Rolling Low and Slow

Our destination for the rest of the summer will be Newfoundland. The farthest north and east you can go on the continent – sort of. We’ll work out the details on the way. So, we set a course northeast.

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Bode insists he’s on summer vacation – he knows all the other kids have the summer off from school. Still, even though he’s totally on to us, but we still try to throw in an educational thing or two each day. First stop was Hot Springs National Park. We’ve found that the Junior Ranger program is a great way to sneak in a little bit of road-schooling.

Hot Spring, Arkansas is a very pleasant little town and  the Junior Ranger badge is exclusively in the old town baths. An interesting enough little bit of history. Bode decided that some of the old massage and bath equipment looked like torture devices. We couldn’t disagree.

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The next day, we booked it to Memphis and checked out the “famous” Peabody ducks. A few more quick stops to camp and get some BBQ and we were back on the road the next day. We skipped everything Elvis.

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Despite the crazy heat, we took him to Shiloh – one of the major early engagements of the American Civil War.

The battle began when the Confederates launched a surprise attack on Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant  in southwestern Tennessee. After initial successes, the Confederates were unable to hold their positions and were forced back,resulting in a Union victory. Both sides suffered heavy losses, with more than 23,000 total casualties, and the level of violence shocked North and South alike.

We watched the National Park Service Film, we filled out the Jr. Ranger badge booklet- which included a ‘scavenger hunt’ across the entire battlefield in 95 degree heat.  My kid was asked questions about the times and dates of when all the notable events of this 2-day battle occurred. It was exactly as boring as any history class, with added heat.

It also found happen to occur on the day after a man was killed in Minneapolis. And two days before a man was killed in Baton Rouge.

I was planning to talk to my son about a lot of this. I was hoping this stop at Shiloh would be a good transition to start the discussion. But, the NPS did not even mention or recognize the causes of the Civil War. The entire historic site only covers the details of the battle. Still, 23,000 casualties.

It was a late night by the time we got to camp – so I postponed our talk on what had happened in the U.S. And then, we woke to find out about the tragedies in Dallas. How do we explain this to our kids?

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9 thoughts on “Rolling Low and Slow

  • July 13, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    “…Newfoundland. The farthest north and east you can go on the continent – sort of.”
    The farthest *North*? Explain.

  • July 13, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    Northeasterliest on this side.
    I don’t have a map on me. Where’s the farthest point I can drive in that direction?

  • July 13, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    I raised 2 kids it is never easy to explain why the world is what it is.
    My daughter was 9 on Sept 11 she woke me up saying “dad why are they crashing planes it to building in New York city?”
    I did not know how to answer.
    Good luck you guys are doing a great things for Bode,
    no school could ever teach him what you have 🙂

  • July 20, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    It seems to me Cartwright Labrador is the most Northeasterly point to which you can drive, in North America. (We’ll pretend Greenland isn’t part of North America and ignore any roads there. Of course they wouldn’t be contiguous anyway.) You’d get to drive past a huge, awesome impact crater, Manicougan–sounds great! Bring extra fuel.

    But surely you should also go to L’Anse aux Meadows on non-contiguous Newfoundland.


  • July 20, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Here’s what I’d do, if I were you.
    NYC to Quoddy Head State Park Maine (Easternmost point in USA) because why not?
    Quoddy Head to Prince Edward Island because really long bridge
    PEI to Quebec City
    Quebec City to Manicougan because impact crater
    Manicougan to Cartwright because NWmost NAmerican point
    Cartwright to Blanc-Sabon because who the hell else drives this remote coast? It’s gotta be breathtaking
    Blanc-Sabon LB to Saint Barbe NF because ferry
    Saint Barbe to L’Anse aux Meadows because Vikings

    But, that’s just me.


  • July 20, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Thanks. I started looking a few days ago and have added a few of those to the mental route. Might do your suggestions in reverse, throwing in a ferry from North Sydney and an additional stop at Cape Spear (easternmost). Of course, time and weather constraints may ultimately decide our route for us… in which case maybe we should head to Cartwright first, like you suggested!

  • July 24, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Hi guys, we too are heading to the “other” coast- Unfortunately, we have to leave the Syncro at home in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island 🙁
    We will be in Newfoundland on Aug. 7th and will make our way from St. John’s to Woody Point (7 hrs) to L’anse aux Meadows, cool Viking settlement, ( 5 hrs from Woody Point. Sounds like there is some good camping spots along the way! Return trip to St. John’s after. Aug. 7 – 12. If you are in the area, it would be great to cross paths! Also spending time in Charlottetown PEI build ing house with Habitat for humanity and cruising through Nova Scotia.
    Hope you are having a good summer so far!

  • July 26, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    We plan to hit all of the those places (hopefully) so just stay in touch! We’ll be in Maine for the next few days and then crossing into New Brunswick this weekend.

  • July 27, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Check out Liverpool Nova Scotia, where there is an outhouse museum!
    Only in Canada, eh?

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