Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Southern Accents Part 1
This past weekend we experienced an abnormally cool spell of weather; Sunday morning dawned around 58-59 degrees here! That is astoundingly cool for August and made for some gorgeous days where it was actually bearable to be outside! So, Jack and I said the heck with yardwork and housework, we needed to go do something. We called Mama and asked if she wanted to go with us because our destination wasn't too far from her house anyway. She was game, happily, so we picked her up and headed for Noccalula Falls Park. This is a 250 acre state park around the Gadsden area in north Alabama.
Some of you might just remember seeing a story back in November about 3 "extreme" kayakers that purposefully went over these falls. Now, they waited until after a heavy rain so that the pool would be as deep as possible; that is a 90 foot drop and many, many people have drowned in these waters. I saw the video the guys made and I have to say, I had never seen the waters as high as they were that day. They were still insane.
I grew up in this general area too, so this place is very familiar to me. We didn't come here a lot when I was small but as a teenager and young adult it was a popular spot for a lot of us. You can view the falls and upper part of the park at no cost so we liked that. And there is a burger joint right across the street so it was all good. My father lived just down the road from here as a kid and this place was their swimming hole back before it became a park. That's a heck of a swimming hole! I had thought that the city had blocked the entrances to the bottom of the falls, due to the number of deaths associated with it but they have not. In fact, Mama was telling me that they just completed a long hiking trail that starts here and goes southward out of town. I would like to find out more about that. We used to hike all around the bottom and down the creek when I was younger. It's very pretty there but you must be careful not to fall in the creek.
The water was pretty low the day we visited, despite all the rain we've had, so the geese were enjoying the calm waters above the falls.
The back portion of the park contains a recreated pioneer village along with a large "farm" or small zoo, however you want to look at it and botanical gardens. This is the area you must pay to enter but it's not too much. I really liked this detail in the outriggers and verge rafter on this old cabin. I thought that was pretty cool.
This area was quite nice and has wonderful, shaded walking trails all through it. The upper part, near the actual falls, was rather disappointing though. They had let the maintenance of that area just go to crap. When I was young it was full of rose gardens and other flowers etc. but much of that was now sadly neglected. I'm not sure why. The majority of the park is very nice though and well kept. The building in the background here is the new entrance to the park and just in front of that is the boarding for the train that runs through the park. Of course, the building in the foreground is an old church and small village garden.
There are quite a number of old buildings for the Pioneer Village. Many of them were moved down from Tennessee. I thought that was odd. Were there none here to be had?? I also thought our chicken house looks much better. LOL!
Jack had never been to this park before but he enjoyed it I think. This was the blacksmith's shop.
This was the resident llama. He was pretty friendly and thankfully, didn't spit on us. You can see that's a very nice barn in the background! I would love to have something like that! They had an assortment of normal farm animals too; goats, sheep etc. They also had several emus, one of which just ran around free! and numerous whitetail deer.
Now, ya'll can correct me on this ID but I think this is a Loblolly Pine?? They are enormous and grow very straight. I don't have any on my property and I have always been fascinated with them. I think I just have the average long-leaf pine.
Here is a shot of more of the animals and you can see the ol' llama would just flop down on the ground to graze! I guess it was easier on him.
Anyway, I have a bunch more photos that contain more examples of our Southern way of life that I think ya'll will enjoy. I figured it might be better to break it up into 2 posts so your eyes didn't start rolling back in your heads. The South is a unique area to say the least, as are the people and the next batch of pictures show a bit more of our folklore and ingenuity.