Thursday, May 05, 2011

Bears Across America: Sweet Home Alabama

Sit right there and I'll tell a tale.
A tale of a fun filled trip.
It started in the April month.
And crossed the Mississip.
 (sing to the Gilligan's Island tune)

On April 16 I packed up the wife, kid, dog, and geocaching accessories into the minivan and we headed out of the driveway.  Our destination? Adventure!

Oh, what was our actual destination?  To head west to seek our fame, fortune, and glory (or just to get out sight seeing kicks on Route 66) and visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Colorado.
You may notice a small issue in our adventure plans, which is namely this:  we have an 18 month old in our car, and 18 month olds typically don't have the patience to survive a cross country journey.  You are probably thinking that this trip is insanity in itself.  To travel across America with a toddler is crazy. Doomed to failure we are.

Well I say to you naysayers, nay!  For I have a solution to this crisis of faith you are having, and that solution is this:  We shall limit our car time each day to the patience threshold of a toddler, which from experimentation is approximately 7 hours.  The rest of the time we will make frequent stops to explore and geocache.

It will take 6 days to get across the country to the Grand Canyon at this rate, but we will see more of the middle parts of America than we would if we drove straight there.

So at 5:30 am on April 16th we headed our our driveway and headed southwest.  Our final destination for the day: Birmingham Alabama.

Along the way we got to drive through the amazingly beautiful Appalachian mountains, and checked out a natural spring, and the remnants of an old copper mine.

We then drove through Chattanooga Tennessee and saw the famous choo choo (now a hotel).    We also stopped by Look Out Mountain, and the Incline Railway.  The incline railway is the steepest passenger rail system in the world, and goes up a mile to Point Park, a  National Military Park.  We ate lunch up there and enjoyed the amazing scenery.
After consuming large quantities of sandwiches, we started down the trail again.  Our next stop was Noccalula Falls in Alabama.  These are very impressive falls, 90' high.  The name of the falls comes from an indian maiden who jumped to her death at these falls to avoid marrying a rich white ugly dude.  I think she made the right choice.

We arrived at the hotel around supper time and got settled in.  All in all it was a fun first day of our trip.  I can't want to see what tomorrow brings.