2013 Tired Butts

Terry & Georgia’s pictures

Russell & Cathy’s pictures

D Price

I love it when a plan comes together. Apparently our Tired Butts Tours have become a favorite of many in our club. But how about Ed & Roberta Grout planning their visit to see Carl & Kathy Raymond just so they could go with us again. All the way from California! Wow! May not be true, but I never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Ed & Roberta are great additions to our group – they have a Boxter and live in Cool, California. Doesn’t get any cooler than that does it?

The trip filled fast this year with all 20 rooms taken in less than a month. We had 20 cars and 40 folks. Terry & Georgia were the only new additions. Jaguar seemed the British Car of choice after MINIs ruled last year. Terry & Don Green both have XK8s, Mac in a XJ6, and Carl & Kathy in a brand new 1992 XJS. What a find – only 12,000 miles on this gorgeous XJS. The only casualty was Bob & Marion’s MGB. A sloppy inner tie rod connection had them skip the long way home.

We started out at 8:00 from Montgomery with Andy leading the Red group and Russell leading the White Group. Four cars were picked up at the Maplesville rest stop. Soon we were through T-Town before the game day traffic hit and picked up our final car north of town.. The drive through the Bankhead National Forest Forest was fun and colorful with the fall leaves. Other than Blitz doing a quick U Turn – all went well. I almost bought the back of Terry’s Jag. My fault for looking off at something, but I found my brakes do work!

Having been 25 years since I actually drove this area, the search was on for eating spots and things to do. Victoria’s in Jasper came highly recommended by their Chamber of Commerce,. The food was great and the folks very friendly. A really good spot if you are up that way. Dinner was at the Lodge and a very good prime rib buffet was on hand.

The hospitality room was again a huge hit. This has been a fantastic addition to our trips. In addition to the food and booze and laughter, the room had a special use this year. The group surprised me with a “Grassyass” card and my favorite libation. I felt honored and humbled that so many folks enjoy and appreciate my favorite thing the club does. I have loads of fun planning it and seeing it happen. Thanks again and I will share my gifts!

Saturday found us cold and again departing at 8:00. Blitz now led the reds while Russell led the whites. We wound our way north to the Meriwether Lewis Memorial and began our drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is a lovely drive. While we saw some good colorful areas, we were maybe a week late for the peak.. I must admit, after closing the hospitality room the 50 MPH limit had me nodding at the wheel.

Our next stop was lunch – at the Rattlesnake Saloon. Having kept a few secrets, I think folks were surprised to be loaded into the back of a pickup and hauled down hill! Waiting at the bottom was the Saloon. This is a restaurant / bar built into a cave. Plenty of seating with live entertainment and liquor sold after 5:00. Lunch was good, but a might slow. So if you go – and you should – be prepared to wait if they are busy.

Coon Dog Cemetery. How Alabama is this! I had never been ,but heard of this spot all my life. Quaint and special at the same time. It started back in 1937 with Troop. Only certifiable Coon Dogs are allowed. Requirements are for at least two honorable witnesses to verify the dog has indeed treed a coon or coons and acceptance by the cemetery board will get your beloved hunter interred here.

Rogersville seemed to have only one spot big enough for dinner. Stanfield’s Steak House seated us in our own private area. The food was great and service better. Another good spot for stopping. They even turned on the Bama- LSU game for us.

Sunday found us splitting up with some heading the fast way home. Those staying with the groups followed me along where I actually grew up – from 3rd grade to 18. There aren’t any historical markers to mark my trail, but it was fun for me. Remembering the friends along that road to high school, running up the mountain – every sport tried to beat the other’s time, and finally passing my sister’s house, and dropping off Gandy’s Cove for lunch at the Top Hat.. Top Hat BBQ was opened when I was 12. I remember it well. It was a treat to eat there. The specialty was fried peach pies and I couldn’t wait for one. While a few folks said this was the best food on the trip – quite a few were disappointed to find there were NO FRIED PIES!

After lunch, the group really dwindled. Just 4 cars I now call our current Road Warriors – Blitz, Andy, Russell, and myself. Following Russell, we hit the one lane tunnel RR underpass, fought the Trussville traffic lights, and wound our way to Leeds. Here was our road – the Pigtail – and Russell led us on a spirited drive to 231. I noticed they put the oldest car in the rear. Guess they didn’t want the geezer to hold them back.

It was a great trip and suggestions are on the table already for next year -Mentone, Gulf Shores, a haunted hotel in Eufaula – so who knows what may be in store. But this year was indeed a Tired Butts Tour. While every speedo seemed to have its own number of miles – I had us at 782 miles. Andy (who skipped the Trace drive) had us at over 800. So we’ll settle for about 800 miles for the entire drive. Next year we will cut down the Saturday drives for a more relaxed day. I’ll still be recuperating from this one’

Thanks again for coming and a huge thank you for the card and 4.25 liters of Jack Daniels! As I always say, this is a great group of people. See you next year!