Wilson's Creek National Battlefield…

After picking up Greg from basic, we spent the next day at the park just taking it easy which included running down the road just a couple of miles and catching up on the laundry.  After that, it was time to see a few sites on our way to take Greg back home for his next Guard weekend.
Wilsons Creek was the location of the first major battle of the Civil War to happen west of the Mississippi River.   Located in southwest Missouri, it was the perfect place to reintroduce Greg to our Jr. Ranger fetish.
For this stop, we were back to parking lot squatting, but this time we went a little classier.
Bass Pro Shop World in Springfield, MO.
There is a large parking lot behind their catalog outlet (woohoo! love outlets! LOL!)
we parked along the fence line.  Right after we arrived, we left the 5er and truck in the lot, and ran out to Wilsons Creek so the kids could pick up their Jr. Ranger booklets.  Often times, there are activities that the kids can do off site, like word searches; completion of these would make our visit to the park shorter the next day (miles to go you know…).
After we took a peek at the visitor’s center, and watched the 20 minute film, it was 5:00 and closing time so we headed back to Bass Pro Shops, where the guys and Beth checked out the store.  I don’t think that anybody bought anything, and we then had a quiet night in the spacious parking lot with only one set of neighbors (one other RV ;).
The next morning, I really wanted to check out the outlet, and after we walked in, the guys all wondered why they had even been shopping in the retail store! LOL!
We DID find a few things in the outlet, like Caleb a Columbia winter hat that looks like a dragon tail with spikes for $3.50, and a shirt for myself, and Beth bought a sweater – they had racks and racks of clearance that were an additional half off.
We were really glad that the kids had gotten a head start on their Jr. Ranger books since we had gotten such a late start from Bass Pro Shops!
Once we arrived at the park, we had to check out the cannons of course.  We’re all about firepower you know…

Even Molly… (who is really glad to have her strong biggest brother back to humor her every whim of ‘me see it too’…)

After the kids completed the parts of their J.R. books that had to be done in the museum, we took the driving tour around the park…
and stopped at the Ray farm, where the body of the first Union General (Gen. Nathaniel Lyons) to die in the Civil War, was place after his death; they even have the actual bed his body was placed on in the house, on display.  The Ray farmhouse became a hospital during and after the battle.

The ranger that was staffing the house to give the tours, was great – he even pointed out things to the kids and reminded them of what they would need to know to complete their booklets.  We got a more thorough tour because we were doing the Jr. Ranger program 😉    (the tour wasn’t just us tho!)

Then we walked across the road (NOT circa Civil War), and down to the spring house where the kids checked out the spring and the cool, naturally insulated room built into the side of the hill…

Then we toured the rest of the park, making a few stops at the more interesting locations, especially where there were cannons (the kids had activities to do referencing them so that was the excuse they used to make us stop there).

We had brought the truck and 5er with us, so once the kids turned in their booklets and received their badges, we were on our way!  We had put our imaginations to work to envision the destruction of life that occurred here during the Civil War.  Our next location would also be a place of destruction, but of a different kind, and one where we would not have to use our imaginations to envision the destruction that happened there…heading to Joplin, MO next…

Lilla Rose

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