Goodbye Part III, Stuff I Never Got To Do

Alabama things I always wanted to do, but never got around to doing.

See DBT. They’re in town every year right after Thanksgiving. We’re always in town, too, but I’ve never made the show. Mostly because we always have turkey day at our house, which means out of town guests with whom I want to spend time. Hence, no show.

Head up to Lake Guntersville to see the bald eagles. No excuses here, just never took the time to do it.

Eat at Dreamland. I frequently ride my bike past the one in Southside. Smells great. I always say I need to eat there. Never have, though.

Ride my bike from B’ham to Atlanta. There’s a rails to trails route from Anniston to the Atlanta burbs. The Alabama part is the Chief Ladiga Trail; the Georgia section is the Silver Comet Trail. We rode the former, and after doing that, I went home and mapped out a route from B’ham to the Ladiga trail in Jacksonville, figuring I could take back roads (some familiar) to the trail and then ride it all the way to Atlanta. I think the total distance would be in the 150-175 range, but the last 100 would be on the flat, smooth, car-free trails. My plan was to do it in two days, riding to Jacksonville on day one and Atlanta on day two. Jenny would have driven the SAG wag and also provided the ride home from Atlanta. So why didn’t I do it? It would have taken three days, and days off being precious for lawyers, I always had another use for them.

Do the Vulcan Run with the kids in the jogger. They were too small last year and we’re moving before this year’s race.

Go to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Rent one of those cabins on Cheaha. I’ve backpacked up there many times, but I always thought it would be fun to spend a weekend taking it easy on top of the mountain. It would be couch potato camping, but hey, everyone’s entitled to be a slacker sometimes.

Ride the Cheaha Challenge. Each of the last two years it’s been the day after the 3-state 3- mountain challenge. There are some folks who can do 100 miles with 10k feet of climbing one day and then 100 miles with 7.5k feet of climbing the next. I’m not one of them.

We always meant to “tour” the Catholic Churches in the B’ham area, taking one Sunday a month to go to a different one. Never did. In fact, other than St. Paul’s we’ve only gone to two: St. Francis Xavier in Mt. Brook (everything bad about contemporary services and architecture) and St. Stephen’s in Southside (everything good about contemporary services and architecture).

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

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8 Comments on “Goodbye Part III, Stuff I Never Got To Do”

  1. Joe Says:

    Not that we would neccesarily do the same things anyway, but I have done three of the things you mentioned. I ran in the Vulcan run with my kids, well, actually the fun run part, when they were younger (and I was too) but old enough to run a mile. I’ve eaten at Dreamland anough times to cover for you. I’ve rented a cabin at Cheaha, once on the foggiest and coldest night I have ever spend with my kids. We got there way after dark and had to wait hours before the fire we built heated up the cabin. Brrrr. fun, we played Yatzhee till the wee hours. Oh four, I’ve been to Unclaimed Baggage. I enjoyed the freezing cabin more.

  2. Dan Says:

    I’ve lived in Alabama all my life save a 5 year stint in the Marine Corps, and I haven’t done a single thing on your list. The bike ride to Atlanta sounds like a good plan, though. I wonder if an amateur should try it.

  3. Alan Says:

    In regards to the church tour. Go to Blessed Sacrament in west end if you have the time before you leave. You won’t regret it

  4. Sailer Says:

    The eagles are nice at Gunterville. We looked at them one winter from our sailboat and another winter from seakayaks.. Something great about the cold black water in winter. This past winter sailing on Wheeler one flew right by the boat at almost eye level. Cool

    Dreamland Barbeque is awesome. The best I’ve ever eaten and I’ve eaten barbeque from South Carolina to Las Vegas from Texas to Minnesota. Some barbeque from Bandera Texas was a close second but Dreamland is the best.

    Unclaimed baggage is kinda like a garage sale. You haven’t missed much. I did find a great gold braclet for my wife there. And my daughter the lawyer found several used suits to wear while going to Emory Law School. Now she is making money and goes elsewhere for clothing.

    Thanks for the heads up on the rail to trail in Alabama. We’ve done a lot of trips up in Virginia. The Virginia Creeper Trail and the New River Trail. But the pinnacle of my biking was when I rode my road bike to the top of Roan Mountain. I started at the school in the village of Roan mountain and made it to the top at over 6000″ without stopping. It was a very long grind up the mountain and pretty scarey coming back down.
    You need to get a sea Kayak!!!! The barrier islands off the gulf coast are great. Even kayaking around Mobile bay can be an adventure….a lot of Gators at Meaher State Park. A friend in Mandeville had two 6′ gators get into a storm drain in his neighborhood. Once we retire we will either go back to Tennessee or move to somewhere on the gulf coast. I’m lucky that my brother has a house on a mountain surrounded by national forest that I have an open invitation to visit at will. So flatlands aren’t so bad whne you have mountains to visit. It is almost worth moving to LA just to be close to Abita beer and oyster PoBoys. I like TurboDog best. And I don’t know if it’s the bread of the peanut oil but the best PoBoys I’ve ever had came from a little dive on the north shore of Ponchartain near Mandeville. MudBugs are great too. I’m getting hungry and I just got back from lunch.

    Good Luck

  5. draftsonyou Says:

    I did none of those either…except for Vulcan run with Eva and Dreamland. Both were pretty rewarding, but the Dreamland in Tuscaloosa is way better than Bham’s. I also never toured Sloss or the Civil Rights Museum. I never watched the Barons or the ice hockey team (whatever they were called), but I did get to see the Blazers pre-NCAA tournament. That was cool. And of course, there was my first experience in the Steel City…Gay Pride Rally in Rushton Park (circa 2000). I was so disappointed when I realized Shania Twain was a man in garters. “I feel like a WOMAN.” Thank you very much.

  6. JPW Says:

    I highly recommend to all the DBT show at the Alabama Theatre over Thanksgiving weekend.

    Wheeler, now that you won’t be a slave to the machine, make some time to catch the band somewhere in Louisiana. You shan’t be disappointed.

  7. Kathy Says:

    Wheeler, maybe you can work in some of the things on your list when you come back to visit. Sometimes it’s easier to schedule that way.

  8. Jim Says:

    Since you are an avid cyclist, I’ll add the “Ride of Love” for you. http://www.rideoflove.org Being a cyclist from Alabama, you should experience this ride at least once in your life!


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