December 05, 2008
My Foto Friday series is one of my favorite things to post about. I love field trips and I love taking pictures. I did a Foto Friday over at the Homeschool Post tonight as well. We have been recording our field trips since I started blogging back in 2005... and I keep track of our homeschool records in my homeschool series post (which links to field trip lists for each school year). This particular trip was taken in May of 2007. My kids were in 3rd and 4th grades (7 and 9 years old).
The sub we visited was (and still is) the USS Razorback. We were so thrilled to get to visit it while we were living in Arkansas. Every time we crossed the river in and out of Little Rock, we made sure to mention it. It is a popular landmark and part of the tourist route of the trolley system there.
Down below deck (if you aren't afraid of heights or claustrophobic) you'll be amazed at the living conditions that the men at sea had to endure. There's no way you could pay me to use a toilet like theirs... and that's just the beginning. Everything was tight. All available space was used (there were even some men who slept over the engines). The torpedo bays had to be cleaned by men rolling in to them with flat-back dollies. The heat from the engine room and noise was supposedly overwhelming. Just look at the way they stored their meager belongings...
The Razorback is listed as a Historic Naval Ship and has been converted in to a floating museum. It won five battle stars in World War II. Her battle flag was impressive.
After she served in our Pacific Fleet off the coasts of China and Japan until the war with Vietnam began. She earned four battle stars during that war before her last patrol in 1970. Still in good shape, the US sold her to Turkey in 1971 and she remained active until 2001. In 2004 she returned home where she rests today in the Arkansas River on the shore of North Little Rock.
We were glad the submarine got to Arkansas before we moved up there in 2005. This field trip was certainly an interesting addition to our Ships and Floating Unit Study that we did for KONOS that year.
We learned that Morgan was afraid of heights on the ladder that led down in to the cabin (she practically growled at me while I took her picture coming up, too). I also learned that you should NEVER, EVER, EVER wear a skirt on a visit to a submarine. It was one of my most embarrassing moments when the guide asked me if she wanted me to go first or last on the way back up to the deck (first meant that SHE got to see up my skirt and last meant that the entire tour group after us did - which was composed of a bunch of MEN). I bet you can guess what I picked.
Aside from the skirt ordeal and my daughter hating me for a few hours after we made her go up and down the ladder, we enjoyed our USS Razorback field trip. I would definitely take time to stop and visit if you happen to be in the area.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (official site)
Sprittibee's Homeschool Series (links to other field trips, book lists, etc...)
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