Thursday, September 03, 2009

Vacation, Days Three and Four

A double post, and why not? No one's reading this anyway.

I left Mobile yesterday, for the first time on my vacation trusting myself and my trusty metal steed to the chaos of the Interstate Commerce and National Defense Highway system. An average of 70 miles per hour practically the length of the state of Alabama, with stops in Montgomery and Birmingham.

At Montgomery I visited the National Civil Rights Memorial, notable for the starkly beautiful sculpture by Maya Lin. I took some pictures, and wasn't surprised when I had to go through a metal detector to get in.

I stopped for lunch north of Birmingham.

The further north I got the more the terrain changed to the high hills that presage the Ozarks and the butt-end of the Appalachians. The sight of granite and sandstone cheered me up a lot, because it meant I was making progress.

I even saw some wildlife - a family of whitetail deer were dining al fresco on the side of the highway. Two cute dappled fawns. The doe was obviously in the bushes, as her young looked a bit too immature to stray far from Mama.

I arrived at Decatur early, which demonstrates that I made excellent time.

The next day was a relaxing day, aside from a jaunt east to Huntsville to visit the US Space and Rocket Museum at the Marshall Space Flight Center. You can't miss the place - a full-size Saturn V rocket is an impressive signpost.

I took a bunch of pictures of the rockets and missiles in the outdoor displays, as well as the rebuilt Saturn on its side in the Davidson Center.

Now, you have to recall that the brainchild of the space program was Dr. Werner von Braun, so part of the museum is in homage to him (they even have his office on display). I had to refrain from singing aloud the following song:

I must also point out that this place is part of Redstone Arsenal, still a US Army installation and there are exhibits sponsored by the Military-Industrial Complex. I had trouble laughing at the mannequins displaying the Future Force concepts.

Still and all, a great trip so far. Another night of relaxation in Decatur and then it's westward ho! for Memphis.


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