The Journey to Florida and now back to home, day 21. ~ By Tom ~
Hello everyone. January 6th, Friday and day 21 of our journey back home from Tallahassee, FL. We woke this date to a slight dusting of snow and the skies suggested a lot more to come. Thank goodness for Wi-Fi at the campground allowing us to check out some area weather reports. We were glad we did because they all were saying pretty much the same thing and that was a winter storm warning was in place all around us and directly ahead where we were going. The more we began talking about it the more we realized we were ready to be home. We knew however we wanted to visit Desoto Falls, a 107-foot waterfall well known as one of the tallest and most visited in Alabama named for Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto.
After grabbing some breakfast and a shower we unplugged and headed for the park office to check out. We had such a nice conversation with Dennis the park ranger about the park and his years of experience while there. When we shared with him our plans he cautioned us about the storm warnings in place all around us. Audrey and I looked at each other smiling and let him know if it got bad we would return.
We thought the map Dennis gave us would lead us right to the falls but once on the twisty turning pathways they call roads in Alabama we were lost for sure. As we sat at an intersection looking at the map hoping for some divine clarity to the squiggly lines on it a man drove past in a truck giving a friendly wave. It was like a scene right out of the movie “Cast Away” where Tom Hanks was standing outside his truck at a cross roads looking at his map confused and the woman stopped to help. Well that’s what happened here. As I looked in my side view mirror the man was backing up toward us. I got out and his first words were “howdy, you look lost”. Thank God for kind people. We started laughing and affirmed his observations. He stared at the map twisting it this way and that way then handed it back asking, “where do you want to go”. I guess he realized the map was useless too. So, after explaining our hopes of finding DeSoto Falls he gave us great directions involving 3 lefts a right and 2 rights or was that 3 rights and 4 lefts. At any rate we thanked him and I figured Audrey remembered what he said and she thought I remembered. Come to find out we were both confused and headed off again trying to piece together what he had said. Now I may be a guy and reluctant to ask directions but I knew we were lost and needed help. That’s when we noticed a guy unloading some supplies and I knew it was time to ask for more directions. This guy looked like he knew what he was talking about because he had a pencil behind his ear, lol. Come to find out he sure did know and before we knew we were at Desoto Falls.
The falls were everything the literature described and more. After hanging out here for a while the snowflakes began getting bigger and bigger and we knew it was time to move on. We both stared out the window as we drove away and even though nothing was said, later it was revealed both our thoughts were, should we head back to the campground, lol. When we stopped for gas a little ways up the road the cashier noted that this was the first snowfall Alabama has had in over three years and folks were a little nervous. By this time the snow was coming down hard. Not far up the road however it slowed to almost nothing and we began laughing how often weather reports get us all tied up in knots and end up being nothing. As we continued the tug to get home persisted and we decided to drive until we got tired then find a place to stay. After all, everywhere we went our home was with us with the all the creature comforts one would need.
The travels on this date took us north through Alabama into Tennessee and into Kentucky where we decided to jump on a major highway thinking it would probably be better cared for. This led us into Ohio before and time to stop and rest. My energy levels were depleted so we found a Flying J in Austinburg, OH and settled in at 4:30 a.m.. We pulled alongside other class b motorist and a few tractor trailer rigs also taking a break from the blowing snow.