The Shoals ~ Part 3
In Part 1, we visited right around our hotel in Florence, AL. In Part 2, we visited Tuscumbia, AL. And now for Part 3, we are visiting Ivy Green, also in Tuscumbia.
I thought it was going to be closed, so we just planned to ride by and take a few pictures, but we were surprised to find it open! We were able to tour the grounds and the beautiful home.
The grounds were beautiful. The oak leaf hydrangea and the gardenias were in full bloom when we visited. The scent was intoxicating.
This herb garden is exactly what I aspire to!
There were two outbuildings. The first one was directly behind the house and was the kitchen and the cook’s living quarters. The second one was much fancier and was beside the main house. It was used as Helen’s playroom and later as an office.
And just out the back door of the main house was the well. The famous well and pump where Helen signed her first word “water.”
I didn’t take a single picture while inside the house, but it is FILLED with memorabilia of Helen’s life and all her accomplishments. Just fascinating to see it all and to see pictures of her as a grown woman traveling and meeting with famous people and lecturing in many countries.
Playwright William Gibson’s epic drama, “The Miracle Worker” is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green each year on weekends from early June through mid July. It is on my list to see!
Read about Helen Keller.
We rode to Wheeler Dam one day, the second dam built by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
These core plugs show the layers of sediment from the earth under the river. These plugs are studied to determine the solidity of the ground before building such a monstrous building such as the dam.
We hiked several trails and visited several parks.
We have become quite fond of our crows at home and maybe this one at the hotel could tell that because he seemed quite friendly and enjoyed posing for me.
I think maybe one of Mr. Menace’s favorite stops was the Palace Ice Cream Shop in Tuscumbia.
Or possibly it was supper at the Rattlesnake Saloon! After parking in the huge parking lot, you can wait at the “bus stop” for the shuttle. Some people chose to walk it, but I highly recommend the ride in the back of the pickup.
The drive down to the cave was amazingly steep and a bit scary, but also pretty cool. I can’t imagine trying to drive back up it.
The saloon is built under a huge rock and it is VERY family friendly. There is a live band and dance floor which is mostly filled with children and sometimes their parents. The food is pretty good too! All in all it is a MUST SEE!
Another night we ate at the River Bottom Grille. Great food and even better views!
We made one more stop on our way home, and we both have decided that it may have been our favorite. The Dismals Canyon is privately owned, but was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1975.
The day we stopped was extremely hot, but down in the canyon the air was a good 10 degrees cooler. We took the 1.5 mile trail to the bottom of the canyon and the sights were truly amazing, from the gigantic boulders to the waterfalls.
I desperately want to go back for the night tour, in which you can (hopefully) see the Dismalites!
“Past twilight the canyon lights up with tiny bioluminescent creatures we call Dismalites. These “glowworms” require a select habitat to survive and are unique to only a few places on Earth. They are “close cousins” of the rare glowworms found in Australia and New Zealand.”
My washed out photos do not do justice to the beauty we saw. In reality it was so green and cool.
I have read on Facebook that lately there has been a rash of vandals, destroying parts of this great natural resource with spray paint and by scraping the rocks where the dismalites reside. I simply cannot understand people who get pleasure out of destruction.
Selfies at the Dismals. I had a TON of phone/camera problems on this trip and I am so disappointed at how bad all the photos are.
I can’t believe how much there is to see and do in this area. We didn’t even get around to seeing everything I had hoped. Oh well. I guess that means there is another trip in store for us.