Thursday 23 August, 2012

Day 72 – Alabama


I begin my day just outside Birmingham. I have healthy breakfast of coffee and a bacon donut and hit the road. I’m heading to Montgomery, ground zero for the civil rights movement and the home of Rosa Parks. I meander through towns and open countryside taking it all in. The vegetation seems even more out [...]


I begin my day just outside Birmingham. I have healthy breakfast of coffee and a bacon donut and hit the road. I’m heading to Montgomery, ground zero for the civil rights movement and the home of Rosa Parks. I meander through towns and open countryside taking it all in. The vegetation seems even more out of control than Georgia and North Carolina. I imagine that left to its own devices the plants would envelope all man made structures within a few months.

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In Montgomery I find a neat little museum in a park. It has a small but carefully curated collection that showcases some regional artists.

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At noon and the coffee and donut have long ago worn off. I yelp a restaurant nearby. Montgomery is a small city, so everything is nearby. I choose the five star rated “Isaiah’s Restaurant” downtown. I become a little worried when I notice about a third of the traffic is police cars on patrol. The neighborhood is a bit run down, but the restaurant looks inviting. I’m glad I went in, as Isaiah cooks the best catfish I’ve ever had, with collards to match. It’s a great southern meal, and Isaiah and I talk a bit after lunch, mostly about my trip so far. I’m constantly surprised how people see my tour as some impressive voyage, but it’s been pretty easy, especially with some help and company from all my friends.

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I see that Mobile AL on the gulf has a WWII battleship and submarine on display so I hightail it down south to try and make the 5:00 ticket sales cutoff. The USS Alabama is an amazing sight. The lower decks are accessible and I wander through them, imagining what it was like to be at sea during wartime. Standing next to the 16″ guns, each one capable of throwing a 2700 pound projectile 20 miles, was awe inspiring. The battleship felt spacious compared to the submarine. It’s like the machinery was built, then everything that would support the crew was wedged in as an afterthought. The hatches are only three feet tall!

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3 Comments

  • Scott Nelson says:

    Looks cool Scott! Did we ever bring you to see the USS Hornet museum in Alameda? It looks a lot like this. A couple years ago we did a family overnight on it too. I’m enjoying your odyssey. Tomorrow I’ll be driving a 1984 Yamaha XJ600 from Darmstadt to visit a friend in Versailles for the weekend. I tried to find fast trains at decent prices, but everything was €130 each way with any decent speed, and my friend Rainer was very kind to loan me this bike. It’s about 500km so even on the expressway about 6 hrs, but more sightseeing than the train I suppose. I’ll post some pics. Ride safe!

  • Julie Ward says:

    Hi Scott – just catching up on your blog. Great to see you’re still having a fun and interesting journey. By the way, that catfish lunch looked so yummy!! Also, love the little museums you find everywhere. We just don’t go to them unless we’re traveling! Hope you venture back to Chicago on your way back to…. just come in the fall to avoid this massive heat and see the trees change color!

    Happy Trails

    Julie

    • scottw919 says:

      Hi Julie, I’ll definitely be back in Chicago! Despite the heat, I had a great time. Maybe we can check out some other museums (after visiting Johnnies Beef).


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