Benchmark Coach & RV Park in Meridian MS

If you find yourself passing through or needing to stay in Meridian Mississippi for a bit, you won’t go wrong by stopping at Benchmark Coach & RV Park in Marion (Facebook).

The park is surrounded by trees and is small by most standards but well kept.  It’s mowed regularly and the washroom and showers are clean and functional. The owner, Randy Spitzkeit is friendly and helpful.

We moved a table over after the picture was taken

The site we were in was plenty large enough for our 40′ class A and had both a concrete pad for the coach and gravel area for the toad with full hookups and 30/50 Amp power. There aren’t enough tables for all the sites but if you want one, Randy will likely give the ok to move one from an empty site.

The surrounding trees didn’t block the satellite signal from Dish. There’s not a lot we watch on satellite but if possible, we prefer to get local channels that way since we don’t have to futz with the OTA antenna.

Camp wifi is what you’d expect.  Available but often overloaded.  You might be able to do simple browsing and email during the day but at night you can forget doing anything once people get home and start streaming video.

Cell signal with ATT and Google Fi is weak so bring a booster if you need a strong connection to the internet or cell network. We were testing out a new router from OTA Mobile (ATT) and had no problems getting and staying online when using our WeBoost Drive 4G-X OTR.

The camp itself isn’t great for walking dogs. The roadways are all gravel and the field at the East end does have ticks. Make sure your dogs have their treatments and check them before getting back into your RV if you walk them down there.

To the point, without being obnoxious

They have a nice dog park though, which is a large grassy area but be aware that if it’s rained recently there will probably be some standing water.

Better for walking your dog nearby will be Marion Dr. where there isn’t a lot of traffic and most of the residents are friendly. There are a couple of dogs along the way but most are restrained, though exceptionally barky, or are off leash and harmless. I’m talking to you, Mr. Dachsund.

You’ll also find a nursery and the McInnis Pottery studio at the South bend of the street across a private railroad crossing.

A crossing that’s quite pretty at blue and golden hours.

We stayed for nearly two weeks and found it quite comfortable (excepting some minor problems we had with our AC). There were a good number of people that stayed only a week or even just a night and several Tiffins came through on their way to or from Red Bay, which is where we were headed after finishing up in Meridian.

Benchmark from the roof

For more pictures and larger versions of those above, head over here.

Here’s also some video of the park and walk along Marion Dr.

While you’re in the area, give the Dentzel carousel, Temple Theater, Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum (Soule Steamworks), Captain’s Amish Store and Sciple’s Mill a visit.

Moving Day June 9 2019

Moving day tomorrow. We’ll be going from this to a one night stopover in Georgia and finally on to Bushnell FL

Ride the Dentzel Carousel in Meridian MS

If you find yourself in Meridian, Mississippi you’ll see pretty carousel horses around town – in front of shops, the train station, City Hall – all over. Plenty of towns have painted statuary animals, like the buffalo in Custer, SD and cats in Catskills, NY, but Meridian actually has a working carousel. It’s not a recent thing dreamed up by a tourism bureau, either. The Dentzel Carousel in Highland Park is over a century old, and the best part is you can still ride it. Whee!

Gustav Dentzel built the grand old carousel in 1896 for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. The city of Meridian was a happening place in 1909, full of culture and commerce, when they bought the carousel and had it installed in its own special house, made from a Dentzel blueprint. Generations have grown up riding the carousel horses at birthday parties and on happy summer days just ’cause. In 1977 the carousel, Carousel House, and Highland Park were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and they became National Historic Landmarks in 1986. Highland Park, with its gazebos, duck pond, swimming pool, and Jimmie Rodgers museum, is worth a stroll, remembering the gentlemen in suits and ladies wearing long dresses and feathered hats who used to promenade along the paths when the Queen City enjoyed prosperity.

Follow this link above for more information on the carousel and when it’s open as well as the Wikipedia and InYourState pages.

For more pictures of the carousel 110 years after it arrived in Meridian, head over here.

While you’re in Meridian, check out the shrimp and grits at Weidmann’s or a refreshing salad at the Harvest Grill. The Soulé Steam Feed Works is pretty awesome if you have time for a tour, and the belt-driven machines look a whole lot like the carousel’s works. If you only have a few minutes on a weekend afternoon or a summer day when the carousel is open, you gotta ride the horses – or the antelope, or even the lion.

