Saturday, July 21, 2012

Florence and Rattlesnake Saloon, Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today being Saturday meant no work on the motorhome so what to do?  This northwestern area of Alabama leaves a lot to be desired when looking for things to do.  Florence, Alabama is about 50 miles to the northeast of Red Bay and we had not been there so off we went.  Florence is on the north side of the Tennessee River and Muscle Shoals is on the south side of the river.  We saw a signs for a music festival throughout the town of Florence and then a sign for W. C. Handy home and museum.  W. C. Handy, "the father of the blues" was born in Florence and always had a love for the city.  He was a musician and a composer.  "St. Louis Blues" is his best known composition.  The home is a 2 room log cabin that is attached to the museum as it was moved from another location in the city.  The music festival is not getting underway until Sunday evening.

We drove around the city and came to the Woodrow Wilson Park, one of those beautiful  city parks often seen in southern towns with a central water fountain and tree lined walkways.

Around the park a car show was being held and we strolled around  looking at some interesting vehicles.  An old rusty Dodge pick-up caught our eye.

The owner restorer told us that has been in possession of this heap for many years, using it for target practice with his gun until he decided to restore it.  He won first place in his class.  Another interesting vehicle was a 1935 Chevrolet with a Phaeton body sure looks different than our Phaeton!!

Leaving Florence we headed back towards Red Bay but stopped for a late lunch at a unique place, Rattlesnake Saloon.

We had heard about this place but this was our first visit.  The Saloon is only opened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon and evenings and Sunday afternnoon.  Pulling into the area designated the Rattlesnake Saloon there was nothing that looked like a saloon.  Horse trailers and barns with horses were close-by.  Finally spying one of the horseman I asked about the whereabouts of the saloon and he directed us toward a pickup truck that would haul us down the road to the saloon. 

The pickup was equipped with benches in the bed of the truck for us to sit on and the down a steep hill we went.  The saloon is built in a cave.

There is a small dining room inside the saloon but a bigger dining area is outside in the cave.

We ate in the cave.  The menu is mainly sandwiches and appetizers.  We had burgers which are quite large but were really good.  Fries or onion rings are served with the sandwiches. I ordered onion rings and Tom ordered fries and then we shared.  Desserts are also available (apple fritters and deep fried cheese cake) but we passed on that.  After eating we caught the pickup taxi service back up the hill and stopped into the souvenir store.  A wood stairway goes down to an upper level of the cave and we walked down there and then back to the car to return to Red Bay.