Monday, January 26, 2009

Battleship Park, Mobile, Alabama

We left Gulf Shores headed to Mobile. We wanted to see the USS Alabama at Battleship Park along I-10. The day was drizzly, dreary so we stopped at the park for some information and decided to return the following day. Trying to locate a park for the night we drove south towards Foley, AL, which wound up being a lot further than we wanted to be from Battleship Park.

Instead we decided to go to Lambert's Cafe', where they "Throw the Rolls". The original restaurant is in Sikeston, MO and we saw this on the Food Channel and had to experience it. It was a great dining experience and more food than one person should eat. Most meals come with entree' and two vegetables and "Thrown Rolls" of coarse. Everyone is also welcome to what they call "Passarounds", macaroni & tomatoes, fried okra, blackeyed peas & fried potato's with onions. Moderately priced but an excellent value considering all the vittles they serve ya'.



"Throwin' the Rolls"


Servin' some Possum

We realized we were getting to far from the Battleship Park so we decided we'd do an over-niter at WalMart. Quietest WalMart we've ever experienced. We returned to Battleship Park and bought 'Senior' tickets for the day. The USS Alabama sitting in front of you is massive and overwhelming. Outside they have many static aircraft & Amour displays, SR-71 Blackbird, F4, F18, tanks, howitzers & Helicopters. Then inside to the museum with more aircraft, then on to the USS Drum, a 'Gato' class submarine from WWII. The USS Drum is the oldest United States Submarine left in the world.


While progressing thru the 'Drum' we met Tom. Tom is retired, served on a nuclear sub during his hitch in the Navy. Tom is a volunteer who spends his time, 70-80 hours a week, working on the sub. He and a young lady, Leslie, who is an employee of the park, work to restore and rebuild the aged submarine. Tom was nice enough to give us a little behind the scenes look at sub life and the reconstruction of this submarine. He allowed us to peek behind locked hatches in different areas of the ship. He explained systems on this sub that are still used on today's subs and allows them to obtain parts. He showed us different spare's that they have discovered onboard and have since restored or rebuilt and placed on display. Tom we enjoyed our time with you immensely, you are a fountain of knowledge with regard to this submarine.


Our "Thanks" Tom

Now I mentioned Tom is a volunteer, he spends his time and his own money on this project, because the United States Submarine Veterans organization does not have the funding necessary to restore the ship. They rely strictly on donations for funding to preserve and restore this ship. If anyone would like to make a tax deductible contribution to the preservation & restoration fund for this noble ship, checks may be sent;

Mobile Bay Base USSVI

Attn: Drum Maintenance/Restoration Fund

PO Box 190756

Mobile, AL 36619-0756

After spending so much time aboard the wonderful USS Drum we had to hustle to see the battleship. They have three different self guided tours and we quickly did all three. The ship is massive and there is a lot to see. After going back & forth, up & down on the ship I wanted to get on deck to see the 'guns'. Well not to be disappointed this ship has some guns I wouldn't want aimed in my direction.


WOW, Six 16" guns forward & 3 to the rear.


These are the Projectiles for the guns. I think they were 2700 lbs each.

Now if someone was aim'n bullets this size at me I'd wanna' be about a thousand miles away. With the nine 16" guns aboard this ship is capable of pourin' out 24,300 lbs of hot steel, every 30 seconds, up to 21 miles in the distance.


Here's a little perspective on the size of these guns.

I have more pictures of the USS Drum & USS Alabama at our Picasa album, to view them click here.

All for now hope to see ya down the road as we're,

Dancin' on the Wind.

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