Road trip to nowhere…

If you have ever longed to come to our little town, I would love to be your tour guide.  I know there are those who are unable to travel so I will try to explain.  I may try to add pictures and a map soon. Bear with me, but I keep hearing people talking about visitors asking for directions.

First of all, our town is a Sunday drive town.  What I mean by that is when I was growing up on Sunday it was exciting to ride around.  Daddy would put gas in the car and we just looked out the windows.  I would wear comfortable clothes just like you were going on a trail walk.

Then I recommend that you roll your windows down, put your sunglasses on, kick your feet up (if you are riding shotgun) and ease your way around our backroads.  They are bumpy and narrow in the curves.  For entertainment, you can also throw your hand up casually at cars and blow your horn at people in yards.  (Lots of us in cars and yards will wave back and then guess about who you are.)  Whatever direction you come from, I suggest a circular route to take it all in.

For most, I would assume you would come in from Exit 97, West Blocton/Centreville off of I-20/59, we are located between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.  It is no secret, I love to eat.  I love our local places.  We don’t have many choices, but when I take a road trip this is what I love to know.

Immediately to your right is La Tortilla.  If you like to sit down and eat, it is your first choice of two restaurants.  I  like the dip they serve along with your chips and salsa.  I also like the Fajita Bowl.  Jeff and I split it.

Next small building is Julia’s Florist.  If they knew what was on my flower card years ago, I bet I was the talk of the town.  Or at least the talk of a few beauty shops.

Your dilemma at this point is whether to turn left into Greenpond or go straight into Woodstock.  I will take you straight.

Coming up on the right is the charred remains of Ken’s package store.  Be reverent, please remove your hat, and put your hand over your heart.  The demise  was recent and many locals are still grieving.

Fireworks and alcohol sales next door to each other-I must admit are a true classic combination.  If you are inclined to indulge in both, turn around and head back to UAB West in Bessemer, our closest emergency room.

Your next point of interest is Promiseland BBQ.  You stand and order at one window and pick up at the other.  My former boss took a BBQ road trip and said it was one of his favorites.  My last order was the Ribs, probably for some holiday.  I find it cheaper to eat out most of the time than to buy every thing I need to cook on those occasions.  At least that is what I tell myself.

Keep looking right and you will see Holiday Beach Raceway.  You may hear it, if you come on a Thursday or Saturday night.  Or it might be a good way to end the evening, if you like to watch drag strip racing.  They have great concession stand food.

At this point you could go straight towards Vance.  You would be able to see KyKenKee lumber yard on the left.  Rahsheen, Jacob, and Colby-my boys have all worked there.

If it is breakfast time, the Chevron gas station on your right makes a great egg and cheese sandwich.  I order mine with mayo,salt and pepper, cut in half please.  Jacob and I love them.

If you want to picnic, Foodland has deli choices of pre-made sandwiches.  If you like to make your own, I like their pimento cheese made with pepper jack, but that is just me.  They also have tuna, chicken, and an assortment of potato salads.  (I buy the baked potato salad.)

But I would turn left and laugh at the Little Caesar’s pizza hut.  Right off the highway behind it is Boozer Downs’ office in a little white house.  He is the attorney that John said he could talk to intelligently.

Next is the Woodstock Town Hall.  If you feel the need, stretch your legs on the walking track or snap a selfie by the Historic Marker.

Take a right out of the parking lot and cross the bridge.  Get in the turn lane and turn left.  Your immediate right is the former home of Woodstock Garden Center. My neighbor Anne said she came home one day and Mr. John B. McLemore himself was watering her azaleas.  I guess he sat on the porch at the Woodstock Garden Center and thought she had procrastinated long enough.

Next door is yours truly.  Days like today, my front door is open so I can hear the windchimes and the birds.  My coffee is on and I have my Southern Pecan creamer, my personal favorite.  Crystal and I are having a yard sale Saturday after next (June 17th).  Stop by and talk.  I will show you the door.

And across the road is Sweet Mrs. Lela.  Our street is graced by her presence and so is my yard.  She is generous with her desserts and her 4 o’clock’s.

