I was just sitting here reading an article about Big Cedar Lodge in the latest issue of Southern Living when I ran across one little sentence to which I could totally relate. The article is talking about the half mile long entrance road into the lodge.
“The road is an escape,” Johnny says. “It’s my decompression chamber.”
I totally get that, because I have one of those decompression chambers myself. It’s not in Branson, Missouri, but right here in the middle of central Alabama.
It’s this road right here:
This is the mile long dirt road that leads into the fish camp at the lake.
Every time I turn off the blacktop onto this little road, I roll down my window and take a deep breath, and leave the worries of my world behind. It’s like I can literally feel a weight being lifted when I start the drive into those deep dark woods. The smell of damp pine straw and moss and Alabama red clay blows in through my window and I instantly relax. That’s not to say that there aren’t sometimes hassles waiting for us at the end of that road, but those hassles are pretty minimal compared to the actual Real World Worries that we face on a daily basis.
It’s totally refreshing, and so peaceful and perfect that I almost can’t believe that I’m blessed to have a part of it. Along it you can catch glimpses of sights such as this:
And this. Do you see them? No? Check the trees.
See them? If you look close, you’ll see there’s a Black Panther Party going on up in that tree:
Everytime I see these guys I want to start singing “Hey, hey baby… I wanna know if you’ll be my girl.”
See how he’s wriggling his foot around like Baby? So cute.
You know the best place for lifts is in the water.
And then there’s this guy out in the woods that makes me want to take a can of spray paint and decorate him up a little.
And at the end of it you’ll see this:
There are other things that we’ve seen along the road but I don’t have photos to share. Lots of wild turkeys waddling into the woods, and many deer jumping the ditch. Last time we were there we saw a box turtle trying to make his way slowly from one side to the other. At about 4 am a hoot owl wakes us up from the woods somewhere behind the cabin. I’m sure there are plenty of other animals and creepy crawlies hidden in the woods that we will never even know about.
I love this road, and I love what it represents for my family. I really hope that I get to spend many many more years driving along it with my window down, smelling the wildlife and smiling like loon.
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