We said goodbye to Florence midday. Really a great town with lots of things on the tourist calendar: from mega-golf to a storytelling extravaganza (and lots in between—including all that music!). After yesterday’s tourist extravaganza, here are a few parting shots:
We stopped at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame- very long list of successful and famous Alabamans in the music industry. And did you know the first Rock and Roll song was from here?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0mhgyTgxtw
Can’t forget Sam Phillips the Father of Rock and Roll (with Elvis, duh!):
So aside from being the birthplace of Rock and Roll, Florence is also the birthplace of W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues:
By now you know we’re in Florence, Alabama which is the reputed birthplace of the blues and just across the river from Muscle Shoals where many big names like the Rolling Stones, Cher, Aretha Franklin, The Osmonds, Little Richard and more recently, Alicia Keys have recorded hit songs. Literally hundreds of hits have been created with the mixing board above and it continues to be used.
The interesting thing about this river cruising is you can easily crossover from boating to land exploration at the drop of a hat. Today we rented a car and decided to do some touring. Nick agreed to good naturedly go with the flow and visit the spots of interest Barb wanted to see (seemed only fair since he’s playing golf on 2 of the four days we’re here!). First there was the dirt pile…..
Which was followed by a 20 minute drive to a rock pile…..
…and then a 45 minute drive to a cemetery on “Coon Hound Road”. 5 minutes into it, WAIT…Nick realized it was not A cemetery on Coon Hound Road, but a coon hound cemetery! Nick had been doing so well, but reached his limit and was not up for a long trip to a doggy cemetery specializing in coon hounds…famous ones, but dogs. Instead we went bypassed that one and continued on the route to some other cool spots celebrating the musical history of the area:
and at FAME:
the birthplace of Helen Keller (another famous local).
We also went to see the lions at University of Northern Alabama. It’s the only university with a live mascot living on campus. In this case it’s in an actual lion compound. (no lion picture as he wasn’t out!)
Yet again another nice marina and great dockmaster couple: Kyle and Eva who, despite being inundated w/ Loopers heading downriver after the annual “Looper Convention,” they still made us feel special in our little boat. (fyi, we did not attend the “convention”…just wingin’ it, I guess)
Just a block from the marina is a lovely 3+ mile long river park that includes a forest of these great pine trees for our morning walk.
Nor was Ziggy particularly photogenic for this shot…but she wanted to show off her Seahawk spirit today:
We borrowed the marina courtesy car and B was back to carpooling as if the kids were little again. B ushered Nick off to play at a nearby stellar Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (one on the trail that he missed last year when he came to Alabama with his Tacoma golf buddies to tackle the Trail).
While in carpool mode, B stopped by a nature preserve and let Ziggy romp on the trails. Ziggy, for her part, let B romp too. Besides the cool old, moss-laden remnants in feature photo above, a few other discoveries:
And to wrap up the carpool loop, we all had lunch together afterward to enjoy N’s good golf day:
Watching Seahawks struggle now……
Tomorrow will be a full-on tourism day in Florence,Al…stay tuned.