Pilgrimage Redux – Red Bay
We had no idea what to expect when we went to Red Bay (named for its abundance of red clay and bay trees). We did not know the town was so small, signage was not very helpful, and we would have to stay 25 days to get our work done. There was approximately 200 other coaches there getting work done and there are no appointments. Your repairs get assessed fairly soon after you arrive and you get in various lines depending on needs.
There were two grocery stores where we could find most foodstuffs, but no good cuts of meat. And, it was a dry county.
The people were all delightful, but it was a long 25 days. We found a number of ways to entertain ourselves. My son, Todd, had loaned us a series of CDs, “The Best of Ed Sullivan” that were great fun to watch. There is also a wonderful Red Bay Museum in town where we spent several hours one day learning the history of the town and how all the town names fit together. For example, the Tiffins have been in that town for many many years.
Paul was with us for the first three days then left for Atlanta. Before he left we toured the Tiffin factory to see how the RVs are made. We saw each stage of the construction as they turn out about 12 new vehicles each day.
We also visited one of the local highlights, the Coon Dog Cemetery, advertised “as the only one of its kind in the world,” where only Coon Hounds are allowed to be buried. Troop, the first dog, was laid to rest on September 4, 1937; since then, there have been another 180.
To find a liquor store, we drove to Tupelo, MS, which was only a short drive away. While there, we saw the home where Elvis grew up and visited the hardware store where his mother bought him his first guitar for $7.50. We were impressed with Tupelo, nice small town.
There are a number of cotton fields in the Red Bay area, some had not been picked when we arrived which made for good pictures. It was interesting to see cotton laying alongside the roads which at first glance we thought was litter.
When we were finally able to leave Red Bay, we headed south to Hoover thinking we would spend the night and move on. Hoover is a suburb of Birmingham and is quite lovely. We were delighted to find all the amenities we had been missing so we stayed a couple of days to enjoy. We stayed at an RV park that is part of the Hoover High School complex!! The stadium is also used for the SEC Baseball Tournament each year, and is amazing.
Our next stop, in Sterling Lake, was only for one night, but in the morning as we were preparing the coach for take-off, two bald eagles flew over us for a while; pretty exciting stuff.