A Hop, Skip and A Jump….
Note: the following post describes events prior to the posts regarding our tornado experience.
…and we’re back in Alabama! Well, it wasn’t really a hop, skip and a jump, it was more like a 30 minute drive from the campground heading to the other side of the lake! Our plan for our one day expedition was to see the sights in the historic town of Eufaula.
But wait! Before our departure, Rob heard some odd noises which sounded like it might be coming from the rear closet in the coach. Maybe the ants had become mutant ninja ants after being sprayed with insecticide and were preparing an invasion?
Nope nothing there! Maybe the noise was coming from the outside? Needing to find the source of the noise, he went outside and fearlessly opened up the engine compartment in the rear of the coach (my hero, swoon). AHA, there it was – the evidence he was looking for. A big pile of twigs was sitting on top of the engine! A mama (or maybe papa?) bird was in the midst of a construction project! What was it thinking, perhaps that the yet to be born peeps could go on a road trip with us somewhere? That would be a very bad move with two kitties on board! Or maybe it wasn’t thinking at all!
She/he may not have been thinking but hubby was! Thinking to discourage the birdie, he removed all of the twigs but unfortunately I don’t think they were on the same wavelength – fifteen minutes later a deposit of a few more twigs had already been made. Out those went! Never got a good look at the builder so not sure what kind of bird it was.
OK, so first we had the invasion of the ants and now we have the birds? They all seem to want to be our friends! What’s next???
We were wishing Denise and Lee were nearby so we could hire Ripley, their parrot to chase away our pesky little bird! 😀 Another alternative would be to post our adorable “lion wannabe” fierce hunter, Sparky, nearby on guard duty. Huh, did I say fierce hunter? HA, perhaps I should use the term “our scare-dy cat hunter” as evidenced by the attack of the swallows several years ago on the boat. Sparky was sitting nonchalantly minding his own business on the deck of our boat one summer enthralled by the swallows flying overhead when suddenly several of them swooped down and started attacking him. They had a nest nearby under the deck of a nearby waterfront restaurant so they must have felt threatened – guess they didn’t know that he couldn’t/wouldn’t swim to get to them. You never saw a cat skedaddle so fast – he cowered down below for hours! So if this bird turned on him, he’d be outta there really fast!
Knowing that it didn’t make sense to hang around all day monitoring the nest construction site, we decided that we would deal with the situation when we returned. Before we left though, Rob put a small shoebox size plastic bin over where the pile of twigs in the hopes that might discourage our fine feathered friend. Keepin’ our fingers crossed!
Finally we were on our way! As we headed north on Eufala Highway (GA-39), we stopped at the Trough Restaurant (good name, don’t you think) in Georgetown, GA. Didn’t look like much from the outside since it was part of a gas station but it was cute and clean on the inside. We both had their 2 egg breakfast plate with bacon or sausage, hash browns or grits and toast for $5.29. Really good! Lunch specials looked good too – we had talked about going back but never made it.
After our meal we were talking with the owner, a woman originally from Tennessee who had sold her most recent home in a subdivision of Atlanta and moved to Georgetown. She was teasing us saying that she can always spot the northerners – they always order hash browns, never grits. Guilty as charged! Maybe we need to change our ways to be less conspicuous. Of course, once we opened our mouths, despite trying to say “y’all” constantly, everyone would still know.
Compared to Atlanta, she loves living in a small town (population 973 in 2000) because everyone knows everyone, although that also means that everyone knows everyone else’s business. That sometimes isn’t a good thing but it is when something goes wrong, everyone rallies to help out. She told us about a woman who fell outside the restaurant, sustaining enough injuries for her to go to the hospital. By the time she got home that night, her friends and neighbors had built a ramp onto her house to help with her recovery.
Nice, clean restaurant with good food and a very nice owner. If you’re ever in the area, highly recommend a stop for either breakfast or lunch at The Trough!
After breakfast we continued on our journey to Eufaula. Once we crossed the Chattahoochee, we were back in Alabama and back in Central time zone so we gained an hour. Woo hoo! Only to be lost later though, oh well.
Eufaula has a rich historical past which you can read about here with more than 20 structures and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It is also known for their annual Spring Pilgrimage which is Alabama’s Oldest Tour of Homes which draws you back in time to experience the settlement of Eufaula, confrontation with Yankee troops, and life when “cotton was king.” Bits of history and legend are shared by Southern Belles dressed in colorful hoop skirts who guide you through the homes. Must be a fun event to experience.
