When a bar never, really closes…

I’m not much of a bar person but I did enjoy the City Marina. Seems that everyone knows everyone else and the regulars have been there for years. I alternated between the noise inside and the peace and quiet outside.

Around 10 PM, I called it a night and retreated to my hammock to make a few phone calls. One was to a guy that I played basketball with in high school and of course, I talked to my wife – who still wasn’t all that happy that I had continued the trip alone.

At 0445, I woke up to answer the call of nature and sure enough, I could still hear music from inside the bar. Rather than water the pine trees, I wandered into the bar and the owner, one worker and a nephew who had just gotten off of work (railroad man) were drinking beer! I did my thing and when I came out of the restroom, there was a glass of ice tea waiting on me.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

We sat around and killed time and at 0550, I got the most sober of the three to help me carry the kayak down to the water. By 0700, I had finished breakfast and was headed down river.

I think I only had about nine miles to cover and was in no particular hurry. The destination was a Corp. of Engineers’ campground called Prairie Creek and I was looking forward to staying there.

As I paddled along, I saw something making a fairly significant “V” in the water and I assumed it was a log sticking out – until it disappeared. Gator…

I’ve spent enough time on rivers to learn that unless it’s mating season or you’re threatening a nest, an alligator (and snakes for that matter) will avoid you at all costs. They’re also impossible to photograph although I did catch his wake:

One of the more famous areas on the this part of the river is a sandbar that they call “Little Miami” and of course, the other side of the river it “Ft Lauderdale”. It was so calm and peaceful that I took a break for a little Tang and to take a few photos:

After the trip, I had dinner with friends and family and the first thing my frinds asked me was if I had stopped at the City Marina and then they mentioned this spot. I guess it’s usually covered up with pontoon boats, people and barbeques during boating season!

I also set my water container down and using the timer, took a self-portrait:

Prairie Creek was a nice surprise. The hosts couldn’t have been nicer and even offered to pick me up something on their next trip to town. I took them up on their offer and requested a bag of ice and a 2-liter diet coke. When they brought it to me, they even included a cooler saying, “Just leave it on the table – we’ll get it tomorrow.”

Can’t be the hospitality of the South.

Anther picture of your guide – I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my hammock and cover. It allowed a slight breeze, kept the rain off of me and more importantly, gave me relief from the bugs:

Tomorrow – last day and arrival at Old Cahaba.

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