In Alabama, we saw 7 helicopters, 4 blackhawk type, 2 Chinook and a Bell Huey. Interesting that we did not see an airplane the entire time in Alabama. They like their helicopters, eh?
Speaking of flight: After so many states, we finally saw large birds that were NOT turkey vultures. Odd that we would cover so much country and see so few birds. It was a red tail and several crows. And, I saw my first blue bird. Not those jacked up Stellar's Jays from back home.
Truckers are nice and crazy. They change lanes so fast at such close range that you cringe expecting the grind of metal and that gut punching sound of a traffic accident. But on the other side, when we approached an accident, we had a 3 mile warning that the RIGHT lane ahead was blocked. The truckers moved into the RIGHT lane to keep that sneaky brat that ignores the signs to sneak 5 places farther ahead of everyone else and cause everyone to slow down even more. These truckers set up a moving road block to control traffic.
In Tennessee there is a Hotel chain, called the Jameson Inn. It was beautiful, charged only a 10 dollar pet deposit and had a great big room with a wonderful king size bed. The bed was the best sleep K and I had slept in many years.
Just up the road from the Jameson Inn is a restaurant called the Texas Roadhouse. I ordered another cheap steak that tasted not at all cheap. K had a rib and chicken plate. We both feel, out of all our travels and all the places we have eaten, this was some of the very best food we have ever had.
I know, I know, I said that about the etoufe. But in its own way it was the best etoufe. The sauteed mushrooms were the best I have ever had, the steak was almost perfect, the beans were with onions and ham, and they had fresh baked rolls with a cinnamon honey butter that was almost as good as the sopapias at The Pepper Sister's back in Hamster land.
We detoured to the Great Smokey Mountain park today. Las Vegas and Disney World had sex and the illegitamate love child is Pigeon Forge Tennessee! With a name like Pigeon Forge... well... It is glitzy in the woods. But what fun... a Dinosaur walk museum, a Jurassic water ride, 3 or 4 miniature golf courses, a muscle car museum. We will get back to this place, some day.
Breakfast and dinner were Cracker Barrel. If you know them, you know how good that food is as well. Ahh... foood.....
I did not allow myself to go to a knife/cooking gadgets store boasting over 1000 kitchen gadgets.
Tomorrow, more roads. We are almost there.
Southern colors by K:
I decided there must be a law about driving only red vehicles in Alabama. This carried into
the beautiful state of Tennessee. It struck me when I found myself surrounded on all sides:
first a fire engine red Hummer, then a cherry red pick up truck, then the off road vehicle
being transported to some heavily hilled dirt pile somewhere nearby...
the red brick homes in Tennessee where they use small and long bricks that are textured on
its outside length...
Alabama's team is known as the Crimson Tide. I had yet another Cherry Limeade To Go!
I wasn't quick enough to click pictures of some of the local restaurants which used horizontal
red stripes to elongate the look of their building. It was striking enough to make me want to
pull the car over and take the photo though...
Ruby falls is advertised everywhere, a wonderful kind of repetitious reminder that there were
places on the map that were yet to be discovered...
I'd like to tell you about Rose, a petite gal who worked at Country's Barbque in Montgomery
Alabama. She had a smile that lit up the Roadhouse architecture like moonlight. "Mama" was
behind the counter cooking. I thought Mama would be softspoken for some reason. The image
shattered quickly with Mama yelling orders: "ONE PORK, ONE BIRD TO-GO!"
Rose walked me to the door since my hands were filled with barbque dinners and an order of
sweet tea (yes Arnitha, there is sweet tea still brewin' here!)
I made Rose laugh. "I need to learn to bump the door from behind like you do", she nodded and
laughed. I'd hoped she'd heard it as a compliment and a thank you.
when you are tired and hungry and in between homes, a brilliant smile and a kindness go a long way...