Saturday, February 9, 2013

On The Road 2-A

The original post of “On The Road 2” was also posted on 11 January. After some comments on our stay at Askew’s Landing RV Park, Maryellen commented on how nice it sounded. It is a beautiful place, enough so that we visited again on the return trip. It is at Exit 19 of I-20, just east of Vicksburg, and is immediately off the interstate. When you come off the exit ramp, you turn north just a few yards before turning west onto the 2 ½-mile country road (Askew’s Landing Road. What else!) that takes you back to the park.
A small glimpse of the lake at Askew Landing RV Park.
There are a number of interesting aspects to the park. First, it was originally founded as the 2,000-acre Bridgeport Plantation by Duklet Askew in 1859, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to running the plantation, he operated a ferry across the river, and managed a general store at the ferry crossing. It has remained in the family, and is now owned and operated by fifth-generation Dan Askew. On May 17, 1863, the plantation and ferry crossing of the Big Black River found themselves in the middle of the Civil War when Pemberton’s 4th Brigade was engaged by Gen. Sherman’s command of a portion of Grant’s 15th Corps as the Confederate forces retreated from Champion Hill. The ferry was of course destroyed. Follow-up engagements were fought there again on June 13 when Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to challenge the picket line protecting Grant’s Eastern flank. A mural on the end of the picnic pavilion portrays the initial battle.
Civil War battle mural.
On the first visit, we slept high on the hill above the lake so the night’s rains wouldn’t find us stuck in soft soil. The part that caused me a little loss of sleep was the road into the park. It runs along the berm created by the earthen dam that forms the lake. It is just wide enough for a vehicle to cross in one direction at a time. The prospect of heavy rains washing out the earthen dam to leave us stranded for perhaps months before repairs could be made just kept playing in my head. Why travel a thousand miles in search of an adventure when all you need is an irrational and over-active imagination? The dam, however, has been there a long time, and the morning found everything just fine. The park is not just owned by family, but everyone who visits is made to feel like family, and when we checked in, I spent a nice interlude in the office discussing canoeing, the river, and comparing paddling trips.

A Chinese Goose quite at home in a light drizzle.
Vicksburg is a very historical area on the banks of the Mississippi, and if you find yourself in the area, Askew’s would be an equally wonderful spot to spend some time and relax.


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