Horse Pens 40, AL.

By Maggie -- Jun 04, 2014

//

We're loving our time in Alabama! The countryside is absolutely beautiful, the people are warm and friendly, and the weather has been wonderful. There are a few downsides of course: bugs (endless amounts of them), lack of variety on the radio (country, christian, R&B, republican talk radio, more country), people can't understand us and we can't understand them (it's like speaking a different language!) and not as much free camping as other states we've been to. One thing we noticed is that throughout our entire drive in AL, we haven't listened to the radio once. Usually we turn something on to sing to or just keep our minds occupied, but there's so much natural beauty here, we don't need a distraction. We're soaking it all up. 

Ryan had heard from a guy he met at a bar about Horse Pens 40, which is a large camp up on top of a mountain in northern AL. It's famous for two things: Bouldering (which is rock climbing without ropes) and festivals. They host a few large music festivals and biker festivals each year that attract several thousand people. We arrived yesterday and reserved one night, unsure if we wanted to stay for longer. There's only one other group camping here with us, as this is the "dead season" (October is high season because of the lack of rain and bugs). They are avid rock climbers who have all the gear and pads needed for bouldering. I should have guessed that Ryan would come prepared with his climbing shoes - he packed them just specifically for this part of the trip! We went out with the group at night and the boys did a few climbs and drank a few beers. 

~

We're especially proud of the dinner we made last night:

Cheddar cheeseburgers topped with a peach & cilantro chimichurri

Spicy sauteed kale with mushrooms 

Grilled Anaheim pepper and tomatoes

~

Tomorrow we move on to Tupelo. Ryan did a little research and discovered that this weekend happens to be the Tupelo Elvis Festival! I am most excited about the Gospel show on Sunday:

10 am Gospel Concert and Brunch

The Landmarks

Memphis Jones

Tupelo Unity Choir

Blackwood Brothers Quartet

Victor Trevino

BancorpSouth Arena Stage

How fun does that sound? Donna will love it.