Sunday, September 8, 2013

CHARMED BY A RATTLESNAKE


We have a suggestion for an adventurous evening of entertainment if you are visiting in the Red Bay, AL area and want to get away from the busy city.  Recently, a group of eight of us made our way to Colbert County, AL, in the Tuscumbia area on Highway 247 (turn left at Swamp John's), and continue past the sign directing you to the Coon Dog Cemetery.
Highway 247 North - Alabama

Highway 247 North - Alabama

Turn here to go to the Coon Dog Cemetery
  In a few miles you will see an arrow that directs you to the Rattlesnake Saloon and Seven Springs Lodge.  Just when you think "How in the world am I ever going to find my way back home?".... you arrive.  Are you ready for a unique evening?
Is that a snake on that sign?

Lots of old scenery to enjoy!
Entrance to Rattlesnake Saloon/Seven Springs Lodge

Upon arriving in their large grassy parking lot, we were ushered aboard the "Saloon Taxi", a 2.5 ton Ford diesel 4x4 pickup truck equipped with benches.  While I doubt the front tires were touching the ground after we boarded, we were on our way in a genuine redneck taxi to have dinner at the Rattlesnake Saloon.
Seven Springs/Rattlesnake Saloon Taxi

Ford 2.5 ton, 4x4, diesel redneck taxi to Rattlesnake Saloon
On the way to the entrance to the Saloon, before we started our descent down in a valley in the taxi,  we passed the Seven Springs Lodge.  The Seven Springs Lodge is an actual lodge where visitors can spend the night in renovated grain silos.  Yes sir, renovated grain silos.  

There are very specific instructions as we enter the road that carries us to our destination:

Entrance road to Rattlesnake Saloon

In case you need a reminder!
  As we wind down a dark and narrow trail the air becomes noticeably cooler and shortly we arrive at a genuine North American Indian bluff where the Rattlesnake Saloon sits under a very large natural opening in a mountain.  Now we've seen it all.
Did we really go down this road in a truck filled with people?

Final destination - Rattlesnake Saloon
  As you disembark the truck (er taxi), and try to take it all in (with your jaw dropping somewhere around your feet), the vastness of the area and what you are seeing for the first time is quite a surprise.  A cave, a building under the cave (restaurant) and the natural beauty of it all.  There are 3 places you may sit - under the rock (please don't let there be an earthquake while we're here), inside the restaurant, or on the very large sun deck.
Outside view - Rattlesnake Saloon

Restaurant seating inside 

Sun Deck Seating

Sun Deck Seating

Wood carving at entrance to restaurant

Interior of Rattlesnake Saloon Restaurant

Rattlesnake skins are everywhere!

Rattlesnake about to catch up with a rabbit!

  A country band begins to play and the big decision is whether you can take the sound ricocheting off the sides of the cave at a loud volume, or do we go inside where it may be quieter.  We opt to sit outside - we don't want to miss a thing!  A waitress in cowgirl boots takes our order off a menu - appetizers, sandwiches, or salads. You don't come here for the food but for the experience. 
Country band entertainment in the cave

Dance floor of Rattlesnake Saloon
 The fellow on the right in this picture danced the entire time we were at the Rattlesnake Saloon, which may be the reason he stays so thin.  His dancing style was somewhere between a mountain clog and a cotton-eyed joe, in fast motion - most unusual dancing style we've seen in a long time! You won't see these moves on Dancing With The Stars.

It was dark when we left the restaurant and because of all the tree coverage we couldn't see a thing, and maybe we didn't want to.  If it were during the day we may have walked back to our cars, but not in the darkness.  Returning in the opposite direction there were even more people on the back of our truck.  Now we know the back tires are the only ones touching the ground, and then we notice the cab of the truck is filled with people as well, so maybe we're o.k.  We stop one more time where the driver allows several people to disembark at the gift shop and the Seven Springs Lodge, and then we continue on to our cars in the parking lot.
In case you're interested, this is on the back of the taxi window
  This was a fun evening with friends and we would definitely do it all over again.  Maybe next time our surprised looks won't  be as evident.   If any of you are interested, they also have a campground with about 12 full hookup sites adjacent to the parking lot.  A little tight, but they are most reasonable.   
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