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The Chief Ladiga Welcome April 16, 2012

Posted by marzwaggener in Alabama.

On April 6th I continued my journey down the trail. It’s called “Alabama the Beautiful” for a reason – it’s really beautiful out here. As I walked down the trail, I’d pass patches of crickets that would all start jumping, sounding like giant raindrops plopping against the grass. Bicyclists would roll by with smiles spread so wide you’d think their faces might crack. Birds are always singing, mosquitos are always ready to nibble. Walking through Alabama has brought back memories of my childhood, running around in the woods behind our house. Alabama was a great place to grow up.

(I finally saw a horse!)

I walked quite a distance to get to the Eubanks Welcome Center, which is located just before the 14 mile mark on the trail. The center was closed, but a biker who lived just off the trail checked with one of the workers earlier and said I could camp right there on the property.

My tent on the porch of the welcome center.

The next morning I took the tour of the welcome center. It’s actually an old house, filled with amazing antiques significant to the Piedmont area. Many of the volunteers who work in the welcome center can remember the history surrounding the area, the house, and the furnishings.
A volunteer demonstrates a hand-crank record player.


The welcome center also had a lot of useful information, including this blurry printout about fire ants. My younger brother and I had some bad experiences with fire ants when we first moved to Alabama, memories which returned at the sight of their huge anthills with footprints in the middle.
(Shiver of fright!)


Not far down the trail is the Solid Rock Cafe. I stopped here for lunch, found the food to be delicious and the atmosphere lovely. I highly recommend you stop here if you’re ever in the Piedmont area.
The owner has a friendly smile and warm heart.
The building was originally a general goods store that was open in 1869! The pictures on the wall on the left are from the store in 1869.
The brick that’s exposed isn’t just a fancy decoration – it’s the original brick from 1869.
The other half of the cafe – an original window was uncovered from beneath the stucco.
There’s an awesome spiral staircase in the back of the cafe.

I traveled on a short distance and camped out near a lovely stream and bridge near the Piedmont Sports Complex, where I ended up staying for two nights.



1. Your old pal Katie - April 16, 2012

Speaking of the woods behind your house in Alabama, I’m sure you remember that ‘trap’ we set and hid in – ‘Get off! Get off!’ That still makes me laugh! I’m enjoying reading about your journey. If your travels find you in Arkansas, let me know. You are always welcome to come stay a while with us. I’ll even come pick you up. 🙂

marzwaggener - April 17, 2012

Katie – I will NEVER forget that day!!! In fact, I’m in Birmingham right now, and last night I spent the night with my next door neighbor from back in those days, Anu, and her husband and adorable daughter. I’ll be sure to let you know if I go through Arkansas! Maybe we can build another underground fort, for old times sake. 😉

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