Category Archives: Alabama

2019 Year in Review: Mobile Bay – West 2019 Ep. 2

January 4, 2019
Driving to the West 2019 – Mobile Bay: Dauphin Island, Bayou La Batre, and USS Alabama

In today’s video we visit the Mobile Bay area. This is the second installment of my 2019 trip to the west.


I decided to stay at the Escapees Rainbow Plantation, which is located in Summerdale, near Fairhope, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. It is priced right at $23 for members which ends up being about $25 after taxes.


Here’s a link to the video.

Driving to the West 2019 – Mobile Bay: Dauphin Island, Bayou La Batre, and USS Alabama – click image for video
Mobile Bay Ferry

After missing the Mobile Bay Ferry the last time I was here, this time I decided to do proper research. The ferry costs $15 for passenger vehicles, and in the winter time runs every 90 minutes. The schedule and more information are available at the website.

Dauphin Island

On the other side of the bay we encounter Fort Gaines and Dauphin Island.  Here I had an early lunch at the Sunset Grill. I had a very substantial and tasty shrimp po’boy. It is a lovely beach town that I hope to visit some day again, in the summer preferably. From here I decided to go a little further north. I stopped briefly by Bayou La Batre, filming location where one Forrest Gump became a shrimp boat captain. Time was passing me by rather quickly, so I decided to make a beeline for Mobile and visit Battleship Park.

USS Alabama

The pièce de résistance here was the USS Alabama. The World War II legendary battleship is nowadays a museum. It is exquisitely presented with sound effects, props, somewhat creepy mannequins, and lots of historic information. This self guided tour is a must if you are in the area. I think I would recommend it even if you are not into this sort of thing. The park also features the USS Drum, a submarine, also from the World War II era, also not to be missed. There is an aircraft pavilion and several planes, tanks, and other exhibits on display outdoors.

This is when time ran out, and I decided to drive through the heart of town as day turned in night.


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Rock City: I Can See Seven States… Maybe

On this week’s video we visit a famous roadside attraction near Chattanooga, Tennessee called Rock City. Rock city is located on the Georgia side of the border, on top of the Lookout Mountain Ridge.

Rock City Thumb 2

Rock City became a tourist attraction back in the early 1930s, at the site of a community called Fairyland, founded by one Garnet Carter and his wife Frieda. These rock formations happened to be inside the Fairyland community, and it was Frieda’s idea to develop this part of the property into a great rock garden, with all kinds of plants, trails around the rocks, and statues of gnomes and other fairytale characters imported from Germany. They claim that you can see seven states from the top of the mountain: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. While on a clear day you can see the Smoky Mountains, that’s still the Tennessee side. I don’t have hard evidence of this but I have read that Kentucky, Virginia, and South Carolina are below the horizon, so the only way you could see them is if the Earth was flat.

In Rock City we also enjoy the music of Matt Downer – Old Time Traveler, an Alabama native and Chattanooga resident. He plays the fiddle, the banjo, and the guitar, and he has dedicated his career to the preservation of traditional music. He has studied the repertoire and techniques of many of the elder Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia musicians, so he is the real deal. What a treat it is to listen to his music.

As we continue towards Nashville  we run into some trouble climbing the Cumberland Plateau , also known Monteagle Mountain. The car started overheating on the long 5% grade. While technically not a mountain, Monteagle got it’s popular culture name due to a Johnny Cash song describing this treacherous portion of the road.

Without further preamble, here’s the video.

Great American Road Trip 2016 Part 2 – Rock City: I Can See Seven States… Maybe