June 17-19, 2009

We took a quick trip with friends to Burchfield Branch Park on Holt Lake near Tuscaloosa.

Reservations can be made via www.recreation.gov
$18/night for water, electric.
Dump station across from lake parking area.
8 sites lakeside, many more tucked up the hill along a stream.
2 bathroom buildings, one bathhouse with showers and laundry.
2 playgrounds, one at bathhouse, one at swim beach
Very quiet, gated entrances to camping areas as well as the campground and swim area, full time hosts on site at main gate with regular patrols.

Would camp here again, we really enjoyed our site and our stay.


Early morning from the campsite

We loved this site, right on the lake with terraced decking right out over the water.  There was very little 'water noise' from boats, mostly everyone swam at the beach or floated in the many coves, casting and reeling in quietly.  We did watch a couple barges, that was a thrill.  The site itself was a PAIN to back into as the drive was a 45 degree angle from the road and it was downhill and around a curve into the site. The drive was very narrow and we had to navigate between the railroad tie wall and a tree at one point.  I am not sure I could have managed that one alone.
There are some pull-through sites, but none on the lake. 


The swim beach early a.m.

How I spent both mornings


Fish under the deck at the campsite, they liked bagel and sandwich bread!

The view from the camper.

On Thursday, we went in to Tuscaloosa for a few hours to see the Museum of Natural History.


The museum of natural history in Tuscaloosa

427 6th Ave
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001
(205) 348-7550

I have been wanting to go here for a while, mainly because I am a little strange and seeing the Hodges Meteorite was on my list of things I want to do.

The museum itself is in a large building, it's very open with displays around the walls on all 3 floors and nothing much in the middle other than a huge skeleton. 

Some of the displays were interesting and some were not, it was a regular museum.  I would not make a special trip just for the musuem and, having seen it once, I can't imagine a reason to go back. 

Still, I am glad to have gone and to have it marked off my list!  And their small kid section got Ben hooked on puzzles, he has accumulated several since the visit!

It happened in...Alabama

In 1992, a piece of a Mbale metorite struck a Ugandan boy after passing through the canopy of a tree.  He was unhurt, but the event dimmed the glow of the Sylacaga Meteorite event here in Alabama.

The Alabama meteorite fell November 30, 1954.  Based on data, it is assumed it came from 1685 Toro, which I find equally facinating that we can't find missing socks within a 1200 sq foot house, but a piece of rock from outer space can be traced to the parent body.

The rock fell through the roof, bounced off the radio and smacked Ann Hodges, who was having an afternoon nap on the couch at the time.  Since it was such an event, I totally would have said I was knitting hats for homeless kittens or something noble, though there is an appeal in being amazed about getting smacked by the Universe itself while minding your own business.  Wait, no-that happens all the freaking time. 


The radio!                                                  

63 feet long and swam in the oceans that would become Alabama

This is what I have decided on for my tattoo.

Gina's pic

We had lunch, picked up a couple grocery items and got back to camp in the early afternoon. 
On the way back there was a truck behind me who obviously wanted to go faster than I was able to on unfamiliar winding roads, so I pulled over.  The guy pulled over right behind me to see if we were lost or needed some help. How nice! For, you know, a tailgator.

Back at camp, it was 900 degrees.  So, we went swimming!

Gina, getting ready for her trip to Florida next week.  Without me.  *sniff*

Field across from the swim beach
June is certainly the perfect time to go here: wildflowers, cool lake, hot sun.

Gina's pic of the Holt Lake mermaid

LOVE this pic! 

Back at the camper, I dink around taking more pictures.

I call this one 'Hucklebenny Ben'

Everyone was at Cathy's to eat homemade ice cream, but Matt, Ben and I stayed on the deck at our campsite a good hour, watching the various turtles swim into the little cove we were camped in and back out.


Peek!  Ben was SO certain the turtles KNEW how much he loved them and were coming to peek at him.
We would shush him and one would pop up and he would say, "I will name you Mr. Shell!" and it would scamper.  Or he would wave or announce, "THERE'S ONE!", the whole time he was sitting on the railing, feet dangling and eyes wide.  We may have scared off every turtle in the lake one at a time, but Ben was delighted they came to see him.

Ben watching for the next turtle.

Bug on Cathy's new light


Chan, Jake, Cody
Kaitlin, Ben, Britney

Campfire over at Bobby and Gina's


I woke up early again and enjoyed a couple hours of reading and solitude before the fog burned off, leaving the sky a perfect blue and making me feel like I should be getting something accomplished.

During our group pic, Cathy decides to show us a few moves.
She IS the Dancing Queen.

On the drive home, this was the only pic I managed before my camera died.
I took it, planning to get several as for miles and miles there were similar signs all hand-painted on aluminum siding.
Kind of a God graffiti/Southern Burma Shave montage.

It was hot as blue blazes this trip, I am seriously reconsidering any further camping until September just because it was so miserable.  If we had not lucked up and gotten a full-shade site, we would have died from a heat stroke!  At the same time, I was not ready to come home and found myself wishing we had more time to stay, I really enjoyed being right on the lake. 
And of course I love having friends along!
Maybe some point I will get to camp as long as I want.