enjoyed talking into the cannon.

From April 2012


We then went to an overlook where “Bailey’s Dam” was once located. This was a dam built by Union troops to help them get their boats down river (if I remember correctly- there is a link to the wikipedia article on it in the article on Fort Randolph that I’ve already linked to.)

From April 2012


From April 2012


From April 2012


From April 2012


The Red River…

From April 2012


A view of Alexandria from the overlook…

From April 2012


Since I am AWFUL at remembering the “useful” aspects of history, here are the random tidbits I remember from the video this morning…
1. The Fort was built in anticipation of the Union troops returning to Alexandria for a 3rd time. The Union never came back.
2. The Fort was never involved in any Civil War battles.
3. The only death at the Fort was during a military exercise- a cannon “backfired” (?) and killed a soldier.
4. During a battle further up river, a lot of Union soldiers were killed an laid along the banks. The narrator said that the “river flowed red from the blood of the dead and dying Union soldiers.” I thought that was a fun play on words. However, the Red River is not named after this event.

If we have any visitors come see us that want to see this (hint hint… Kyle & Anna) we will gladly take you. However, I doubt this is a local thing we will frequent too often- unless Sam becomes a history buff down the road.

After our fort excursion, Travis and Sam got their hair cut- super exciting stuff. HA! We then ate Chinese and I took a picture of their new hairstyles. I am still not overly excited about Sam’s. I think I need to find a male barber to cut his so that the back isn’t a bunch of long layers- ugh! I miss Mario…

From April 2012

After nap time and supper, we went to the grocery store in search for gluten free hamburger or hot dog buns. There is actually only one grocery store in the area that MIGHT stand a chance of stocking them and so that is where we went- Kroger. However, we struck out. I guess I now need to add those to my continuously growing list of “normal” foods to learn to make if I ever want to eat a semi-normal hamburger or hot dog while we live here. 😦 Grr…

Having celiac disease and living in “cenla” is REALLY starting to frustrate me right now. I know it will get better and I will adjust but I am REALLY missing the “conveniences” of Raleigh/Wake Forest and all the gluten-free products that were so plentiful there. Thankfully, I will be spending a few days in New Orleans next week and so a “stock up” trip to Whole Foods is planned. Kind of ridiculous that I have to travel almost 4 hours away to do this though…

🙂
Steph

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