Alabama Two Lane Roads

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 272016

The other day I was going to the post office in Tuscaloosa to mail off some orders and was stopped at a traffic light when a man in the vehicle behind me got out and walked up to my window and said, “Hello Nick.” It was longtime reader and friend Jack Allen. He and his wife Nell Dahl were staying at another nearby RV park. Once the light changed we pulled over into a parking lot and had a quick visit. It’s always nice to run into friends everywhere we go.

In spite of the cold weather, rain, and even snow, we really enjoyed our week in Tuscaloosa hanging out with my son Travis and his wife Geli. For much of Travis’ childhood I was a single father, and while I wasn’t the best parent in the world, I think he’s come to realize that I always tried, and we have a special bond. We’re looking forward to getting back up there to see them again when it warms up a bit.

We left Tuscaloosa yesterday morning about 10 o’clock, drove west on Interstate 59 for 36 miles, and then took US Highway 43 south, passing through rolling hill country and several small towns, including Demopolis, Thomasville, and Jackson. It rained while we were on the interstate, but stopped just as we got off and onto the two lane highway.

Whenever we can, these are the kind of roads we love to travel on. You can be on Interstate 75 in Ohio, or I-40 in Arkansas, or I-80 across Nebraska and they’re all pretty much the same. The same truck stops, the same generic eateries; it gets boring.

But on the secondary roads you really get to see America. All day long we passed houses with sofas on their front porches, and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings in the small towns we drove through. At one point we passed a field with several sculptures and it reminded us of the Enchanted Highway up in North Dakota.

Sculptures small

Sculptures 2 small

For the first 90 miles, US Highway 43 was a good two lane road. There were a few rough patches, but they never lasted more than a mile or two and weren’t that bad.

US 43 south small

When we got to Thomasville the road turned into a divided four-lane. Eventually we connected with Interstate 65, but rather than take it on into Mobile we turned east and followed it 15 miles to State Highway 59, another good two lane road that we took south all the way to Summerdale.

US 43 four lane small

But before we got to that point, Interstate 65 had a nasty little surprise for me. Well, actually a big surprise. A very high bridge we had to cross. And you know how I feel about bridges! It wasn’t enough that it was high, it also had a curve way up there in the air. Yes, there was some sniveling done, along with a good deal of whining. But Miss Terry talked me across.

High bridge small

It only took an hour and a half, or a lifetime, or maybe it was just five minutes or so before we were on the downhill slope. I’m not sure because I think I kept my eyes closed most of the way across and a death grip on the steering wheel.

Downhill small

Right after the big one there were a couple of smaller bridges we had to cross, and just for fun, the state highway department threw in a construction zone.

I65 road construction small

Once we got to Summerdale and turned onto County Road 28, we had to get off of it and take a detour through the countryside. We made it to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation co-op about 3 PM. As we always do at an Escapees campground, we got a warm welcome. This is one of our favorite Escapees parks, with roomy RV sites, a nice activity center, a swimming pool, and lots of friendly people.

Summerdale SKP park small

I had reserved a 50 amp full hookup RV site, but the place is really crowded and the only one they had was under trees where our rooftop satellite TV dish would not work. Fortunately, there was a 30 amp full hookup site that would give us a clear shot at the sky, so we chose that instead.

Winnie at Summerdale small

The weather is comfortable so we probably won’t need a heater, and we definitely won’t need any air-conditioning. Of course, I brought my personal rain cloud with me and about 7 PM it started to rain and kept it up all night long, with some thunder thrown in for dramatic effect.

We’ll be here a week, then it’s on to Florida, where the folks in Miami are awaiting my arrival and preparing for a blizzard.

Thought For The Day There never was a good war, or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  10 Responses to “Alabama Two Lane Roads”

  1. See, if you had taken any of the three routes I suggested, you would have never seen that bridge. Or any bridge.

    But NOOOO. You had to take YOUR route, I think just so you would have something to whine and snivel about.

    And then you complain that I don’t give you recommendations like I should.

  2. I am a North Alabama resident living off of route 43. I too love the two lane roads you never know what you will find on a porch or for sale. I think growing up in a big city (Prov. RI) and through life’s journey moving to a small town you see things that you would not expect to see. To me it is new, to those who have not lived elsewhere, it is the norm.

  3. When going to/from Tuscaloosa to/from Clearwater, FL we disregard the GPS and Google suggestion to take the interstate to Atlanta and down i-75. We prefer the two lane highway to Montgomery and then divided highway to Dothan then I-10 to I-75. It is shorter and more scenic and we miss all of the traffic around Atlanta. No high bridges on that route either. LOL

  4. Ahhhh we love those two lane roads. So much more scenic, and also safer for us when towing our toad. Most toads are not made to be towed over 55mph (manufacturer’s recommendation in their manuals) … We push it up to 59-60, but that is about our limit. Much nicer to amble along and enjoy the country. Yes, even the couches on the front porches! LOL . I would rather meander and take our time, than rush across the country seeing billboards and chain stores.

  5. Ahh, ducked a bullet. Was worried you might come into GA. Wishing you good times in FL.

  6. Love this! The pictures of the property with the sculptures was on “American Pickers’ not too long ago. The back roads and Main Streets are what American is about.

  7. Nick BLIZZARDS for sale. Tired of waking up in the morning and not having snow to shovel. Call Nick, he will be there quick and if you have to ask how much, you probably can’t afford it. I’m sorry Nick this probably won’t work because DQ would sue you for using the BLIZZARD. I was just trying to help you make a little spending money on the road. It sounds like you are heading for some warmer weather and I bet you are looking forward to that. Safe travels.

  8. Back in AZ we are enjoying our 21st consecutive day of sunshine.


    Bob 🙂

  9. Mobilian’s refer to that “high” bridge as the Dolly Parton bridge. No explanation needed.

  10. I LOVE reading your commentary about bridges. I too, am deathly afraid of them. I am 64 and still occasionally have nightmares about them! I also get the biggest chuckle when you talk about your “raincloud”! I certainly hope to run into you and your wife someday on our travels.? I sincerely love reading your posts…thanks!

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