After two weeks in Red Bay, we finished our maintenance at Bay Diesel and Precision RV and repairs at Tiffin. It took about a week for Tiffin to find a leak that has been plaguing us for more than a year. We are hoping to leave that issue behind.
While in Red Bay we visited Natural Bridge Park in addition to Florence, one of our favorite towns in “The Shoals”. Florence is known for its homes overlooking the Tennessee River, as well as for its artistic charm, musical influence and Native American history. We rode and enjoyed Mussel Shoals Reservation Bicycle Trail again.
Natural Bridge Park
Last year we took a day trip from Red Bay to visit Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens and wanted to spend more time in the area. We journeyed east stopping at Monte Sano State Park where we spent 7-days enjoying the area.
In Spanish, Monte Sano means “Mountain of Health.” In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for “the season” to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs. The park’s 2,140 acres were purchased in the early 1930s, and between 1935 and 1940 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built 11 rustic cabins, an amphitheater, and a lodge using the natural stone on the mountain. The lodge burned in 1948 and was not rebuilt until 2002.
Founded in 1805, Huntsville recently named “The Best Place to Live” by US News & World
Report, initially grew because of its cotton and railroad industries, but today it is best known for its Space Command and aerospace industries. It was here that scientists designed and tested the Saturn V rocket that would send men to the moon for the first time.
We walked the North Alabama Japanese Garden started in 1988 by Mr. Robert Black, as just a hobby garden and something to enjoy doing with his children. This was an area in Monte Sano State Park not traveled by many because it wasn’t developed before the Japanese Garden was established. The Tea House was build in 1991 to add Japanese character. The first annual Japanese Spring Festival was held in 1992. The garden is full of Japanese Maples and native azaleas. And there is frisbee golf surrounding the garden.
North Alabama Japanese Garden
We enjoyed the Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens again. The garden is a beautiful place to relax and get away from the hustle & bussel of daily activities.
Huntsville Botanical Gardens
We toured the largest space museum in the world: the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Not only is America’s space program on exhibit in Huntsville, it was forged here. It is known as the “Rocket City” because Huntsville is where rockets were developed that put men on the moon and about NASA’s current plans (and Huntsville’s role in it) to travel to Mars with the world’s most powerful rocket – the Space Launch System (SLS). We walked through a life-sized replica of the International Space Station and rode a virtual liftoff of a space shuttle into orbit. The Center’s grounds have many rockets and military equipment displayed.
U.S. Space & rocket Center
We stoped by Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment, the largest, privately-owned arts facility in the South. With a focus on visual arts, this historic factory building has been redeveloped into more than 150 working studios for over 200 artists, makers and independent businesses, 7 art galleries, a multi-use theatre, 4 performance venues, restaurants, a foundry, a chocolate shop, and a community garden. The open door policy allows the public to visit artists and makers during the different stages of their creative process.
One evening we visited the Wernher von Braun Planetarium within the state park. VBAS, von Braun Astronomical Society, was originally founded in 1954 as the Rocket City Astronomical Association, thanks to the efforts of a group of high school students interested in Astronomy lead by Sam Pruitt, along with the help and influence of Wernher von Braun. By 1956, the organization had grown to include several members of the Von Braun Missile Team and they completed the observatory. The facilities today include a second observatory, astronomical library, solar telescope, and planetarium.
We participated in the Huntsville Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt. Their website states, “Want a super fun and totally unique way to explore downtown Huntsville? Take part in the Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt and see a side of the Rocket City you can’t see any other way! The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau has cleverly hidden 14 ducks around downtown Huntsville, and it’s up to you to find them all. And while you’re
looking, you can experience the sights and history that the heart of our city has to offer. Perceptive players who find all
14 ducks can stop by the Visitor Center and get a special prize.” We one the prize! Actually the lady at the visitor center gave us the prize when we stopped by to inquire about the hunt.
We did our usual shopping at Trader Joe’s. We do this whenever we have the luxury of finding one in the areas we travel.
Next we travel further east to Bald Ridge Creek in Cumming, GA.
Upcoming Trip Schedule
Wed, May 30, 2022
Heritage RV Park
Enjoy your visit to Augusta, GA from the comfort of your own RV. Heritage RV Park has been proudly catering to Masters patrons for over 10 years. We are located just 8 miles away from the tournament.
Miles from last stop: 179
Thu, May 26, 2022
James Island County Park
Enjoy the natural beauty of James Island County Park, with year-round fun for the entire family. Just a short drive from downtown Charleston, the 643-acre park offers an abundance of exceptional recreation offerings and natural beauty.
Miles from last stop: 192