Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WE DID THE TENNESSEE WALTZ IN ALABAMA

Scenic Alabama US Highway 24 
McFarland Park - on the Tennessee River
Florence AL
Like so many of our RV friends, we have our favorite places, favorite cities, and favorite foods at favorite places.  In many instances we go out of our way to try new experiences, sample new foods, and attend annual regional cultural events.

Scenic Drive into McFarland Park
Florence, AL
That's why every year we look forward to spending time in northwest Alabama and parts of Mississippi, not only because of the friendly and hospitable people, but we choose to have our annual RV maintenance service done on our motorhome in Red Bay, AL.

Entrance - McFarland Park
Florence, AL
Picnic Tables and Shelters located throughout
McFarland Park

Fishing Pier at McFarland Park
Tennessee River
One of our favorites is in beautiful Florence, Alabama - on the Tennessee River, across from Muscle Shoals, AL.  There's nothing better than a couple of weeks of downtime at McFarland Park and Marina after we leave Red Bay.  McFarland Park, a full service campground with 60 sites, is conveniently located to downtown shopping and restaurants, and if we have an opportunity we enjoy going to the University of North Alabama to visit with their live lion mascots, Leo and Una, in their beautiful natural habitat.

Leo and Una - Mascots
University of North Alabama
The University of Northern Alabama has been a well-respected State university since 1830.

Campus of University of North Alabama
Florence, AL
In the past we enjoyed the character of the McFarland Park teepees along the edge of the Tennessee River,  but in the last couple of years these had to be removed after several storms and hard rains made them uninhabitable....yes, people rented these fun places!  While I never had the opportunity to sleep in one, it was on my bucket list.

McFarland Park Teepees - Florence, AL
McFarland Park - Florence AL
Unfortunately, maintenance on the bridge from Muscle Shoals to Florence made it extremely difficult for us to visit the McFarland Park for over a year.

View from Muscle Shoals, AL to
Bridge over Tennessee River at Marina at
McFarland Park - Florence, AL
 Recently we enjoyed returning to McFarland Park to do what we call a "reconnaissance visit".   A short visit told us the park was still a nice place to visit and enjoy the campground facilities, and locals and travelers like ourselves still enjoy the well kept and secure natural park setting as well as beautiful sunsets on the river.   It is also commonplace to see huge barges that continue on down the Tennessee River to other river destinations.

Barge on Tennessee River - Florence, AL
We enjoy the fact that there is so much history in this area since the area was originally occupied by Native American Indians for hundreds of years, and they left historical artifacts before they were forced on The Trail Of Tears to be forcefully re-settled in Oklahoma.  Also of note is that Florence is the home of  the recognized founder of blues, W.C. Handy.

Florence is the home of the world famous FAME Recording Studios.  Such recording artists as The Tams, Joe Tex, Etta James, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Paul Anka, Jerry Reed, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Pam Tillis, Aretha Franklin, Mac Davis and Otis Redding were just a few of the famous performers and singers with FAME Publishing.





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