Well, I'm finally back in Mobile. After many miles on the road, me and the dogs made it back safely. (in a very fun rented red Jeep Liberty, which I hated to turn in yesterday)
The dogs did well--they are such good travelers! When I'm by myself traveling with them, my rule is that we don't stop. It takes too much time to get one out of the crate and hold on to the other one so no one jumps out or anything. They both slept most of the time we were in the car and I made excellent time.
The Civil War tour went very well. I realize, as I do every year when I go back and lead it, that being a Park Ranger at a battlefield truly was my dream job.
My fascination with the Civil War began when I was a little girl. From the time I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I was getting a Civil War calendar every year for Christmas. I did research projects on the war when I was in junior high and high school. I read tons of books about it and always wanted to know more.
When I found out that Shiloh was hiring before my senior year of college, I was elated. I applied and interviewed, and thankfully was offered the job. I went back after graduation and worked for a few years. In fact, I didn't turn my badge in until I had moved to Mobile 3 years ago.
This year's tour went well. My group had fun and so did I. (One of the ladies on my tour, Echo McGuire, was Buddy Holley's girlfriend for 5 years--she had some neat stories)
Despite my nervousness, I remembered all the facts and didn't draw a blank while I was up speaking to the group. However, there was ONE time where I mis-spoke...
I was leading a tour of the National Cemetery, and had just gotten to the most dramatic portion of the program where I have them turn and look at the sheer number of tombstones across the cemetery. At that point, I was supposed to say, "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are unknown." But what I actually said was "Over two-thirds of the men lying here are dead."
As you can imagine, I pretty much lost control of the group at that point. They made jokes about my faux pas for the rest of the day.
Here are some pictures of me as a ranger and also dressed as a Civil War soldier. Enjoy!