Our second camping trip was to Desoto State Park (an Alabama State Park campground). Scooby was REAL excited to get going on this trip!
One this trip Wine’d Down’s didn’t fair quite so well… but, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, it almost didn’t happen. Like all states Alabama too has budget issues and our great leaders thought – or so they said, lets close down some of the unproductive state parks (and other municipalities of course), and Desoto, along with many other very nice and very large state parks. I think it was a lot of wind blowing to prove a point and in the end, they only closed some pretty small parks and shortened the weekday restaurants at the smaller lodges. All made sense (what-really)? SO, the trip is ON!
We’re packed all up, waiting on Roberta to get off work (took a 1/2 day off) and ready to hit the road. The new truck (silver bullet) pulled like a champ – MUCH better gas mileage too and pulling power. But, I forgot until on the way home, that I didn’t put it in “trailer” mode – so it worked a lot better coming back – oh well. We left town about 12:30 and didn’t get 40 mins away when I saw something in my side mirror… something shiny – I thought it looked like a hub cab. Then, something black – just a blur really. But we have storage holds all around and I thought – what if one of those popped open and we dumped our levelers, or tools, etc. So, we pulled off the next exit – looked around… everything “looked” fine. Then I noticed a metal plate sticking out of the back – I don’t recall seeing that before. Then the glaring truth was shown to my eyes… the spare tire FELL off the back (more liked ripped from the aluminum paneling). Took us 2-3 miles to get to the next exit and with grass 3-ft tall, no telling where it landed.
So, we make it to the campground and the office said it would be a full weekend. About 2:00 it was only about 30% full, but more came in later. We got setup and began to decorate for Halloween (one of Bert’s favorite holidays). A few people around the campgrounds did decorate, but not as many as we hoped. This didn’t have as much scenery as Lake Guntersville, but it had a lot more trails and activities to do, so that was fun. We drove around to check out the nearby sites and found a neat place called The Barnyard – a guy made all this metal art pieces – some 20′ tall for party’s, events, etc. Junkosaurus Wrecks was the main attraction.
Cooked out steaks the first night – something about a charcoal grill while camping makes everything better! All Scooby could think of was where are we going next! The next morning we headed out to Little River Canyon. It a national park with one of the largest waterfalls in Alabama. Well, when its not dry – as it was when we were there. We were worried about the rain coming, so we hit this first… had we waited a day, we would have SEEN the falls! But the drive and trails were nice, so all was good. Amazing how many beautiful places there are in the world with very little time to see them all. We then headed over to Mentone to see the little artsy town. Not much open and I know its a popular place, just not sure October was it – was it? The restaurant we ate at for lunch was awesome – Wildflower Cafe. A friend recommended the tomato pie – very good! A neat place, so visit it when you’re in the area.
The next day, after breakfast, we headed out to some of the trails in Desoto park. They actually have 6-7 waterfalls there as well, including Desoto Falls itself. We took the 3 mile trek and saw 4 of them along the Birding Trail. It started with a long deck built 8-10′ off the forest floor. We saw 5-6 deer within minutes – not so many birds – bird rail eh? It turned out to be a nice day – perfect for walking. I was not much of an “outdoors” person in the past, but I suppose with our hectic-busy-crazy normal lives, I’ve come to appreciate the quiet and beauty of nature. When I come home, I’m already planning the next trip – even if just a long weekend like this one.
“Desoto State Park”Site: ?Thursday, October 8, 2015 – Sunday, October 11, 2015
- Mentone: Wildflower Cafe
- Little River Canyon
- Metal Art Guy