Posts Tagged ‘corps of engineers’

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot

Lake Claiborne, Issac Creek Campground, Alabama -- Photo by Pat Bean

Issac Creek Campground

http://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com commented that she was new to Alabama, and looked forward to reading more about Alabama parks after reading yesterday’s blog about the state’s Frank Jackson State Park.

I’m happy to oblige, especially since my brain is in a can’t-think-of-what-to-write-about fog this morning.

The  Issac Creek Campground on Lake Claiborne near Monroeville is a Corps of Engineers’ facility, which meant I could use my Golden Age Passport and camp for half-price, which in 2006 when I stayed there was just $8 a night for a site by the lake.

Maggie at Lake Claiborne. I can now look at photos of my beloved pet and recall memories of our good times together instead of crying. Well, almost. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The park, which had been recommended to me by two fishing enthusiasts from Louisiana, was awesomely scenic and pleasant – and well off the beaten path. I got lost several times before I finally found it.

I asked a park staff volunteer why it wasn’t listed in my Trailer Life campground directory. The answer was that the Corps of Engineers couldn’t advertise and compete with commercial parks.

I did, however, learn that I could purchase a book listing all Corps’ campgrounds from Cottage Publications (PO Box 2832, Elkhart, Indiana, 46515). I did and it now sits alongside my other campground directories.

Following is a few bits and pieces from my journal during the three days my canine traveling companion, Maggie, who died last month, and I stayed at the park:

A walk along Issac Creek was always a delight. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Saucy squirrels are everywhere, and while the species of birds aren’t numerous, each one seems special. I heard a cackling rumble, and back-tracked it to a red-bellied woodpecker…

Blue jays seem to be everywhere, and delightful to watch as they swoop back and forth above the lake. One actually rippled the water while playing this game, sending sunlit droplets splashing into the air…

This morning there was a hazy mist over the lake that broke to reveal a blue canvas on which was painted an echo of the fall dressed trees on the opposite shore…

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all” – Stanley Horowitz

Lake Claiborne is a fantastic place to be in the autumn. The days are warm and pleasant and the nights cool enough to warrant snuggling up in a quilt at night, which is how I sleep best ….

I learned today that female pine cones are fatter than their male counterparts and have harder scales. Well, that explains why we ladies have wider hips then men and an inner toughness that has nothing to do with brawn …  

On the morning of my third day at Lake Claiborne, and after receiving a phone call the night before from my granddaughter, I said a reluctant good-bye to this great Corps of Engineers campground. Heidi wanted me to meet her in Shreveport, La., for her 24th birthday, which was less than a week away. I enthusiastically accepted the invitation and replotted my journey’s route.

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