Friday, May 29, 2015

A Piece of Colorado - in Alabama!

Alabama Welcome Center

We left Mississippi and, seemingly, the rain!  Yeah!!!  The first hiccup in our planning happened, however, when the campground we had planned on using in the Birmingham area was full.  The camping gods were smiling on us, though, because we lucked into a delightful place called Deerlick Creek Park, a Corps of Engineers park in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Swimming beach

Campground view

View out my front door

The rain stayed away for the most part and we managed a little much needed down time.  But the Memorial Day weekend was coming up and the campground was fully reserved, so we were only able to stay a couple of days.  Plans to visit Birmingham and Civil Rights sites had to be shelved while we searched for another place to stay.

A last minute spot opened in a tiny RV park on the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.  Feeling lucky just to get anything at the last minute over a holiday weekend, we didn't expect much more than a parking lot.  But what a surprise!

Campground entry

Campground view

Nipper on a beautiful walking path

Just 27 spaces, the park is full of sweet gum trees, making almost every spot partially shaded.  The sun stayed out for EVERY day of our stay, with the rain returning only the night before we left.  I think we may have turned the corner on the crummy weather!

Sid, working hard!

The Space Center is home to the Space Camp that I've heard about for many years.  While the center is open to the public, we opted to continue in our relaxation mode for the three days we spent there and did not take a tour.  But here are some pictures of what you could see from the outside.

NASA has been running this camp since 1982

Giant rockets can be seen for miles away

Another space shuttle, this one atop a propulsion rocket

And as for a little piece of Colorado?  In front of the campground was this set up and, at first, we didn't know what it was.

What could this be for?

The Colorado piece required closer inspection. 

Estes Rockets, from good ole' Penrose, CO!

By getting closer, we discovered this was an area set up for rocket launching.  Groups of children were walked over from the Space Center all weekend long and allowed to shoot off rockets they had made from behind the viewing shield.  

It's funny, sometimes, what familiar things you find in the most unusual places!

We're putting Alabama in the rear view mirror as we head for the Country Music Capitol of the World.  Next stop, Nashville, TN!

Until next time...

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