07:13:12 – Smith Lake, AL



I arrived late afternoon after a 3.5 hour drive to camp at Smith Lake, Alabama. I used this as my staging area for a 10 mile hike in the Sipsey wilderness to take place the next day which would be another 60 miles or so of drive time. The campground here is big field of well-cut grass. I felt like I was camping in someones back yard.

With a few hours of daylight left I kayaked the lake to explore a small creek. It got good when the sun began to set. The lake water glassed down and the air cooled.  A front of massive rain clouds swelled over the lake with plenty of big sky to hold it as I held up in a flooded forest where white egrets were settling down for the evening in the trees above me.  A bolt of lightning flashed but people swimming in the lake paid it little mind.  I, on the other hand, take lightning very seriously. That’s a sure sign of rain and you would be amazed at how fast a front moving over a lake can explode into kaos placing you in a world of hurt.  I started making my way back to the van.

It was dusk when I left the lake and headed for a local diner. I wanted to carb up for tomorrow’s hike so I ordered two cheeseburgers all the way with fries thinking the portions might be slim. Man was I wrong. These burgers were hugh. They feed you well in Alabama.

It was dark when I arrived back at the campground. Well, not really dark because I was completely surrounded by street lights.  This little campground rates No. 1 in my book as the most lit up at night. Luckily I have tinted windows in the van.