Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cheaha State Park and through the woods

The kids and I made the most of the good day we had Sunday in the schizophrenic Alabama winter with a drive to Cheaha State Park to see and play, including a drive through the woods on a road that really wasn't.
It had been a while since we got to see the park, and the drive through what passes for mountains around here was quite the treat with its many curves, twists and turns. It seemed that in traveling by car we were in the minority, as we passed gaggles of middle age folk wearing overpriced leather outfits and riding motorcycles that cost more than my car were more or less continuous.
Once to the park we checked out Bald Rock overlook, took in the view and stomped around in the woods some. Given the gorgeous weather it was a nice surprise that the place was not crowded with others taking the place in.
Then it was past another flock of weekend bikers back down Talladega Scenic Drive into Clay County toward Talladega Creek,which I know for its accessible beauty in the middle of more or less wild country. I found that part of the scenic drive had fallen into quite the state of disrepair and too late saw that it really was no place to be driving my Honda Civic! But I pressed on, past mudholes and craggy rocks that had to eased over with hopes none reached up and broke something...luckily none did.
I talked with the kids as we crept down the 'road', and for the first time shared with them where my heart is at about why our family won't be back together as they, and at one point I, had hoped. It was past time for that to be said, and the fact that at any point the car could have been disabled and us stranded in the National Forest seemed somehow appropriate. I did not mind the car getting scratched up by limbs and branches and muddier than it has ever been, I just concentrated on the speaking my heart to them and navigating us through the woods where I had not really planned on being. Again, the ride and the talk shared eerie parallels.
Then it was back to play time as we acted silly and threw sticks and rocks into the creek, took more pictures and watched the sun go down before heading back west to Pell City and their mama's house.
When it gets to be predictably warmer weather at night I am going to have to take us camping out there. There's just something about the kind of quiet the woods has.