2012 Tired Butts

The Covered Bridges of Blount County and Hundred Oaks Castle

Russell’ s & Cathy’s Pictures

Mary’s Daily Pics    Day 1    Day 2    Day 3

Slide Shows at End

What a wonderful trip! I hope everyone had as good a time as I did. We had 37 folks this year as “official” butters and five more who spent time with us. The grouping of cars made a really long line and the view from my tiny fender mirrors was fantastic. The roads, the food, the stops, and especially the fellowship makes this my favorite club outing of all. So, ride along – day by day.

Day 1 – The Covered Bridges of Blount County. The group departed Montgomery at 8:00 AM picking up cars along the way until we were all together in Leeds. Just before Leeds we hit the “Pigtail”,  Alabama’s mini Dragon. White knuckles it wasn’t, but it was quick enough. Fear of deer & dogs was realized when a dog dragging a deer leg was in a curve! On to Oneonta for one of my favorite spots – Charlie B’s. Great folks who have accommodated us on several trips. A really good home cooked buffet and homemade desserts. Donnie Ray of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce met us here and welcomed our group. He had nice packets of information and maps of the area.

Off to the bridges! Horton’s Mill was closed due to repairs, so we parked and took pictures, then drove to the back side for another view. Horton’s Mill Bridge is the highest over water in the US. Back roads led us over the hills to Easley Bridge. Built in 1927 this is the oldest and shortest of the three bridges. This bridge looks a lot better than 5 years ago. The work done is really nice. Swann Bridge was next, the longest in the state and 9th longest in the country at 330 feet, Swann makes for some great pictures. Pictures were made of all the cars driving through the bridges.

We could not have been treated better at the Best Western in Guntersville. Check-in was fast and friendly. Thanks to Shonda Wall who came in on her off day to greet us. They even threw in an extra room as a hospitality spot.

Crawmama’s for dinner. What a hoot! Asphalt floors could be a hint this was once a parking lot. Charlotte & Catherine Webb provide a great local “seaside” hangout. Hav- ing been here 25 years is an indication of how well the locals enjoy Crawmama’s. I loved the chicken house window covers. Food was great and live entertainment was a plus. I highly recommend this place if you are in

 The hospitality room was obviously a huge hit – judging by how late us old timers hung out and the uhhh empty bottles! But a good time was had by all and I laughed so much my jaws ached the next day.

Day 2 – Hundred Oaks Castle and Suwannee‘s University of the South.

Another 8:00 AM liftoff and soon our caravan was crossing some neat off the beaten path areas. We reached Hwy 65. Not the interstate mind you, this 65 winds along the Paint Rock River valley and into Tennessee. As we wound northward, the road got narrower and narrower and curvier and curvier. Taking it briskly was a challenge I couldn’t handle. So as others pushed me along, we all laughed at a 55 mph sign in a spot where 30 had us puckered in our seats! It was a fun and beautiful drive as the leaves had finally started being colorful.

December 2012 4 Vol. 21 No. 12
P.K. and Shirley Bramlett, through the Kent Bramlett Foundation, have undertaken a monumental task – preserving and restoring Hundred Oaks Castle in Winchester Tennessee. They were wonderful hosts. A catered lunch awaited us. Imag- ine eating on fine china in an old castle. Diners had a choice – inside or outside and our group split in two. PK serenaded us with the Elvis version of Dixie and Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. A guided tour was next as PK and Shirley led us through the various rooms describing the artwork, collections, and gifts from all over the world from people supporting their cause. Dessert was served outside and was from a 100 year old recipe – from Prattville! Time to relax, talk a bit, climb the tower, and just soak the place in. We wish them much successas they restore the castle – much of it lost in a 1990 fire – to its former glory.

Suwannee Tennessee. Well, lets just say the MGA was struggling just a bitwhen we hit Monteagle Mountain. 2nd gear, 4500 rpm, and Kay saying I’m going to blow her up! We made it and soon our caravan wound through to a most beautiful overlook over the valley below. There is a huge cross there and we gathered for a group shot. The cathedral was next. The beauty and detail is truly amazing..

The trip down Monteagle was faster – but with 53 year old drum brakes – I again slowed our group down a bit. Back to Winchester and down 75 into Scottsboro. Here we hit the worst hill of all as the A slowed to 20 mph and was really struggling to get up this hill. Told Kay if we got any slower
we’d U-turn and try again! Dinner was at the State Park Lodge and was great this year. Many thanks to Blitz and Amanda for picking up my tab!. Hmm, the hospitality room numbers dropped a bit! Maybe one night is all we can handle these days.

Day 3 – The Trip Home
A drizzly morning and threats of rain cancelled our High Falls visit. Instead we headed for Mt Cheaha, lunch, and a run
through the twisties. But wait -we have a wounded British Car. Blitz’s recently put together Spitfire had developed a gas leak. The tank was leaking – into the trunk – and the fumes were get- ting to Blitz & Amanda. A rusty spot had given way and a steady drip was found. Luckily we were still near Albertville and ran into town.

Repair kits were available, but more possible rust outs were detected and Blitz made the decision to run home on two 5 gallon plastic gas cans. With the electric pump conveniently mounted high in his trunk, it worked just fine. I did opt for a more direct route home, bypassing the twisties this year. Blitz offered a bet on whether he would
make it on one can. We should have taken him up on it. He rolled to a stop just before the Montgomery county line. A quick switch to the “auxiliary – auxiliary tank” and home was safely reached.

Again, I hope you all enjoyed this ride as much as Kay & I. It was nice to meet Carl & Kathy’s friends from California, seeing Uncle Joe again, and Bob’s friends at Suwannee. The more the merrier.