There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’…..Come along, come along with me………
We’ve had fun over these past nine years of travels goin up around the bend with this CCR song. This one just fits – and there are plenty of memories connected. So now there’s another place up ahead. We’re on another winter road trip, south from Indiana to Alabama….so far that is.
This trip started a little differently. We were both indecisive in the weeks leading up to our late-November departure about our destinations and which roads we wanted to take to those places. We gave ourselves options……Texas or Alabama or Florida, or maybe all three. So, we just headed south from Indianapolis on I-65, with our first night’s stop chosen - Nashville, Tennessee.
As we hit Nashville, the reports started coming in about the huge winter storm heading east that could cause highway concerns. So, it was easy then to decide to take the shortest route to warmer temps in the Gulf Shores area of Alabama. The ride through Tennessee and Alabama was smooth and mostly sunny.
No matter how many times we travel the same road, though, there’s usually something new, to us anyway. You know how you aren’t always looking at the details? I know I’ve been there, but this time I paid attention to the rocket at the welcome center as we came into Alabama. Actually, it’s a Saturn 1B and it’s located in Elkmont, Alabama. This is just right there along the highway. And just because, here are a few details I found:
Installed in 1979, the 224 foot tall Saturn 1B was a forerunner of the Saturn 5 launch vehicle for NASA missions. It boosted unmanned Apollo modules and a few orbital trips.
In the late 1990s, you could stop at this Alabama border Welcome Center, stand under the engines and imagine how the blast of takeoff would feel (like Alabama in August?). Renovations to the exhibit since then prevent strolling under the rocket.
Anyway, after a leisurely two-and-a-half-day ride from Indy, we arrived on Monday, November 25, at the Rainbow Plantation Escapees Park in Summerdale. The park makes a nice stopover spot, comfortable parking on grass in a quiet area. Although we don’t like the slow Internet much. But, since we were both still recovering from coughs and colds, it was nice to just settle for a while. And we also were thinking it would help to find some of the good shrimp etouffee we remember from our other visits.
We’ve had a nice time checking on the ocean at Gulf Shores, exploring a future parking spot at the Gulf State Park and eating fish/seafood. Oh yeah, we had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner in our little home, steak, mashed potatoes, salad and chocolate crumb cake. And the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn fans are very evident in this region, to put it lightly. They’ve been preparing for the excitement of that big game, decorating their cars and getting ready for the huge event last Saturday. Well, if you didn’t see the last few seconds of that one, I can’t begin to describe It!!!
Meanwhile, there’s another project that was on our planning list; Ferd needs some maintenance and repairs. So, now we’re making phone calls, pricing and planning for that. If possible, we prefer to have maintenance done in Nacogdoches, Texas, home of Foretravel. Besides, we haven’t visited Livingston in a while, our “rving home,” that’s along the way between Alabama and Nacogdoches. So, we’ll be taking a northwesterly route to do some necessary stuff. We’ll look for a few new turns in the road through southern Louisiana and Mississippi as we go. See you later.
Goin Up Around the Bend
Songwriter: JOHN FOGERTY
There's a place up ahead and I'm goin'
Just as fast as my feet can fly
Come away, come away if you're goin',
Leave the sinkin' ship behind.
Come on the risin' wind,
We're goin' up around the bend.
Bring a song and a smile for the banjo,
Better get while the gettin's good,
Hitch a ride to the end of the highway
Where the neons turn to wood.
You can ponder perpetual motion,
Fix your mind on a crystal day,
Always time for a good conversation,
There's an ear for what you say.
Catch a ride to the end of the highway
And we'll meet by the big red tree,
There's a place up ahead and I'm goin'
Come along, come along with me.