On Friday November 24, we moved on to Alabama. Wanting to try some real “State Parks”, we found Oak Mountain State Park, not far from Birmingham – very impressive.
Oak Mountain State Park offers horse-back riding, an archery park, mountain bike and road bike trails, a BMX track, 50 miles of well-marked hiking trails, from “family” level upward, a golf course, boat rentals, and beautiful options for camping, from very rustic private sites (tent folks who like to ‘rough it’) to more traditional sites. Peavine Falls was one amazing attraction, but John loved the fact that the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) included one of these trails on its list of EPIC rides!
On Saturday John took his mountain bike out for a 3 hour ride. When he returned he told me about a fellow who fell off his bike, smacked his head, and broke his jaw – and he WAS wearing a helmet. Paramedics tended to him, and other bikers surely were more careful for the next little while.
That day we also met a wonderful (local!) family at the campsite next to ours. Mom, Dad, and their two very polite sons (12 and 16) are all SERIOUS college football fans, and so we were invited to pull up our chairs and watch (and learn). We had such fun chatting about college football, about how they could qualify for a motorcycle license at 14 (!!), and how we really should give Tater Tots a try! This lovely family (+ one sweet and funny friend, visiting for the game and dinner), offered heaps of advice and suggestions for our remaining stay in Alabama, and we acted on most of it!!
I brought one of my beef burgers over when we were invited to join them for dinner, but John gratefully accepted one of their homemade (they hunt*) venison burgers and loved it. When hot chocolate appeared at the end of the night, I retrieved my coffee-flavoured “moonshine”, and we toasted to a new friendships (AND College football!). I took the boys’ suggestions for burger chains, and DID eventually enjoy what they recommended! Tip – – Sonic Cheeseburger is similar to Wendy’s!
* Fun Fact: We were gently commenting on each others’ accents, and I truly do like a southern drawl. During dinner this really happened. I heard:
- John : (..vague question to the Dad about hunting).
- The Mom, to older son: “Sweetie, when is the last time you all went huntin’ with Grandpa?”
- Son: “Oh! It was when dad shot that big neighbour.”
- Me: “Uhhh, PARDON? What? Your dad shot a big neighbour?”
- Son, and all others, laughing: “Nooo, he shot a big Mule Deer.“
- Me: ‘Ohh..kay. You sure you didn’t say neighbour?”
LOTS more laughter – nicest folks ever, and I had no idea I’d enjoy being called “Ma’am”.
We’ve already emailed and four of us are following each other on Instagram (good guess if you supposed ‘not the dads’, ha ha) – this family was a very warm welcome to the state of Alabama!
Next up for Alabama, more RV repairs, a hero named Bob, a visit to Lulu’s (Jimmy Buffet’s sister), and a little hurricane!