Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Traveling Old School

I'm old enough to date myself with bands and sayings from the early 90's but there are some things I don't recall. Like how people used to say, "Gee, I'd like to see the Grand Canyon. What is the PRETTIEST route there?" No such thing in my lifetime. People that drive more than 10 hours are considered too cheap to fly or just plain crazy. Since my Aunt Kathy came to stay with Mom for a week and help her get things running again after her surgery - which was SO sweet of her - we had the added benefit of her visit making Mom want to get OUT of the house and do something. Hip be darned! In that old school manner they decided to drive around and look at some of the tornado damage and see a few things in the area on the way.

Here are the boys all loaded up around 10:30. We rushed school a bit to get to join in the fun.

I didn't take any pictures of the areas we visited. There is still so much to be done. In areas where there has been clean up done, the ground itself is still embedded with glass and metal. Trees that weren't snapped in half still hold large sections of tin grotesquely wrapped around them. There just aren't words for what happened to our state. Alabama, however, is nothing if not independent and resilient. I've never heard anyone complain. One thing that really brought it home for the boys and I was seeing Bear Creek Canoe Run (click here to see the blog about our canoe trip last June) and the area around it GONE. The area around the river has nothing standing, but about half the welcome cabin.

The drive itself was quiet the adventure. One of the things that I think kept people thinking how fun that drive to the Grand Canyon would be is that they didn't have Google Maps or TomTom telling them that they had another 2,000 miles to go. Had I realized that the circular drive we were heading on was 160 miles round trip and that we would be stopping for lunch at 3pm.... Well, my spirit of adventure may have been dampened a bit. I'm glad I didn't know!

After tour around for a several hours we saw a sign for Natural Bridge. Here was a place we had never been! Aunt Kathy asked if we wanted to stop since we still hadn't eaten. For sure! Who cares about eating when there is something new to see? It even brags being the largest natural bridge east of the Rockies.

The paths were really well kept and the arch was HUGE!

My explorers searched for a way up, but were disappointed.

Indian Head Rock
There was a great little picnic area by the creek and another large pavilion for groups.

Griffin said he needs one of these!

It was definitely somewhere we want to go back to with our Roamies one day. The "hike" was more of a leisurely amble down 100 yard pebbled paths, but the trees were cool and the scenery beautiful.

After another 45 minutes of driving, we finally made it into Cullman. We were pretty well starving and decided that Cracker Barrel was the place to go. We also stopped at Berkley Bob's for tea and I talked Aunt Kathy into a couple ounces of Peach Roobois. Mmmmm. I hope she likes it! We toured around some of the tornado damaged areas there too before heading back home so they could be late for their supper date with Nathan. Luckily they were running behind as well, so no harm done with our massive adventure.

Just think, if I had over thought this, planned it out on GPS and decided it was too far for us on a school day, we'd have missed out on a great day out with Mom and Kathy. I think I like traveling old school...

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