Rotenberry Lane ends at Coldwater Road.  Take a left and before the bridge take a right at the Coldwater Lodge.  Trackside BBQ is on the left.  Jeff and Aler will feed you kindly.  Their marriage combined 2 of my favorite families.  The George’s and the Cook’s.  The Brisket is wonderful.  I also recommend the  peanut butter pie or if it is hot, try a milkshake.

At the 4 way stop is our old post office. Alongside is the Kinard’s old house, I have robbed his bushes before for Ladies Day and brought him back a dessert plate.  Mr. Albert was a town hall regular, proud Mason, and ran the North Bibb rescue squad.  He also sold many variations of Day Lilies, a hometown favorite that landscape the town hall now.

If you cross the tracks and stay straight you go into Greenpond, you can see the cemetery.  Lots of visitors recently, any donations would be greatly appreciated.  I have seen them working on it myself at visits and it is hard and hot and repetitive.

If you continue out the cemetery road, it ends at the old Green Pond library.  John’s Bellingrath Book has a library card from there inside.   There is no return date stamp, hopefully it was bought at a book sale.  Mr. Hubbard has many stories I am sure.  He is a true well spoken gentleman himself and a published author.

Take a left out of the library and you come to the 4-way stop.

If you hang a right, it goes to Tannehill State Park.  Walk alongside the Grist Mill, ride the train, or take your shoes off and wade in the bubbling springs.  They have excellent walking trails and camping or cabin rentals.  Reagen has requested a cabin rental for her last two birthdays.  Jomamie has always obliged so we stay 2 or 3 days in it for Spring Break.  We like the Nail Cabin.  If you come on the 3rd Saturday, you can visit the craft cabins and trade days.  It is a large outdoor flea market.

But, Eastern Valley Road is a pretty Sunday drive road regardless.  Our exchange student JaeYoung, always loved to watch for horse pastures.  On trade day weekends, Eastern Valley has all the yard sales your “pocketbook” can stand.  Sharman Martin lives off of the road and has written two books herself, one about Noah Galloway.

Greenpond Grocery on your left is owned by Jackie Cline.  He played football at Alabama for Bear Bryant and later for the Miami Dolphins.  If you eat in the deli, order the hamburger steak plate.  Jeff likes their ranch dressing with his fries.

If you go straight, Mrs. Judy has a great breakfast at the little store on the right.  K3 lumber is on the left and it takes you straight back to Hwy. 11, but I would go left back to Old Woodstock Road.

Turn left and you will see the South Forty sign on the fork.  John’s old driveway is where you see the gate on the left. His property is isolated and you cannot see his house from the road.

While you are here, I would continue all the way down to the end of Woodstock Road.  You will be leaving Woodstock, but I don’t think you should come down here without seeing the Cahaba.  In May, we have the lilies.  But, I love nature year round.

You can enjoy searching and/or finding the bridge graffiti or if you are up for it, I would tube at Limestone Park.  It is a local relaxing favorite.  I have not been in years, but I used to love it.  I still see pictures of people having a great time.  They load you up with an inner tube, drop you off and you float downstream.  It is our own natural lazy river.

You could spend the night at Brierfield Park.  I have camped there with my kids years ago.  They liked it because it has a pool.

I am always hungry after I swim, so I would head back through West Blocton.

Right before you come into town, take a right and walk around the Coke Ovens.

Bring your camera!  (It is a really cool picture background, I tortured Colby and Molly to pose there for prom pictures.)

This little town is our sister city and has a Main Street.  Unfortunately, the business section only exists in my memory. I would personally love to see them turned into apartments or something, but most are vacant.

The Tiger Hut is there though and I always order a butterscotch milkshake.

When I say always, I mean 30 plus years.  (Now you order from Mrs. Cindy, but I have also ordered from Mrs. Carolyn (her mom), and the previous owners.)  I remember getting them after school when I was lucky enough to have extra money.  You will not regret your purchase.

On your way back, the Tin Roof restaurant has great steaks on Friday and Saturday nights.

The salad bar is also good and the menu is a “meat and three” type.  Michelle, Carol, and Kayley always take good care of us.  (We held the town hall Christmas party there.)

These are just my suggestions.  I have no endorsements.  I just saw a few disappointed S-Town road trips and I wanted to give you a few options.

If you like nature and riding around, you will enjoy.  You also will know where and what to eat.

Hope this helps and if you get lost, don’t blame me.

Don’t laugh,

Cheryl

 

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