Depot Days Festival
Stevenson, Alabama

Date: Friday-Sunday, June 6-8, 2008
Location: Stevenson, Alabama
Members: Danny & Kim & Chelsea & Emily, Gary, Larry & Mimi

Activities: Day 1, Setting up Camps, Greetings, Fishing, Moving to a new Camp, Wildlife viewing, Sunset gazing
Day 2: Locales: Camp at Crow Creek, Depot Days festivities, Fort Harker, and Thunder Canyon
Day 3: Locales: Camp at Crow Creek, Farewells and exeunt

Larry and I arrived at Stevenson Park around 4:30 PM and easily found most of our fellow hikers gathered around under the big blue canopy. Kim showed up just a few minutes after us. Happy sighs were exchanged and Chelsea and Emily quickly set the pace for the weekend, donning fishing gear and strolling off to the creek to crouch among the lotus leaves.

We had a huge and beautiful site all to ourselves and primitive though it was, the slight rise in the terrain afforded us an almost sound-proof camp which was rare considering the vast number of festival-goers. The area of the park designated for RVs was unfortunately right next to the sound stage for the weekend's hoopla, so Danny and Kim decided to move to Thunder Canyon, some 12 miles distant up on top of Sand Mountain.
Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club, June 2008

Larry, Gary and I fixed our supper, and enjoyed seeing the otters nosing the lotus leaves through the rainbow-colored sunset-shaded waters of Alabama's mountain lakes region.

Lotus Plants

Sunset over Crow Creek

Gary was up first preparing biscuits in the camping oven on top of his camp stove. We met up with the RVers and drove the 2 miles to the downtown festival area. Our first stop was the cool Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum. They have a respectable collection of Confederate artifacts, printed matter, and a small gift shop.

We set off to investigate the street vendor wares and watch the parade. Although the day was a scorcher and there was little shade to be found, everyone enjoyed the parade. An impressive array of transportation made up the majority of the spectacle. Everything from horse and buggies to modern day Mercedes Benz rolled slowly along, dotted with sun-burned smiling faces flinging out candy.

Welcome Banner

Lawnmowers on Parade

Union Cannon
Fort Harker was our next stop. Initially, the number one attribute being the shady trees encircling the earthen fort. We were surprised at the "living history" inside. Three gentlemen in gunnysack britches and woolen coats of Union blue greeted us kindly. We learned some historical facts, and Gary actually ignited the cannon before we departed.

After a quick lunch and some down time we strolled over to the Bug Blast. This proved to be any number of VW engines artistically redesigned according to the particular owners' whim, all with the main objective of hauling ass.

Bug Blast Vehicles

Bug Blast Vehicle

In the late afternoon we were invited to join the Millwoods at their RV camp, Thunder Canyon. We were given a tour of the canyon by Emily, who had "discovered" it. The flat top of the mountain held pools of water which were teeming with life. We carefully climbed along the huge boulders, peering at fish and ogling the geology. It was at least 5 degrees cooler down there and I was reluctant to depart and climb back out into the sunny road. Peacefulů

Sunday morning dawned and we were greeted by a misty pall just below the line of the mountains - another lovely day was about to begin. Gary had a new twist on the biscuits this morning, with the oven atop a smoky joe laden with charcoal. My first such biscuit and quite crispy on the bottom, while warm and soft inside - delicious with blueberries, akin to a cobbler, I surmised.

While we breakfasted the Osprey flew in, hovered, dove and grabbed his breakfast. We had been serenaded by a mysterious host of frogs who sporadically voiced their concerns each evening and early morning. Mother goose and baby goslings visited us regularly but didn't approach too close. As we were about to pack up, our national bird flew by low and quick, an adult bald eagle!

Larry and I had to get home early but Gary and the others were planning to stay for at least part of the afternoon for the much anticipated, professional lawnmower racing in the afternoon.

Your guess is as good as mine
To view these and more photos (in better resolution), please see our Picasa Web Album Stevenson Depot Days, 2008.

Submitted 8 June 2008  
Text: Mimi Barkey Photos: Gary White, Mimi Barkey

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