Saturday, September 8, 2012
Camping by the River with Family
Today was an easy day, and after yesterday’s nearly 200 miles, it was welcome.
We got up and had coffee on the porch of the bed & breakfast in the morning mist. I spent a few minutes going over the car, tightening nuts and bolts, topping up fluids and just generally looking everything over.
Breakfast was about 9 am in the original house that was built in 1898. The owner and hostess had prepared quite a spread of sausage, ham and egg casseroles, plus a variety of different muffins and sweet rolls. We spent a pleasant hour chatting with a couple from Missouri that were down to visit their daughter at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was their first visit on a weekend with an Alabama home game. We tried to explain to them what to expect, but I’m afraid that any attempt at description would be inadequate.
We left Fayette and headed west, then turned south on Highway 17. We immediately saw a sign that said: Mobile 245 miles. We realized that we could stay on this road all the way down to the Gulf.
Stopping for gas in Carrolton, we heard the bells in either the local church or courthouse playing old church hymns. I’m sure the locals have gotten used to it, but for us it was really special. At the same station, we struck up a conversation with a man at the next pump. He was a local rancher, but said he keeps cattle all along the state line. He gave us a business card and said that if we had any trouble, give him a call, he would find us help.
We stopped in Aliceville for lunch at The Plantation Restaurant. It was made in a huge old home on the main highway. Their lunch buffet was wonderful, with chicken that had been broiled with some sort of honey sauce, catfish that rivaled Swamp Johns, and vegetables that must have been in the garden that morning.
J.C., Lindsay and their kids, Eli, Tessa and Andi met us at the Corp of Engineers campground at Cochrane, about 7 miles south of Aliceville. They had gone by the house to pick up Nick and bring him along, and brought my GPS charger, too. The Corp maintains a whole host of campgrounds along navigable waterways throughout the United States. These seem to be very under utilized, with maybe a half of dozen other campers in the entire camp. We pitched tents, walked and played with grandkids, had a campfire, cooked out and generally had a great time. Everyone was really tired when we all turned in.
Mileage today:70 (SWAG method)