4/29/2013

On the Road with Ralph - Part I







As I type this latest blog entry, me and my faithful companion, Ralph, my now 5-year old beagle, are at a Quality Inn hotel in Montgomery, Alabama.  I am being charged $10.00 extra for the added benefit of having Ralph with me.  He is house-broken.  But, his bark is not house-broken.  I had intended to go eat breakfast at a Cracker Barrel yesterday morning.  I no sooner got to the end of the hall, and to the elevators, when I heard that all too familiar bay of a beagle.  Of course, it was Ralph.  Beagles do not take kindly to being left alone.  So, Ralph and I went to McDonald's driveup.  I got a Sausage McMuffin, hash-browns and coffee.  I got Ralph two sausage biscuits and hashbrowns.  He declined the coffee.  Why are Ralph and I on the road?  Well, I decided to follow up on one of my interests; The American Civil War.  We are in Montgomery because I intend to visit the old Confederate Cemetery a few miles up I-65 from where I am now.  I have researched on my last name only to discover I have a distant relative on my father's side of the family buried there.  I intend to see his grave site and take a few pictures. After we do that, I intend to continue on with our journey.

Our next stop will be at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS.  This was a battle where the citizens of Vicksburg were literally starved into submission by Union forces.  It was said that the people of  Vicksburg retreated to caves and basements to avoid the continual shelling of their city.  They were reduced to eating rats before they finally surrendered.  Pets are allowed here as long as they are leashed.  I don't know about Confederate Cemetery in Montgomery.  If they will not allow Ralph to enter, I probably will have to leave Ralph at a veterinarian's hotel until the next morning.  After we leave Vicksburg, we are headed to Shiloh National Park in Tennessee.  "Bloody Shiloh," as it is commonly referred to, was a two day engagement that led to Union forces taking a key railroad junction at nearby Corinth, MS.  Ralph will be allowed here as long as he is on a leash, of course.  Ralph doesn't particularly like the leash.  But, he now seems to regard it as a necessary evil if he wants to go walking with me.  This battlefield will be the final destination of our visits of Civil War battlefields.

It's not easy taking a pet on a journey such as I am embarked upon now.  You have to find hotels that will take pets.  You also have to be prepared to pay extra.  So far, that has not been a problem.  Ralph has been the problem.  That was to be expected of him.  He's five years old going on 25, it appears at times.  Ralph enjoys riding in a car more than anything in this world.  While we are on the road, he is not a problem.  But, when he needs to do his "business," he lets me know by whining.  If that doesn't get the desired reaction from me, he starts barking at me.  I know then I better pull over....or else.  My next entry will be Friday.  We'll probably be in Vicksburg or getting ready to leave.  I expect this to be a three part series.  It may be longer depending upon what happens.  I just hope Ralph doesn't suddenly decide he is tired of the whole thing. We'll see.

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