November 10, 2022, Birmingham AL. Well, all the good things I said or thought about Alabama roads were thrown out the window today. US 11 out of Tuscaloosa was OK for about 3 miles, and then reverted to little to no shoulder. Add in the high speed traffic and tractor trailers, particularly logging trucks, and you have the makings for the worst 25 miles on this trip so far. OK, maybe not the worst, but definitely tied with KY 8, and that wasn’t as long. Overall, the drivers weren’t bad and waited or gave me room (‘cept for one, but I escaped that unscathed. Thank goodness for the rearview mirror).

At 25 miles, I got off onto parallel Eastern Valley Rd which was much less traffic, but still an occasional trailer. For some unbeknownst to me reason, google routed me back to US 11 and it was as bad as the first 25 miles. I got off at the first opportunity to get back onto Eastern Valley, but it wasn’t the same as it was earlier. More trucks and they were going to a lumber processing facility. Raw logs and un-planed wood shipments going in, and raw logs and wood chips and empty log carriers and trailers full of wood chips (I didn’t like them either, but they smelled really, really good!). My C+ rating for Alabama was downgraded to a C-, and Mississippi still gets a D. Two places I don’t need to go back to, but probably will when Dana logs these states.

So why didn’t I take an alternate route? Basically, there weren’t any that weren’t a lot longer and no guarantee that the truck traffic was any better.

I got into Birmingham and checked in at Amtrak (more on that tomorrow!) and headed to the nearest bar, which happened to be Carrigan’s Public House. Irish bar, as you might expect, but in name only. I had a very good Amber Ale and a kale salad with grilled shrimp. That was the whole of my experience in Birmingham as both the Weather Channel and Accuweather were calling for rain to start in 15 minutes, seemingly for about two hours of dry streets. Also, I was dead tired from the 62.5 mile ride that followed yesterday’s 92 miler.

No pictures today as the only thing I saw of interest was a Family Dollar sharing a storefront with a Dollar Tree (the front door was split with the left door to FD and the right to DT) AND, a Dollar General right across the street. Dollar store heaven for those so inclined.