in Cabin Fever, On the road, The State We're In, Things we do

After 2 days and 800 miles on our butts, 6.5 miles on our feet felt wicked good

We’ve stopped for a 3-night road break on our way from San Antonio to Norfolk.

(You haven’t heard? We’re selling the other house.)

The Toad is all set up here at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, AL, and it. is. lovely. After two months of living in military RV parks with few trees and with burn restrictions in place, it’s refreshing and restorative to spend a few nights under these tall beauties, falling asleep to the crackling sounds and toasty smells of neighboring campfires.

Home for 3 nights

Home for 3 nights

We walked all over the park today, covering a little more than 6 miles in distance, and 150 years back in time, to the Civil War — errrr, I mean the War of Northern Aggression, now that we’re sitting here in the heart of the Confederacy.

Come join us…

From our campsite near the, we walked the perimeter of the park counterclockwise, from

From our campsite between the train tracks and the office/museum loop, we walked the perimeter of the park counterclockwise.


Historic cabin along the creek

Historic cabin along Mill creek


The old furnaces date back to 1830, and they produced iron for Confederate military necessities during the Civil War.

The old furnaces date back to 1830, and they produced iron for the Confederate military during the Civil War.


That's me there in the doorway, for perspective.

That’s me there in the archway, for perspective.


View of the charging bridge into Furnace 1

View of the charging bridge into Furnace 1


Close-up of some of the works at the ironworks

Close-up of some of the works at the ironworks

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When we stopped to read this sign, I said to Tim. "Hey. I've heard of Montevallo. Mom & Dad have some old friends there." Remember that. It's gonna come back later.

When we stopped to read this sign, I said to Tim. “Hey. I’ve heard of Montevallo! Mom & Dad have some old friends there.”
Remember that. It’s gonna come back later.


Along the Iron Road Trail was a spur that led to this marker, which allowed us to stand in three counties at once! It also tells me which county each of us peed in afterwards. Look. We were in the woods, there were no facilities, and... you know the rest.

Along the Iron Road Trail was a spur that led to this marker, which allowed us to stand in three counties at once!
It also tells me which county each of us peed in afterwards.
Look. We were in the woods, there were no facilities, and… you know the rest.


We couldn't walk that far without stopping to visit the old slave cemetery. It was sad in its starkness. Those rocks in the background served as headstones. I know.

We couldn’t walk that far without stopping to visit the old slave cemetery. It was sad in its starkness. Those rocks in the background are the headstones.
I know.


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The grist mill is long out of use. Probably because people stopped buying grist.


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After we finished our walking tour, we wandered into the Alabama Iron & Steel Museum to read up on everything we’d just seen. I happened to glance at the shelves in the gift shop, and that’s where I saw this book. Remember I said my parents had friends in Montevallo? That’s him. I very nearly peed again. Um, hi Norman and Joan!


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All that walking worked up an appetite, and even though I’m not a big burger fan, I’ll support a local business that boasts the best (Yelp users concurred). I had a much harder time choking down that apostrophe.


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Thanks for joining us on today’s walkabout! One more day of rest tomorrow, and then we’ll hit the road again on Saturday.

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  1. Loved your comment about choking down the apostrophe. This is one of my pet peeves and I see it everywhere. But in all fairness, perhaps they were announcing that “The best burger IS in town,” as opposed to out of town or anywhere else. You never know.

  2. Just found this via The Bloggess comment you left. I lived in the Tannehill area for a number of years and the Park was my respite. (Did you pee in my county of Tuscaloosa?) We went to Tannehill often and I concur, it’s a beautiful place. I, too, started out as a full time RVer but now, after finding my paradise, I live full time in a campground and work as a camp host. You must check us out sometime (Trackrock Campground and Stables in Blairsville GA) if you love the mountains, hiking and pure bliss.

  3. Glad to have found your blog. I live in Santa Fe, NM. I have fantasies about going on the road full time for a year. I want to meet all my Facebook friends who I don’t know in person. Happy Trails.

  4. You are hilarious. I wish you didn’t have to rush outta TX so fast. We are moving into Port A next week (as you saw on our page) & would have liked to meet up in these parts. For burger’s sake. Lol. I’m curious; “wicked” comes from a very small portion of the country. Where did you pick it up? I lived in MA for 24 years and that’s a northern word. Ya’ll is a very good word too. And ya’ll’s a great writer. See how I can adapt my lexicon to where I’m visiting?

    • Ha! Grew up in MD, college in TX, then married a Naval officer and lived in VA, CA, WA, FL, PR, and MD, TX, and VA again, so… Wait. What was the question?