Sunday, April 24, 2016

Alabama 1st stop


Our trip to Summerdale on March 12, 2016, took us past some very flooded fields and a major traffic jam slowed us way down. 

We drove across the bottom of Mississippi, a state we will explore on next years travels. As we went through Mobile, AL we drove across the Mobile Bay, at some points the water is almost up to the road. 

We stayed at the Emmaus Mobile Coach and RV Park. Very nice park, the lots are gigantic and the grounds are well maintained. The laundry room is in a small metal shed with two washers and two dryers, a small table and chairs and it is very clean. The property is for sale in case you are looking to buy a campground. 

With only two days to explore the area we filled as much into each day as we could. The first day out was an 11 hour day, We drove through the Pan Handle of Florida. Just before we crossed over the boarder into Florida we went through the town of Lillian, which is the name of two of Nancy's nieces. 

It was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 80's so traffic on the bridge across the Pensacola Bay was very heavy. 
L: Pensacola Bay
R-top  The bridge over the Bay
R-botton: white sand of Gulf Breeze

It took a long time to get through Gulf Breeze. We drove Hwy 90 along the coast through Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City Beach and then headed north from Panama City
Colorful buildings and beautiful white sand in Destin

From Panama City we headed to Dothan, AL, home of the Peter Toth Indian. Titled Mus-Quoian, it was the 5th stature in the Trail of the Whispering Giants. It was carved in 1973 from an oak tree and is 20-feet tall. This is the first one we have seen that has a backdrop. 

Day two started out with a hearty breakfast at Mac & Jerry's diner, in Robertsdale, then we went in search of Roadside Oddities

We found a bear in Robertsdale, from an old Putt-Putt Golf Course, dental instruments and a giant paperclip in Spanish Fort. 

You really need to be
 told to not jump!
Then we went alligator hunting on Alligator Alley, in Daphne. We didn't see any alligators on this stop. The viewing area is really quite nice. It is a boardwalk that runs under the expressway along side the river. A guy that was looking for gators told us that very large ones can be seen in the spring and that we were just a little to early. We did spot some cement ones!
While heading to the next stop we came across our own roadside oddity. On the campus of the U.S. Sports Academy in Daphne are amazing metal sculptures of athletes. Being a junk artist, Nancy loves it when she finds things like this. So many different pieces of metal "junk" were used to create these. 

Just about every sport is covered. Gymnastics, running, basketball. 

Weight lifting and baseball. 

Swimming, we loved how they have the grass growing under the chest to look like the water being pushed by his body.

Football tackle. The detail of each piece is so wonderful. 

Bicyclists in all shapes and sizes. 

The last one of the day was the Hermit Hut in Fairhope, AL. This quaint waterside town has been a refuge for what some may politely call "characters" since the late 1800's when 28 Iowan's came to town. This group included, artists, writers and the like. 
Strangest of all was Henry Stuart who moved to Farihope from Idaho in the 1920's after being told by his doctors, wrongly told it turned out, that he had a year to live. He was known as the "Hermit of Montrose", a neighborhood in Fairhope. 

He built himself a small round hurricane-proof hut out of concrete and lived in for 18 years, thinking he might die at any moment. He did eventually pass away at the ripe old age of 88, in 1946, somewhere in Oregon. His hut, which now sits in an office complex parking lot, has become quite a tourist attraction.

The popularity of the hut is due in part to another Fairhope eccentric, Sonny Brewer. He can often be seen riding through town on his Harley, wearing a seersucker suit and sporting a goatee. He wrote a book about Henry Stuart's life, " The Poet of Tolstoy Park" (Ballantine publishing). The guestbook that has been left in the building has had 2000 people sign it in just one year. 
Auburn, Al was the next stop on the trail. 

Till we meet again....

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way. 
~ Travel protection
We have posted a few other tips for protecting items while the RV is moving. From Iowa we shared how we protect our drinking glasses. This idea is for protecting the all important wine bottle! Using fleece fabric, Nancy made wine bags for each bottle. Fleece is easy to use, doesn't ravel so the ends do not need to be finished off, making the sewing project that much faster. She made them longer than the bottles and folded the top in to the size needed, which also adds extra protection. They work great for liquor bottles and beer growlers as well. 

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