25 May 2007

Bainbridge, Georgia

Ok, so in the morning I headed east to the city of Bainbridge. It was once an important trading stop because of its location on the Flint river, part of the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee river system, that was vital for the southern Georgia economy. The rivers flowed through Florida's pan handle into the Gulf of Mexico and were vital enough that activities nearby sparked the first Seminole War .The city was an intriguing place, with several historic markers, and a vital starting point for seeing early sites of the first Seminole war (next post.) Above is one of a half dozen canon around Willis park downtown. Below is one of the city's war memorials.

Memorial to Revolutionary soldiers.

Confederate memorial

The other war memorial
Bell from the steamboat John W. Callahan

Memorial to Samuel Marvin Griffin, former govenor of Georgia
Decatur county court house

Flint river flowing to Lake Seminole
This park on the west side of town had this train and some pieces of engineering equipment, but no information was given. Also a wooden walkway went through a fenced area with goats, emus, and one donkey. These could be drawn by thowing food, such as hamburger buns (below).

Flint river again

24 May 2007

Seminole Lake State Park

Ok, so this is where I spent the third and final night. the park preserves lake with beautiful marshy areas, and includes a great nature trail that I decided was worth including a few pictures. One of the unique features of the area is the prominence of sawgrass, shown clearly in the 5th picture. Other than that I will let the pictures speak for themselves on this one.

23 May 2007

The Boll Weevil

Ok, just Southwest of Fort Rucker, lies the city of Enterprise, Alabama. This city gets its fame from having the only monument in the world to an agricultural pest: The Boll Weevil Monument. (Seen above.) The following excert is from Wikipedia: "The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama erected a monument to the boll weevil. It was, and still is, the only monument to an agricultural pest. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) was indigenous to Mexico but appeared in Alabama in 1915. By 1918 farmers were losing whole cotton crops to the beetle. H. M. Sessions saw this as an opportunity to convert the area to peanut farming. In 1916 he convinced C. W. Baston, an indebted farmer, to back his venture. The first crop paid off their debts and was bought by farmers seeking to change to peanut farming. Cotton was grown again, but farmers learned to diversify their crops, a practice which brought new money to Coffee County. Bon Fleming, a local businessman, came up with the idea to build the monument, and helped to finance the total cost. As a tribute to how something disastrous can be a catalyst to change, the monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919 at the intersection of College and Main Street, the heart of the town's business district. The original statue of a woman wearing a flowing gown, arms stretched above her head, was built in Italy for approximately $1,800, not including the fountain and boll weevil. The boll weevil was not added until thirty years later, when Luther Baker thought the Boll Weevil Monument should have a boll weevil on it. He made the boll weevil and attached it to the top of the fountain that was no longer in use. The monument stands more than thirteen feet tall. The boll weevil, and sometimes even the entire monument, has been stolen many times through out the years and each time was found and repaired by the city of Enterprise until July 11, 1998. On that day vandals ripped the boll weevil out of the statue's hands and permanently damaged the statue. City leaders were going to repair the original statue and put it back but it proved too difficult and costly. The replica still stands in downtown Enterprise, and the original is on display at Enterprise’s Depot Museum. There is a security camera nearby that monitors for further vandalism."

Coffee county courthouse

The Enterprise Depot, now a strange hodge podge of a museum, has a fascinating collection of random items, more resembling an old attic than a traditional museum.
An old washer/dryer set

An old pistol, minnie ball and ball mold
Left: old bottles, below: Old radios

An old addressing machine
Below: A carriage

The first church in Enterprise

Confederate monument

US Army Aviation Museum

Ok, so this post has a loooott of pictures, so if it takes a while to load I apologize, but there were so many neat things here, despite it being small by aviation museum standards. The museum has several things that while common, are rare simply because they don't find their way into most museums or airshows the way Navy and Air Force planes do. It also has a few things that you may not find anywhere else or even seen before. I will say that before coming here, I considered myself to be fairly knowledgable when it comes to aircraft. Now I have my doubts. So I will do my best here, but I will be honest when I have no clue about something. If you find you know something I don't, please feel free to let me know so I can add the information (and give you credit of course.) Anyway, above is the museum's centerpiece UH1 huey, recreating a famous photo from the Vietnam war of the "Bravo Blues" 1st of the 9th Cavalry.
This is an AH56 Cheyenne. Aparently this odd craft was the forerunner to the well known Apache, though I had never heard of it. Note the unusually long wings, and if you can see them, the two tail rotors, one on the side and one facing back.
A Caribou. Used as a transport during Vietnam.
This display recreates a Louisianna Maneuvers scene. The concept allowed Army field commanders to use Piper aircraft as artillery spotters.

Cessna L19 Bird Dog, another spotter plane.

H19 Chicksaw. Korean era transport.
Apparently, this particular Choctaw copter was once Army One (Presidential copter).
CH37 Mojave
CH47 Chinook

Below we see a couple of what I call Banana copters (I think you can see why). The first is a H21C Shawnee and the second is a H25 Mule. Below that are some small unmanned recon aircraft, followed by a UH60 Blackhawk, made famous in Desert Storm and "Blackhawk Down." And I don't know what the heck is going on with the caption format in this post, but the site is being stupid. So please forgive.

The famous AH64 Apache

A nice pair of AH1 Cobras
A Korea era transport copter, I want to say it's a Sioux.
This display shows an actual UH1 that was shot down in Vietnam, and another copter coming to rescue its crew. Below it is a display showing a Korean era medevac.
A copter and plane fitted with strechers for medevac use.

Below:A group of Hoverfly and Dragonfly copters

Sopwith Camel (one of only two replicas in the museum.)
Some WW1 aircraft.
A Wright B Flyer (the only other replica), a Jenny, and a couple other early aircraft.
U1 Otter Vietnam era transport
Below: CH54 Skycrane, a large copter with little internal space, but carried items slung beneath it.

OV1 Mohawk, Vietnam era observation plane. I really have no idea what this strange jet is, or why the Army would have it. Any ideas?
Um, this looks like a Chinook with a large wings attached. Anyone know anything about this guy?
An Army Neptune.