This morning we thought we would go to the Dismals Canyon, a privately owned park about 35 miles southeast of Red Bay. We had read that there is a trail through the canyon of mosses and ferns and the temperature there is about 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. But we were also warned that it can be muddy and some places there may be water ankle deep in the trail if there has been recent rain. There were lots of clouds in the sky which is not unusual for here but as we got closer to the canyon the skies opened up and the rain poured- so much for those plans. We continued driving through a town, Phil Campbell (yes that is the name of the town), that several years ago was hit by a tornado and is still ungoing reconstruction of houses and buildings. Again, today we got into the area called "the Shoals" along the Tennessee River, the cities of Florence and Muscle Shoals. We pulled into a beautiful park along the river and took a few pictures. The grounds were very wet from recent rains. Since it was near lunch time we looked for a place to eat. Most restaurants within the city of Florence were closed today. We found a road leading back to Muscle Shoals on the south bank of the Tennessee River which took us across a TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) dam. This dam had a lock system that moved boats from above the dam to below and vice versa, about a 100 foot difference. After passing over the dam we then passed a large power station that was also part of the TVA. Finally we got back to a main thoroughfare and found a Mexican reataurant that was opened and we had a great lunch. We both had shrimp dishes that were loaded with shrimp. After lunch we continued on to Red Bay where it was apparent that a drop of rain had not fallen today.
This area has been in a drought. When we arrived here 2 weeks ago everything looked brown. Then rain hit this area and now the grasses are back to being green again but the fields of corn are gone. These corn fields look like fields in the fall of the year. Small roadside produce stands sell watermelons and tomatoes but not corn. Sweet corn in the grocery stores does not look fresh and are expensive- 3or 4 ears for $1.70.
3 hours ago