First Trip With the Hoffmans

On May 20, we moved to an RV park on a private property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  This was our first trip with the Hoffmans, and we caravanned the entire way.

While in Baton Rouge, we got to visit some friends, Mr. Jack and Mr. Ron, who are fellow believers in the Lord.  We also got to meet some people from their church.

Two days later, on May 22, we carravaned to Hodges Vineyards and Winery in Camp Hill, Alabama.  (We stayed here on April 26 as well).

The next day, we carravaned to Poinsett State Park in Wedgefield, South Carolina.  On the way, we stopped at Congaree National Park, where we took a 2.6 mile boardwalk hike.  Congaree was protected by the NPS because of its historical floodplain, once lived in or used (at separate times usually) by Native Americans, escaped slaves, and loggers.  Now, it is a great place to explore the outdoors, hike, and canoe and kayak.

While at Poinsett, we walked to the small waterfall, lake, and playground.  My brothers and Mr. Josh went fishing, and Mason caught a catfish.

On May 25, we moved to Threads Run Thru It, a quilting shop in Rustburg, Virginia (also a Harvest Host).  On the way, us Wongs stopped at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in North Carolina.  This is where, in 1781, the Patriots lost a battle to the British, but ended up escaping almost unscathed.  Meanwhile, the British suffered a loss of over a quarter of their men.  The battle fought here weakened the British and helped win the freedom of America.

After that, we stopped at Booker T. Washington National Monument in Virginia.  This place honored the African American boy born into slavery who was freed after the Civil War, excelled in school, and became a first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School.  He became an author and orator, looked up to by many people of all races.

We met up with the Hoffmans at the Harvest Host, where we ate dinner with them and stayed the night.

The next morning, we got on the road again and went to Appomattox Court House National Historic Park (in Virginia) with the Hoffmans.  This is where General Lee (of the Confederate army) surrendered, marking the beginning of the end of the Civil War.  The reason it wasn’t the end was because the other generals of the Confederate army still had to surrender.  However, Lee’s surrender persuaded the other Confederate leaders to do the same.

At the Park, we walked around and looked at the different buildings, including a prison, the McLean house where Lee surrendered, and the tavern.

After that, the Hoffmans made their way to the Harvest Host we were staying at that night, while us Wongs went to Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia.  This is where a nine month siege took place, ultimately ending in the Union cutting off Petersburg’s supplies and the Confederates losing.  About a week later, Lee surrendered.

A lot of the park was closed due to COVID, so we only got to see the graves of people who died during the siege (due to clashes between the two sides).

Finally, we drove to Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum in Colonial Heights, Virginia.  We went into the museum and stayed the night with the Hoffmans.  The museum had hundreds of vehicles.  There were tractors, trucks, bikes, and decorations.

The next morning, we moved to Virginia Landing RV Campground in Quinby, Virginia.  At the RV park, we clammed, crabbed, had campfires, and found different sorts of sea creatures like conch.  We went door-to-door in a neighborhood near the RV park.

On Saturday, us Wongs went to Assateague Island National Seashore, a NPS site dedicated to preserving the seashore, island, and wild horses there.  It was a drizzly, cold, windy day, soo most of the time, we stayed in our truck.  We got to see three horses from afar, as well as the ocean and a river (where we tried catching crabs and failed).

We moved after almost a week, but for now, here are pictures of some of the stuff we ate in this blog post:

Back to Texas to Register Our RV

food in texas

On April 19, we moved to a Harvest Host (the program allows you to stay at any of their places free for one night; it is normally dry camping, which means no water, sewer, or electricity).  The place we stayed at first was a farm called Sharonview Farm, in Monroe, North Carolina.  They grow shiitake mushrooms in logs, which we were shown how to do.  We also were able to help plant zucchini squash, peppers, and green beans.  We bought some of the home-grown lettuce and tomatoes, which we had in a yummy salad a few days later.  We were allowed to paint some dried-out, empty gourds, which were turned into birdhouses.  We hung them on the trees outside our RV.

The next day, we moved to Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg, South Carolina.  We visited Kings Mountain National Military Park, which was a few minutes away, where we learned about the battle that  happened there during the Revolutionary War.

As the Loyalists strove to keep the colonies in check, more and more Patriots were causing disruptions among them.  Patrick Ferguson, an officer in the British army, warned the Patriots that if their behavior didn’t stop, he fight them.  The Patriots ignored him.  Ferguson then recruited Loyalists to join the battle on the British side.

Ferguson was on Kings Mountain when they were suddenly attacked by the Patriots.  The Loyalists hadn’t anticipated the attack, and they were at a disadvantage.  While the Patriots were able to shoot from below, covered by trees an rocks, the Loyalists’ shots went high above the Patriots’ heads.  Ferguson knew they were losing, but he urged the Loyalists on anyway.  The Patriots won, killing Ferguson and taking hundreds prisoner.

We went to Cowpens National Battlefield the next day, which was around forty-five minutes from the RV park we were staying at.

During the Revolutionary War, Cowpens was turned from a place to trade and take care of cows to a battlefield.  The Patriots staked out Cowpens, awaiting the British army’s attack, which happened on January 17, 1781.  When the British arrived, the Patriots were ready with a strategy that depended heavily on the British’s confidence.  During the battle, two of the three Patriot lines drew back.  This caused the British to falsely assume the Patriots were retreating.  Instead, the Patriots waited for the British to fall into the trap, then the Patriots surrounded them.  The battle was over in less than an hour.  The Patriots were the victors.

We got to take a short walk through the battlefield, reading signs along the way about the armies and what happened during the battle.

On our way back home, we stopped at Kings Mountain NMP, where we watched a weapons firing demonstration with a couple guns.  My brothers got to give the commands for firing, such as “prime and load” and “fire.”

On April 23, we packed up our RV and hit the road again.  We stopped two hours in at Ninety Six National Historic Site.  At the site, we took a short walk around the park and did junior ranger books.  Like many of the other NPS sites we’ve been visiting recently, this one was also a place where a Revolutionary War battle happened.

Ninety Six was a town and trading post for the Loyalists, Patriots, and Cherokees alike before it became a battlefield.  However, in 1781, the Patriots laid siege to the town.  The British had built a star fort right by the town, and they made the town into a stronghold for themselves.  The Patriots kept the fort under siege for almost a month, but they eventually had to give up, since more British reinforcements were on their way, and the Patriots weren’t able to carry out their plan as quickly as was needed.

After the battlefield, we drove to Hodges Vineyards and Winery in Camp Hill, Alabama.  It is a Harvest Host, so we bought wine and cheese straws and stayed the night there with full hookups.

The next day, we drove a few hours to another Harvest Host, this time a gator ranch with airboat tours.  The place was in Moss Point, Mississippi.  We went on a tour, and we got to ride around the marsh in an airboat.  We spotted a couple of gators in the marsh, but we saw most of them in the cages near land.  In the cages, there were big gators, baby ones, and a “zombie gator,” who was rescued from saltwater.  It was given the nickname since it was blind, and it’s eyes were all white, with red streaks in them. 

On April 25, we moved to Rainbow’s End RV Park in Livingston, Texas, but more on that in the next post.