Friday, October 22, 2010

Monte Sano State Park

View from Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano means "Mountain of Health"

Wednesday, and I was in a funk. No sunshine, no river, no fun all doctors all the time, driving, driving, driving and now my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia. Woe is freakin' me. Whine, whine, whine ... wine. Carroll to the rescue! She e-mails and asks if I can meet her on a mountain somewhere. Yes, a thousand times yes! A fun-filled lunch Friend Fest was exactly what I needed! We chose Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville because she'd never been there and it is very close to where I now live. It's a beautiful twisty drive up up up, then a left onto Monte Sano Boulevard. Once the road plateaus it's a simple straight shot past the television stations and school to a right turn leading to the entrance gate.

My road trip buddy Carroll actually poses for a quick shot at the overlook.

We meet in the parking lot and enjoy hugs and laughs before heading toward the pavilion then on to the overlook. There is a smaller pavilion that adjoins the rock wall you see Carroll sitting on, and that's where we chose to have our birthday picnic. Carroll brought some surprises with the meal and we sat and laughed and caught up on stuff while enjoying the exquisite weather and our grown-up deli happy meal.

Look was someone left up in the pavilion. It was a sign....don't worry, be happy!

Path from the parking lot leading to the larger pavilion.

Signage atop the larger, main pavilion

Large pavilion support beams with graffiti. Makes a mama proud.

Stone walls created with stones from this mountain.

Well-used fireplace in the larger pavilion. How many times have I been here for events? From childhood until today I've enjoyed Girl Scout trips, reunions, gatherings with friends, hiking expeditions, romantic picnics, visits with my parents as a child, visits with friends as an adult. From the looks of this fireplace - there are two in the large pavilion, one on either end - gazillions of people share memories created in this place, on this mountain.

Monte Sano State Park is a gorgeous place to visit. Hiking trails traverse the mountain range from Monte Sano to Green Mountain and back. Picnic spots and pavilions, huge playground for children, cabins for renting, a planetarium, Japanese Garden, birding trails, and hiking trails and places to just sit and think, soak up the peace, soak in nature. Monte Sano State Park has been part of my being since I can remember.

Monte Sano State Park can be found on Facebook, too. There, you'll see more photos from staff and visitors AND some cool-o inside shots of their brand new lodge, above. This was our next stop, me and Carroll, and wow. I'm saving those shots for my next post, but feel free to peruse the AlaPark site for Monte Sano State Park and their Facebook page via my links.


Julie Magers Soulen said...

What a wonderful friend and a beautiful place to visit! I love the last photo. It looks so inviting. I can almost smell those autumn leaves.

Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Gaelyn said...

I'm SO glad you got out to share laughter and beauty with a friend. Nothing better to get rid of the funk. Plus a special place filled with good memories. Love the rock built shelter. It so reminds me of the forest preserves of my own youth. Remember to keep taking care of you. HUGS!

There is never a charge to sweat and you are always welcome. (I can't seem to reply via email to your blog post comments.)

Rural Rambler said...

Debi sorry you found yourself in a funk! I hate being in a funk. Great you have a road trip buddy. Road trip buddy + wine = no more funk! Beautiful pictures. I'm telling you CH and I need to come back to that bit of country with more time to spare and look at all the beautifulness!!!!

Judy said...

I love the first shot, with the mountains fading into those blues and grays! And the shot out the window of the pavilion!! Love the way the stones and the trees are all in their natural colours!!

Eve said...

Making more great memories with a great friend!! I wonder did Carroll smuggle any Mojito's up there??? hahahaha!
Glad you had a great day!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Sounds like it was the perfect way to relieve the blahs, Debi. Glad you took the time for yourself, and I hope your dad is getting better quickly.

Buckskins Rule said...

Hi there! Been meaning to pay a visit since you commented over at my blog.

It looks like a beautiful place. Hope visiting helped break the funk.

Carol said...

Debi, I am so enjoying your blog! This looks like a fabulous place and all those memories . . . lovely! I hope your dad is all better by now. Happy Belated Birthday . . . to you or Carroll. What a great way to be with a friend. Love your photos! ;>)

Bo Mackison said...

Always good to have friends.

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