M. Giant's
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010  

Road Trip Day 4: On the Hunt

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day four was going to be another big driving day. We spent most of it skimming east along the top of northern Mississippi, which as it turns out is not particularly wide. Or maybe it's just that a lot of it is filled with kudzu. It's strange for us to be going east this much, this early in the road trip. Normally we don't head east until we're on our way back. My sense of direction, normally fairly reliable, keeps trying to convince me that we're going in some non-Euclidean version of west-north-south. I have to keep checking the GPS and the digital compass in the rearview mirror to assure myself that we're going the right way. I don't know how we could have made this trip without electronic assistance. We'd have either come back a week early or still be out there.

We cross into Alabama (another new state for everyone in the car), which at this latitude looks a lot like Mississippi did at this latitude. That is, until the freeway starts getting wider about halfway across, and an unmistakable landmark becomes visible from several miles away. It's a full-sized Saturn V rocket, standing erect outside the U.S. Rocket and Space Center and Space Camp. This is actually the third Saturn V rocket M. Edium has seen in person, but the other two were housed inside buildings, mounted horizontally so you can walk their length. Seeing one towering over the landscape like this is enough to give any space geek a sympathetic boner.

It's too late in the afternoon to head inside today, and our tickets are for tomorrow anyway. So we head on past, through the city to the foot of the Monte Sano mountains. And then right up into them.

Our billet for tonight is a cabin in Monte Sano State Park, so we're really not expecting much in this cabin at all. And yet, there it is -- a complete kitchen with a full-sized fridge.

But that's not all, because the view from right next to the cabin is a spectacular vista, all of northern Alabama laid out in the valley below us, with ridges fading off into the distance. Or possibly Tennessee.

That's also our view from the window inside the cabin, but I didn't want to brag.

Trash loved this cabin so much she immediately decided to bail on the next day's outing and hang around here to work instead. Which she was thinking about doing anyway, because she kind of had to, but now she was done feeling bad about it. As for me, despite the view I found it a little cramped and dark, and when Trash gushed that she could live here, I thought to myself, Well, that's because you're smaller than me.

When darkness comes (almost an hour earlier than at home, probably because of our lower latitude and the fact that we're almost in the Eastern time zone), we look down in the valley. The city has turned into a sprinkling of stars in the bottom of a black bowl. Are some of those stars moving? No, those are the fireflies.


posted by M. Giant 6:21 AM 1 comments


Oh, how embarrassing! All the years I've been reading this site and you finally come to my town...in the middle of a horrid heat wave. Have a great, safe rest of the trip!

By Anonymous Gossamer1013, at August 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

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