14 May, 2009

Road Trippin'

Complete chaos is the only way to describe the onset of our journey. A trip to Super Wal-mart left our already packed car in a complete disarray with bags of food, random cans and mushed boxes strewn all about. We arrived at Oak Mountain State Park shortly after 7, just in time to set up our tent and get situated before the sun went completely down. The ladies at the front gate were refreshingly friendly and accommodating with their thick Alabama accents and sweet Southern charm. I found it amusing yet appropriate that Sean and Andy both finished every response with Ma'am. "Yes, ma'am", "No, ma'am", "Thank you, ma'am".

The campsite was gorgeous. We parked the car up a slight incline and walked down to our temporary lakeside residence. The view of the lake and the distant mountain were incredible and the thickness of the surrounding forest was surprisingly comforting. For about two hours we attempted to start a fire while simultaneously drinking a few beers. What I discovered is that building a fire is an incredibly slow, tedious, and frustrating process especially when the only available tinder is damp from the previous days rain. Amazingly, it was when we had given
up and were sitting idly by that the fire suddenly ignited and Sean was able to breath life into it.

Tent sleeping was not only comfortable, but peaceful. We woke up this morning, made oatmeal on our butane powered stove (thanks Mom), and then began the agonizing process of organizing and departing. We packed everything up, reorganized the car in a semi-sensical manner, and took glorious hot showers before getting back on the road. I took some shots of a group of geese at our campsite before we left, and on our way out of the park I narrowly avoided hitting a four-foot snake in the middle of the road.

We are now approximately 40 miles outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. I drove the first 4 and a half hours from just South of Birmingham, non-stop through Mississippi, and into Memphis. We stopped and made sandwiches at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Memphis before Sean took over the wheel. Our goal is to reach Dardanelle State Park despite the fact that they aren't answering the phone and we don't know if they'll be open. Fingers crossed. Most likely having eggs and beer for dinner tonight. Hopefully the 60% chance of rain will give way to the other 40% chance of no rain.

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