Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Day Nine: Mountain Climb!

We headed out today with our Cops on Top banner and the phone number to call once we conquered Mt. Cheaha.  We planned to head out early, but the several times I called Cheaha State Park during the week to see when the trail from the lake was open, I was hung up on during the hold process.  This is what happened a few years ago when I tried to get a campsite, so I don't think it's something wrong with the phones.  Also, the website says '$2 entry fee' and it's $3 now.

On the drive up to the park, the top of the mountain was covered in cloud.  It was a good reminder that it really IS high, even if it's just over 2400 feet and miniscule compared to most other mountains, it's a decent climb for here, where most towns are located along river valleys.

We got parked and walked to the high point, fighting gnats every step of the way.  We got our pictures and decided to go on over to Bald Rock, my 2nd favorite hiking trail.  Never mind that it's less than half a mile and all on a boardwalk.  It has nearly all the hallmarks of a really good hiking trail.  Shade, big rocks, wildlife, plant variety and views.  Add a water feature and it's golden.  I give half points for that, too, because there is a bathroom at the trailhead.

Just in case the geographic highest point was not enough, we went up in the tower for one more shot.

The plan was to go to Chinnabee Lake and hike the Chinnabee Silent Trail and have a swim at Devil's Den Falls.  When we got to the lake turn-off, the gate was locked and the sign said 'closed for flood damage'.  I was SO bummed.  It will be closed the whole summer.

Now hours ahead of schedule, we headed toward Birmingham to pick up a couple of orders.  If I had been thinking about it, I would have planned this another day as Birmingham and Cheaha are the same distance apart as my house and Birmingham.  But it was already planned and I hate having to change things last-minute, though it happens often enough.

Mt. Cheaha off in the distance.

Private lake

A typical Alabama country road

Coosa River 

Nia cooling her jets at the picnic area

 Birmingham took about an hour to get our running around done.  I picked up my co-op order, which was 3 more bags, loads of tea, falafel mix, some goodies and our usual huge bag of Yummy Earth lollipops.  I love the co-op for the huge variety and decent prices.

We stopped in and saw Erin for a few minutes, Matt has not been to Aveda yet, so he got to see it and more importantly, smell it.  I picked up my order there for some fading serum to see if I can even out some sun damage on my face.  It's clearing up some on its own due to time and the fact that I wear a huge straw hat everywhere I go and my face has not been in the sun in a long time.  But the streaks that are left bother me.  I will probably do a full post about the before and after and give my opinion on the products...

Anyway, we opted to head on over to Tannehill, Matt has been wanting to go back there for a while and we never have set aside a day to do it.  A day when he has no camera did not seem to be the best idea, but he was adamant. 

It's $3 per person there as well.

There is a good bit to see and do at Tannehill, but not on a Saturday afternoon.  The craft cabins were already closed and the camping people were all over the place.  I would not want to camp there, the campground is little more than a dirt parking area, the campers were so close together it looked like a storage lot.

What Matt wanted to see was the old ironworks.  Despite posted pleas to not make a National Landmark into trailer trash via graffiti, the locals and campers made short work of the new wood and cleaned surfaces.  So proud to be from Alabama where you and the person you have sex with in a public place can scribble about the event on a century old landmark.  Or, you can just showcase your own stupidity.

 The ironworks were amazing.  We have always talked about how America does not have castles and such, these modern ruins are our equivalent.  Matt and Jake in particular love these places, the old forts and old foundries of the southeast.

we stoled us a possum!

The drive home was uneventful, yay!  We got in before dark, which was the plan because locals start shooting fireworks early and Kuma is bothered by the noise.  We will have to be home through the weekend after the 4th to be sure he's okay.  :)  I love my Kuma Booma

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.