Saturday, June 11, 2011

NP Passport Stamp #7: Pea Ridge Battlefield

Lu, G and I have decided that we're going to try to visit all of the National Park Service's parks, monuments, and historic sites that are within (easy) driving distance this summer.  Lu already had 6 stamps in her passport book from our Arizona vacation in '09. 

First up is Pea Ridge Battlefield National Military Park, which is an easy day trip for us.


Now, granted, I'm sort of a National Park nerd, but I got all excited by the park services building. It was so official and National Park-ish! 

 
It has a nicely stocked little gift shop (where you'll find the passport books and cancellation & stamp station!), super clean restrooms, and a small civil war memorabilia museum. 


G-man was fishing with his dad and missed this trip.  I'll have to take him back, he's actually our civil war buff.  He'll get a huge kick out of the little museum. There's also a short film that plays every 30 minutes, but we missed it and didn't hang around to catch the next showing.  There was park to see!

There was a nice little picnic area as soon as you enter the 7-mile driving loop around the battlefield, so we stopped and had our sack lunch first. 


(That happens to be MY birthday Wicked tee.  Silly thing was sized for a toddler I swear.  I had to give it to Lu!  Of course she didn't mind.) 

The picnic area is bordered by a Trail of Tears marker (we scored this stamp cancellation too.  I love getting a two-fer at a NP!)


The driving tour is mostly one-lane, with several pull-outs and overlooks.  You can get out and meander around the cannons, hike one of the trails, or read the storyboards.  There are horse trails too and we saw several trailers and horseback riders.



There were plenty of hiking trails (we only did a very short one to a scenic overlook.  It was HOT and super humid today!)  It's a really pretty area though, with lots of wildflowers and nature.



My favorite scenic overlook was this one, which was so expansive it was really hard to capture in a photograph.



Apparently the battlefield bordered a homestead and several years after the war there was a reunion.  There is still a house on the site  (the original was a log cabin, which was replaced by this pretty house at some point).  


There are also two marble monuments to the soldiers and Native Americans who fought at the battlefield. 




We were dehydrated and silly at this point.



The last bit of driving borders the other side of the battlefield, which is very picturesque with the rough-hewn fencing and cannons.  (There's a ranger out there weed-eating too.)


It was a good day!  We'll be visiting another National Park next week before I attend a 1-day school conference.  I'm way more excited about the NP than the conference.  I honestly don't know why I thought I'd want to do a workshop barely one week after getting out of school. 

The mojo is seriously lacking at Casa Angie too.  I think it's a combination of exhaustion, school burnout, and a really annoying medical insurance fiasco (the less said about that, the better).  I've never seen a more negative and irritable bunch of people in all my life than at my school the past two weeks.  We were all required to pack up EVERYTHING and vacate the building by this weekend.  (We'll be moving into a brand new high school in the fall!) You want to see people's true colors, give them an impossible to-do list and an air conditioner that shuts off every hour on the hour.  Ha.  It was not pretty.

Anywho...if you can bear with me for a few more days, I think I'll get back on my feet soon!  Meanwhile, I soothe my soul with my super wonderful kiddos.  That's good medicine.

5 comments:

  1. That looks like a great place to visit, going to have to check it out someday.

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  2. Looks like a fun day trip! This is my last week of classes, but I've done the "Pick & Pack" to a new school before. It's worth it, you will love having a brand new classroom and school!

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  4. I LOVE those National Park passport stamps!!! Looks like you and the family have a great summer in store.

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  5. My kids have NP passports as well and love them!

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