Lucky me or sweet people of Alabama

Posted by | Filed under Alabama | May 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

Kenny, Barbara & Eleanor

I can’t explain it, but I have a great hand when it comes to picking campgrounds.  Maybe I should start playing the lotto.

I had planned to stay in Uriah, Alabama for two nights, well this is my fifth night.  There is not much around here, mostly agriculture; cotton, soybeans, peanuts and more crops and the beautiful rolling hills.  Then of course there are the people.  The folks around here are very nice and friendly.  In particular my campground hosts, Kenny and Barbara.  They were the ones who persuaded my to stay longer, it didn’t take too much arm twisting.  The first night I arrived they had me join them for dinner at one of the local restaurants.  On Mother’s Day I joined them and Kenny’s mother for lunch.  Through them I met Tim who used to own a cotton gin, in a nutshell a place where the cotton gets separated from the seeds, cleaned, bundled and sold. 

Trailer load of cotton

500 lb bundles of cotton

Cotton harvest is not until September, but I got an in-depth tour of the gin he once owned.  Pretty neat.  To top all this of, I got to ride Kenny’s backhoe, no dirty thoughts here! 

When was the last time you drove a backhoe?

This is what this trip is all about, connecting with people.  Let’s hope that my luck continues throughout this journey.

While I was here I did get to drive around as well.  There are the pretty sides, the rolling hills and the Alabama River, but there are also more depressing aspects.  Only 10 / 15 miles from here are two small towns, Frisco City and Repton. 

Frisco City - four walls, no roof

Both of them have fallen on hard times. 

Frisco City - shell of a building

Along one short block on Frisco City’s main street there are at least seven buildings that are shut down, of those, three buildings only have the walls standing, no roof.  Some ladies told me that the town declined when the school shut down about five years ago.  City Hall had a notice posted calling for a town meeting to discuss ways to revive the town.

Not too far from there is Repton.  A once bustling railroad town according to the historic maker which was erected just last month.  The maker points to the “Historic and Beautiful Repton”. 

Repton

I guess it once was beautiful, unfortunately all but one business along the historic stretch are closed.  The former business owners didn’t even spend the time to completely clear out their stores.  Desks, boxes and in some cases supplies are in plain site.  All I could think was what a great place for a cafe and maybe even a restaurant. 

Repton - no train depot, no stores

The old red brick buildings ARE still beautiful, just need a little work.

I don’t want to end this post on a down note.  I stocked-up on some fresh veggies and fruits, something I didn’t get very much of in the last couple of days, this is meat and fried food country.  I now also own a pot of basil and a pot of parsley.  A gift from the sweet people of Alabama, as Jim the owner of the feed & seed place said, as he handed me the pots.  Thank you Alabama.  

 

Straw bales at sunset - I just love them

I will continue east to Auburn and then up to northern Alabama before I head back west.  I have been on the road now for almost 60 days and drove just under 5,000 miles.  It feels like I left NYC just yesterday.  Hope you guys up there get some warmer weather soon.  The thermometer in my truck showed 130+ F today. OK, it was standing in direct sunlight, but still.  Driving with open windows brought the temps only down to 90 + and it is not even summer.

130 F in the truck

 

2 Responses to “Lucky me or sweet people of Alabama”

  • Jenny MacBain-Stephens says:

    Hey Jicky!
    Thanks for blogging. I’ve just read a few of your posts and they are inspiring! I wish you happy travels! It is really fun seeing where you are, where you will go, and what you will do! If you come through Iowa City, you are always welcome to stay with us- though I have no friggin’ clue where you would park…Catch ya later!!
    Love Jenny (an old God’s Love comrade…or lady comrade…)

     

  • Jicky says:

    Thank you Jenny. Not sure when I’ll be in Iowa, but I still have your address, as long as youhaven’t moved in the last 2 years.