That’s some serious banjo hate

In the South, we take our banjo cookin’ serious.

We do not want that thing getting back out and terrorizing people ever again.

Letter Home 9

Where we’ve been and what we’ve done, from Fredericksburg Texas to Dallas Texas
You can use the timecode links below to jump to a particular section of the video

The Vineyards of Fredericksburg 0:15
http://thevineyardsrvpark.com

Dogologie https://dogologie.com/

Willow City Bluebonnet Loop 0:48
https://txhillcountrytrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/willow-city-loop

Hilmy Vineyards 1:51
https://hilmywine.com/

LBJ State Park 2:03
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson

LBJ National Park
https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/index.htm

La Hacienda RV Resort 3:03
https://www.sunrvresorts.com/resorts/southwest/texas/la-hacienda/

Irish set dancing in Austin! 3:55

Lavonia COE Park 4:44
https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232620
Toes in the air! 4:55
Storms 5:22
Happy Dog 5:30
Kites 5:51
Storms again 6:27
Train! 6:50
Blue Heron 7:47
Another storm 8:03
Set dancing! 8:28
The last storm 9:12

Look for more travel stories at https://dragonseye.com/blog/category/greatwander/

The music used is 7th Floor Tango by Silent Partner, Fresh Fallen Snow by Chris Haugen, A Dusty Road by Dan Lebowitz available from Google https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/

James Orland “Bud” Hasty

His family called him Bud, but he gave J. Orland Hasty to the city directory man. The oldest boy and second child of ten, Orland was born in 1886 in Kemper County, Mississippi. By 1900 his parents, James Scott Hasty and Mattie Ann Watkins, had moved their eight children across the county line to Daleville, Lauderdale, Mississippi. Orland was still in school at age 14, although his 16 year old sister Onie was working in a general store. Two years later the family moved to Meridian and got a house on Poplar Springs Drive, and the father went to work for the A. Gressett Music House. Orland gained two more sisters in 1903 and 1908, but he lost his baby brother Telius Algier to measles in 1904.

In 1907 Orland married Janie Clark, and in 1908 he appeared in the Meridian city directory as a harness maker for the Threefoot Brothers & Co. During that time a photographer named Hardt took this photo.

Orland in the 1908 Meridian city directory

Orland and Janie had no children. In December 1910 he died of tuberculosis at age 24.

Destin Crabbing

The dock near the park where we are staying has some interesting denizens.

Look for more travel stories at https://dragonseye.com/blog/category/greatwander/

The music used is 7th Floor Tango by Silent Partner available from Google https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/

Moving day!

Mountain Meadow Wool

Back in August we found ourselves in Buffalo Wyoming and by chance there was a wool mill in town that offered tours.

Being textile sorts, we had to drop in.

If you’re in town and can make it out, definitely stop by.  The tour is very informative and interesting.

https://mountainmeadowwool.com

Look for more travel stories at https://dragonseye.com/blog/category/greatwander/

The music used is 7th Floor Tango by Silent Partner, Fresh Fallen Snow by Chris Haugen available from Google https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/

Letter Home 8

It’s time for another letter!

It’s just as behind as the others! 20 days, but who’s counting?

Where we’ve been and what we’ve done, from Las Cruces Arizona to Sonora Texas

Hacienda RV Resort in Las Cruces NM

Las Cruces market 0:48

Super Bloom 1:05

McMillan RV Park in Fort Davis 1:30

https://www.macmillenrvpark.com/

Downtown Fort Davis 1:45

Night in Fort Davis 1:57

Marfa 2:09

McDonald Observatory 3:09

https://mcdonaldobservatory.org/

Maverick Ranch RV Resort in Lajitas TX 6:48

https://www.lajitasgolfresort.com/

Bats! 7:32

Bat-O-Clock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij-Z-Kk5hdQ

Wandering the areas in Lajitas 7:45

Bluebonnet snaps 8:03

Kangaroo Rat 8:50

Boquillas for lunch 9:51

Big Bend driving 11:08

Rock hunt 13:24

Caverns of Sonora 14:56

http://www.cavernsofsonora.com/

Look for more travel stories at https://dragonseye.com/blog/category/greatwander/

The music used is 7th Floor Tango by Silent Partner, Fresh Fallen Snow & Mirage by Chris Haugen, Beth by VYEN available from Google https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/