Friday, April 29, 2011

Red Bay, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia

Thur, Fri & Sat - April 21st - 23rd

We left Tupelo heading for Red Bay, Alabama via Tammy Wynette Highway. Red Bay is just over the Mississippi state line and is home to Tiffin Motor Home Company. They make Allegros and Phaetons, among others. We went on a tour of the plant. This guy is just driving in a new chassis, so they can start building a new motor home. They took us thru all the different phases of the build and we were allowed to take all the pictures we wanted of everything. We were also told that we could hang around as long as we liked after the tour and go back to any areas we wanted on our own to watch more of anything we wanted to see. In fact, we were told to come back the next day, ask for a pass, and wander around as much as we liked. They seemed to be very organized and doing a good job, but they did have a lot of debris and clutter to step over, such as hoses, cords and spills. It was sure not like the factory I worked in!

Above they are putting on the subfloor and tile floor. Here they are preparing the roof.

Here they are building some of the slide outs. Below they are getting ready to put one of the slides into the RV.

We enjoyed the tour very much and did come back the next day to go thru some more of the finished ones.

We toured Helen Keller's birthplace (Ivy Green) in Tuscumbia. Her father was a captain in the Confederacy and his parent's built the home in 1820. Helen was born in the little cottage to the right of the home. The famous pump where she learned her first word (water) is just between the two homes. She was born normal, but became blind and deaf after an illness at 19 months old.

We saw this riverboat, Pickwick Belle, at nearby Sheffield. We also went to the Wilson Dam between Florence and Muscle Shoals. Then back to Tuscumbia, it's all sort of one continuous city.

This monument infront of the courthouse says, "The men were right who wore the gray, and right can never die. The manner of their death was the crowning glory of their lives 1861-1865. A tribute to Confederate soldiers of Colbert County by the Tuscumbia Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy 1911. God of our fathers, help us to preserve for children the priceless treasure of the true story of the Confederate soldier.

A sign in front of this tree near the river labeled it the Andrew Jackson Black Walnut, saying that he camped nearby following the Battle of New Orleans in 1814. We just happened by it while we were driving thru a residential neighborhood.

The town was named after Chief Tuscumbia, a Chicksaw Rainmaker, in 1822. The town is well-remembered by Indian tribes for the compassionate treatment the townspeople gave the Indians as they traveled thru on the Trail of Tears. The government's removal policy relocated 90,000 Indians, while thousands died along the trail. There are two monuments in this city park to the Indians. Cold Water Falls in this park is the world's largest man-made natural stone waterfall to be known in existence. It's 80 feet wide and 48 feet high with 1,780 tons of sandstone, including the largest stone of 77,000 pounds. 4,320,000 gallons of water per day pass over the falls. President Carter opened his re-election campaign at this park in 1980.

On our way back to camp, we took a detour about seven miles down a windy road thru the woods to see the world's only Coon Dog Cemetery. It was established in 1937 and there were recent burials from this year. There were many homemade markers, but there were also many expensive, engraved cemetery stones. There are two outhouses and a picnic shelter here and they have a Coon Dog Cemetery Festival every Labor Day.

On our way to Alanta, John had to stop and see the Talladega Super Speedway. I wasn't that interested, so he went on a tour by himself. The stands hold 220,000, but they only had about 120,000 this year due to the economy.

The track is a mile long on the sides with a 33 and a half degree bank in the corners. John said they were leaning so far, he thought they would tip over.

Our campground near Atlanta is called Ghost Hill Campground. It is right next to a cemetery, my favorite place to go walking, no traffic, nice and peaceful and sometimes interesting or entertaining. This one has stones as old as 1838 that I could read, but lots were no longer readable, broken or completely missing. This one just said, "Little Alone Annie", broken off and laying there. Who knows if it is even where it belongs? Very sad.

This pair of graves was remarkable. It must have been a mother and baby who died in child birth in 1888, and yet the stones look fairly new with a recent stuffed animal place in front of the baby's grave. 124 years since they were buried and someone still cares that much.

There were several like this. I wondered if there were skeletons inside who came out at night and walked around our campground giving it the Ghost Hill name.

These three graves were very old. The guy in the middle was a delegate at the secession convention in 1860 and his wife and daughter. They all died in the late 1800s, but their stones have either been replaced or repaired. Some of the fairly recent stones are in very bad repair or neglected, yet some of the very old ones look very new or well cared for.

My advice, don't plant any bushes or trees anywhere near a gravestone, although this one is kind of cool.

I wasn't sure. Is this the guy's name or are we just supposed to guess who is buried here?

Don't let the goblins spook you.


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