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gadfly homepage on the road home notes on places last contact: 1/2010 first contact: 10/2005

AL Trip Stats (6/10):


Counties visited: 22


Best county:  Jackson

Town visited most: Birmingham

Places slept in: Birmingham, Decatur

Most impressive town: Mobile

Least impressive town: Montgomery

Biggest town: Birmingham

Most scenic area: foothills of the Appalachians in northern AL

Most scenic spot: the footbridge toward Russell Cave National Monument


Three words: ridges, sensitive, glens


Long Trips: Katrina Relief Trip (10/05), Honeymoon (8/06), Gulf Shores (1/09), Florida Tour (6/09), Winter Edge (12/2009)


Neighboring States: MS, TN, FL, GA

First Contact: I crossed the Alabama state line on I-59 near Cuba in Sumter County. I remember it being a very forested area, although many trees were damaged by the record-breaking hurricane season. The damage wrought was the reason I was in Alabama. After a day encouraging those hit by the fierce winds of Katrina in Biloxi, MS, the pastor and I headed north to Alabama in the hopes that we might find rooms so far from "ground zero." The hotels in Mississippi were all but booked with refugees. Our hopes were fulfilled in Birmingham and we rested before heading back to Chicago.

.Sumter Co. (10/2005)

Once passed through forests and farms along I-59 en route from Biloxi to Birmingham. Cuba. Tiny town in forested area.

Greene Co. (10/2005)

Once passed through forests and farms along I-59 en route from Biloxi to Birmingham.

Tuscaloosa Co. (10/2005)

Passed through county along I-59 on Katrina relief trip. Tuscaloosa. A small, clean city with plenty fo places to sleep.

Jefferson Co. (10/2005)

Birmingham. I was impressed with the way the dramatic placement of this city a ridge-lined bowl. It spilled over the sides into the ridges of the Appalachian foothills. Passing north along I-65, a succession of forest and suburb, until the main expanse of the medium-sized city shows itself. Seems a busy, working city. Bessemer. Hoover. Slept close to Hoover, but in Birmingham city limits.

Cullman Co. (10/2005)

Passed through farms and rolling forests along I-65 en route from Birmingham to Chicago.

Morgan Co. (10/2005)

Decatur. Here is the bridge that crosses the wide Tennessee. I imagined taking it all the way to Paducah as we crossed.

Limestone Co. (10/2005)

Passed through farms and rolling forests along I-65 en route from Birmingham to Chicago. Athens.

Jackson Co. (8/2006)

Wide open farms interrupted by deep glens just southwest of Chattanooga. Russell Cave NM. A beautiful little glen housing a cave of great importance to students of Paleolithic Native America. The eager, young ranger seemed happy that we stopped and regaled with tales of ignorant city people. I explained to the ranger that these people he was describing were obviously suburban people with long driveways and a dvd player in every room of their house. Saw wildlife here... birds nesting in the cave and a large foraging rodent. This is one of the greenest places I have ever seen.

Shelby Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Autauga Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Montgomery Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Lowndes Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Butler Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Conecah Co. (12/2008)

Passed through

Escambia Co. (12/2008)

More to come. Flomaton. Coming soon.

Baldwin Co. (1/2009)

More to come. Gulf Shores. Bon Secour. Foley. Fairhope. Daphne. Orange Beach. Coming soon.

Mobile Co. (1/2009)

More to come. Mobile. Coming soon.

Crenshaw Co. (6/2009)

Luverne. It is damned hot here in the summer, but the people somehow are still nice. Brantley.

Covington Co. (6/2009)

Opp. Passed through during an incredible heat wave. This song has nothing to do with the rap "O.P.P." Florala. 

The view from the inside of Russell Cave. It was one of the greenest forests I have ever seen.

Tired cows find relief from the Southern sun in the shade of a large tree. They can barely lift their heads as I fly by through Jackson Co.

Sweet home Jackson County, Alabama!