When we arrived, we drove around for a bit but since we had no idea what we were looking at, we finally stopped at the Chamber of Commerce in the hopes of picking up a walking or driving tour map. The Chamber of Commerce along with the Barbour County Heritage Museum is housed in what used to be a train freight depot built in 1892 and operational until the 1980’s. The history of the area is depicted in a number of displays, paintings and photographs.
Across the street from the Chamber of Commerce was the Yoholo Micco – The Creek Indian Trail. Since it was a beautiful day and we needed some exercise, we decided to take a
stroll, er, brisk walk. The trail is named for Chief Yoholo Micco (also known as Chief Eufaula), the Creek Indian leader who was driven from the town with his people in 1836 – they eventually followed the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma where they settled.
This 3.2 mile paved trail converted from an old railroad bed as part of the Rails to Trails project winds along and then crosses a section of Lake Eufaula on an old railway trestle. At the beginning of the trail there were some very neat metal “shovelhead” sculptures created by Eufaula artist Kathy Hamrick. These sculptures are made from not only broken shovelheads but also found metal objects such as old roofing tin, electric fans, sets of keys, and lawnmower gas tanks.
It was a lovely walk but we didn’t go the entire distance, mainly due to the amount of time it would take so after about 1-1/2 miles just after we crossed the railroad trestle bridge, we turned around to head back another 1-1/2 miles towards the town. There were several smaller trails along the way but we didn’t take any of those.
With over 62 historic buildings shown on the map (many of them offered tours) it would be impossible (and probably pretty boring) to talk about each one. If you are interested, the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce website has a detailed list of all of them, otherwise enjoy some of our pictures at the end of this post.
Our last “historical” stop of the day though wasn’t at one of the historic homes but at the Superior Pecan Company. The Superior Pecan Company has resided at 317 North Orange Avenue since 1934 and offers free tours of the Old Pecan Factory including the antique processing equipment. When we walked in, it seemed more like a gift shop than a pecan factory so I asked the young man at the counter if they still gave tours.
He hesitated at first – apparently the manager was out sick and he was the only one there but since it wasn’t that busy he said he could give us the tour. I think maybe he should have been out sick as well – he had such a hacking cough! Quick, where’s the sanitizer!
Anyway as he took us out on the porch where the pecans were initially poured into a hopper to be bagged into sacks, he explained that they no longer process the pecans there at the factory. At the back of the gift shop he pointed out the grader where the pecans were graded according to their size.
Other equipment that we saw was the sheller, more hoppers, a shaker, a chopper, the sealer as well as the pecan grading chart.
One interesting fact that we learned is that Superior is the only Pecan packager that sells 2 and 3 pound clear tubs of individually hand stacked pecans. One corporation during the holidays will order over 500 of these containers to be given as holiday gifts. So they have about 6 “pecan ladies” (his grandmother is one of them) who are hired in August to start hand stacking these gift tubs for the holiday season. I believe he said that it usually takes about 45 minutes just to do one package. That’s pretty labor intensive!
Of course, we had to buy somethin’ so we ended up with a 1 pound bag of their mammoth pecan halves.
Since Superior is also a FedEx drop off location, just as we were about to leave, the FedEx guy arrived to pick up packages. Pretty chatty guy to say the least! Ended up chatting with him and our tour guy for at least 45 more minutes – wonder how he ever gets all of his deliveries done!
Finally, we escaped and headed back to Georgia and the Eastern Time Zone. Interesting day!
What about the nest building project you might be wondering? Did the plastic bin work? Well, yes and no. Yes, she had stopped building in the same place but no, she had moved over to a new spot in the engine! More twigs to discard. In searching on Google, some people had recommended using dryer sheets – we knew those worked for mice but would they work for birds? Nope! No such luck!
Not to be outwitted by a bird, hubby donned his thinking cap and decided to try covering the top of the engine with a towel. After checking it a few hours later – no twigs! And the next morning – no twigs! Woo hoo! Hubby wins! So bye bye Birdie!
And, yes, he did remember to remove the towel before starting the engine!
If we had stayed longer, we might have taken a trip to Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area which looks pretty neat based on some pictures I saw. It was kind of far (about an hour’s drive from the campground) so we decided to save that for another time.
So on Wednesday with our sightseeing opportunities exhausted, it was a quiet day – time well spent writing posts, catching up on some reading, taking a quick bike ride and getting ready for our departure Thursday.
Where are we headed next? You’ll find out in our next post!
Here are more photos of our tour of Eufaula….
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