I drove around Northeastern Alabama last week. Who knew there are mountains there? Ok, I say mountains, but I mean highly-eroded, ancient Appalachian sandstone mountains that are now more like table-top hills. Plateaus, if you will. Ok, so not like the Western US plateaus. But still flat-topped. Eroded! Let's just stick with that. Aside from that, the geography of Alabama is really cool now that I read up on it.
Deciding not to take a single interstate from Huntsville to Atlanta (normally a good 3.5 hr drive) turned into an 9-hr backroad tour. I did, however, eat lunch in the 'official sock capital of the world' which also turned out to be the hometown of the country band, Alabama. That was the town of Ft. Payne, AL, by the way.
There is a point to all of this.
I happened upon Little River Canyon National Preserve at some point in extreme eastern Alabama. Apparently it's reported to be one of the cleanest rivers in the South and mostly undammed. 14,000+ acres of protected area--just awesome. So here are the falls near the top of the river/canyon.
As I walked around the falls, I kept reading signs about the canyon rim road that ran along the opposite side. So, without anything else to do in my spare time until my career job starts in, oh, a month and a half, I decided to go on a trek.
The road was definitely a canyon rim road that winded and bounced along the way for 12 miles until it came to an abrupt stop sign.
I didn't understand if "truck" meant 'any ol' truck' or just 'over-sized 18-wheeler trucks.' So there I sat at the top of this giant, slightly paved hill in my Tacoma pickup. Questioning my intelligence. Thinking. Contemplating the repercussions of 'what-if' scenarios. (and speaking in fragments, apparently).
But I caved in, put the Yota in first and went for it
It was quite the drive, I must say. Until I came to another stop sign 5 miles away. And at that point, I took this picture. And upon looking at it later, I thought it sure looked crooked, but no, it's right. I was sitting on an incline that has a decline on the left that led to the steepest road I may have ever driven on in my life.
So I went for it..
And I drove and drove. And lo and behold, I came to another stop sign with another warning sign. Only this time, this one was more serious than the first. If the first one wasn't there to scare/ward off the frightened, then this one surely was. Basically I read it as "wow, you made it this far? well, just turn around now and go back. or close your eyes and hope for the best!"
So I took what I thought to be the last picture on the camera before I plummeted off the side of the mountain type of picture and started rolling down the road. Ah, but it was fun. No worries. I survived. From switchback to switchback, I seemed to have a good playlist blaring from the ipod with the windows down and enjoying it all. And the Yota survived the plummet.
(ok, mom, you can start reading again)