Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I worked from home today and after I finished for the day, Jilda and I talked about dinner. We decided on some fresh vegetables. Our plan required that we go off in two different directions. She went south to Jolly Cholly's in Sumiton to pick up ears of corn, yellow crook-necked squash and fresh spinach. I drove north to Warrior to pick up a bottle of Merlot and a movie. Of course I had to get a Slim Jim for Ol' Buddy but when I started back, I decided to take the long way home. I got on the interstate and headed up to the Hayden exit a few miles away and turned back south on county road 160.
There was no particular reason, just a change of scenery. A few miles down that road I came upon a sign for Rickwood Caverns. On impulse I turned west on the Rickwood Caverns Road and drove slowly taking in the new landscape. The vegetation is similar to our community, but there are some vista's of the foothills that alone were worth the detour. I rounded a curve and it looked as if I could see forever. In the sky was a jetliner as small as a mosquito that left a vapor trail that looked like a row of cotton planted on a powder blue field.
Even thought Rickwood Caverns is less that ten miles from my house, I had never been there. It's one of the smallest state parks and is closed in winter but they're open now and I whipped in to have a look and pick up a brochure. It was beautiful. The grounds look like a well maintained golf course. There were young folks everywhere picking up, weed eating, and cleaning the pool. Everyone I passed looked up to smile and wave. I felt like a friend.
The park has picnic areas, grills, hiking trails, playgrounds and large pavilions. There is also a "miracle mile" of underground caverns. "These magnificent passages and beautifully lighted rooms are accented with thousands of sparkling limestone formations. The caverns themselves were water-formed during the Mississippian period over 260 million years ago. The photographic opportunities are exceptional in the cavern so don't forget your camera".
The park has an abundance of large limestone older than the dinosaurs.
I brought the brochures home and we are planning an outing to Rickwood to tour the caverns and walk the trails and eat a picnic lunch under the green awning of oak and pine.
Yogi Berra once said "you can observe a lot just by watching".I hope I always have the good sense to be watchful.

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