Posts Tagged ‘Lake Claiborne’

“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.

Read Full Post »

 My Favorite Places: Lake Claiborne

Lake Claiborne, Alabama, in the fall. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.: –E.L. Doctorow

NaNoWriMo Update – 17,309 words

Only about 1,500 words today, but they felt like good, words and I feel I’m back on track with places to go in my book. A couple of new plot lines finally hit my brain cells. .

I also don’t feel too bad about the fewer words because I had several errands to run and two hours of physical therapy for my neck. I also did an extra blog to promote Rana DiOrino’s “What Does It Mean to Be Safe,” a children’s picture book, but one that has good advice for adults as well.

The other reality I’m facing is the fact that I can’t sit and sit in front of the computer as I want. It’s most likely what got my neck so horribly stiff in the first place. I need to get up and move about every 30 minutes.

So what I’m now doing is writing my book in short scenes, and then taking a short break. I walk the dog, put a load of clothes in the washer, do my neck and shoulder exercises or whatever. The key is to get right back to the computer and go into the next scene. It helps if I get up in the middle of a sentence so I can get right back into it. A timer’s helping me do that.

I’m also trying to convince myself that I really can write after the sun goes down. I don’t like it, but I can see it’s going to have to happen if I’m to meet the 50,000 word goal without screwing up my neck any more than I already have. Can I say my favorite “S” word right now?

Read Full Post »


The view of Lake Saint George in Maine from my RV window. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Henry David Thoreau

Travels With Maggie

Some days when I’m on the road, I have reservations for where I will spend the night. Other days, I give fate a chance and wing it. And then some days I have reservations and cancel them because a place calls to me before I reach my destination.

It was this third kind of day a few years back when I was on my way to Acadia National Park. My route took me through a multitude of shimmering lakes and shady green ponds, all shouting an invitation to visit in my direction.

By the time I hit Lake Saint George State Park I could stand it no more. My foot lifted off the gas pedal and my RV, Gypsy Lee, made the turn into the park. Although I hadn’t traveled far and it was still quite early in the afternoon, I didn’t object. Nor did Maggie, who was letting me know she was ready for a walk immediately.

Lake Claiborne in Alabama, where I also sat a while and simply stared at the water. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The small park only had 38 camping sites and, no hookups, but the fee for the night was only $10 and it was cool enough that I didn’t need to use the air conditioner. My vehicle’s self-contained functions – water storage, battery for lights, and propane for cooking and refrigeration – met all other needs.

Our designated site was right beside the lake, and as soon as I turned off Gypsy Lee’s ignition, the sound of water gently lapping against the shore began calming my soul.

After a short hike around the area with Maggie, I got out my lawn chair, lit a small camp fire and simply stared at the lake a bit before retrieving a book, “Death in Holy Orders” by P.D. James, which I read off and on until sunset.

The dark brought magical fireflies with it. I saw these tiny, blinking specks of living lights often when I was a kid, but rarely as an adult. Perhaps it was simply because I hadn’t taken the time to look, I thought.

Sometime after the sky was pin-pricked with stars, and a grinning moon cast silvery shadows on the trees, I turned in for the night. I was asleep almost the minute my head touched the pillow.

Read Full Post »