December 7, 2018
Tannehill is a state park and campground that's nicely kept and conveniently located off of Interstate 65 near Birmingham, Alabama. We're here in December and, typical of winter weather in the south, it's been chilly and rainy during our stay.
The park offers hiking trails, a fine place for bicycling, showers and laundry facilities along with partial and full-hookup sites.
I've mixed emotions regarding the historical aspect of this park. I've found too much obfuscation in Alabama over time regarding the Civil War. This is the site of an Iron Works, one of many located around the south. It was used during the Civil War and closed down by the Union army towards the end of the war. The drive in to the campground is on Confederate Way.
There are no discussions of the evils of slavery and how the war was fought over retaining slave labor. While there's mention of a place where slaves were kept along a trail near the Iron Works, there are no signs along the trail to designate where they were kept or any explanations. This is typical of the way lying by omission happens in Alabama revisionist's history regarding the Civil War. In my opinion, if history about the Civil War is what interests you, a trip to Montgomery, Alabama and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the associated museum are a must.
December 4, 2018
I'm working today from the library in Homewood, Alabama. We're in our last month of Melanie's tenure at her law firm where's she worked for nearly 30 years. It's Melanie's 53rd birthday today. 😘
Playing a bit of catch up here as I prepare to publish our website. While we've parked the MPV (Missing Persons Van) various places, (friends' and family's houses and businesses) over the last month or so, we've also stayed in a few campgrounds we liked.
When we returned from Saint Louis with our van, we landed in the driveway of our good friends, the Andersons. We've stayed with them off and on a few times now and it's been great to be in close proximity to them and their very generous hearts.
But after a few initial days of moochdocking (Moochdocking is also referred to as driveway surfing. Moochdocking is generally known as camping on a driveway of a friend or family member) with the Andersons, we moved to Burchfield Branch Park in Adger, Alabama.
As with most COE parks about which I've read reviews, this park is nicely maintained. All the pads are concrete and the majority are level, and all of the sites are nicely cleaned after each use. I attribute some of the cleanliness to locals who use and appreciate having such a nice facility. They leave their sites clean.
All sites have water and electricity. There's a dump station on site with easy pull through access.
The park is relatively large and nice for walking or riding a bicycle. There's a boat ramp for those who come to fish and numerous places to wet a hook from the shore. There's a beach for swimming in warmer weather.
The bathhouse is relatively new and clean with flush toilets. Showers have adequate water pressure and the water is hot enough for a great shower. There are at least two additional locations on the grounds with flush toilets.
There's no cell service and no wi-fi. I could pick up between 3 and 5 television stations we did not watch. While we have a satellite dish, we've opted to forgo getting a service for now, so don't know about reception. A few of the river sites may provide enough exposure for satellite reception, but the other sites off of the river are heavily wooded and shaded and probably won't.
The campground is located a ways off of Interstate 20-59 and about an hour's drive from Birmingham, Alabama. The road is good and the drive to the campground is a bit winding, but not difficult. The campground is pretty isolated, so get all your provisions before you travel to the campground.
Next up, Isaac Creek Campground near Franklin, AL. We stayed here on our way to Mobile, Alabama where Melanie conducted a collaborative training for area lawyers. Here are the notes I made:
Isolated campground on the beautiful Alabama River. Check
Greeting party of six deer. Check
Easy access dump station. Check
Level concrete pad, nice picnic table, grill, fire pit. Check
Clean campsite with garbage can for each site. Check
Nice evening walk around the campground along the river and through the woods. Check
Nice place to ride a bicycle. Check
Local boys making a bit of noise repairing an RV. Check
Quiet, really quiet. Check
Corp of Engineers really has it going on. Check
Some Verizon service. Check
A few over the air TV channels. Check
Returning home from Mobile, we stayed at Prairie Creek Campground, Lowndesboro, Alabama.
The entrance to this park is worth the price of admission. Pastoral and seasonal hay rounds in a freshly mown field. The person who greeted us allowed us to check in 30 minutes early without hesitation which was nice because it allowed for us to take a nice bicycle ride around the campground and then down the road to the lock and dam.
Our site on the water was level and clean. While the the past few COE sites at which we've stayed were cement, our site here was finely packed composite material. I should mention that site 16 next to ours has a dock which, to my thinking, makes it a bit more desirable. Wish I'd known.
While there were a number of units in the campground, it was quiet in the evenings save for the a few local birds making a bit of racket on ocassion.
We had a full hook up site. The bathhouse near us was more than adequate, the water hot and the facility clean.
There seemed to be a number of campers with an intention to fish. Without belaboring the obvious, the campground located on a nice body of water, if fishing is your thing, this must be the place. There's even a nice screened-in out building to clean your catch located on site.
We're still relatively new to the RV campground genre, and though I'm a longstanding backpacker, I feel I'm making all my observations with relatively new eyes. But it seems to me, after a few stays at three different campgrounds, the COE has an eye for this type of camping. This one, no different.
Last on the list is Hoover RV Park. Basically, this park is a parking lot for RV's. All sites are full hook ups, the wifi is strong and can be easily used to stream video. And it's convenient to many places in Birmingham, Alabama. But. It's a parking lot. We stayed during a cold snap and were comfortable, but I'm guessing during the summer..., it will feel like an asphalt parking lot.
Steven and Melanie