Sunday, November 28, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

November 24-28, 2010

With no plans for Thanksgiving, we were glad when Dianne's sister Jeanne suggested that we meet at their Mother's house in Alabama to celebrate.  For our branch of the family tree, that meant two people; both of us would be there.  For Jeanne's, it meant 19, except this time it was only 18 as her oldest granddaughter was unable to be there.

One of the favorite activities among young and old is visiting the dirt pit on the family farm.  The kids love perfecting their dry cannonball dives into the sand and trying to get sand on every inch of themselves. 

Older ones enjoy four-wheeling and a bit of target practice with some tin cans.  Ken and I—we just like to observe it all and take a few photos since Woodie is with his other family.
Who needs a pool when you have this much sand?
The guys hauled some great rocks from the dirt pit to build a new fire pit at Nanamama's house.  Of course, we had to try it out and it was superb—very relaxing and conversation-inducing.  Of course, you have to enjoy having your clothes and hair smell like campfire smoke afterwards.  
Pass me another beer.
By a fortunate coincidence, Uncle Joe and Eleanor plus most of Uncle Jim's family were in town for Thanksgiving also.  When we decided to all get together for a pot luck Thanksgiving, we had to book the fellowship hall at the local church to accommodate the numbers for a huge joint, delicious, tryptophan-laden Thanksgiving dinner together.  Thanksgiving Day was our cousin Debbie's birthday, and Jeanne's was just a few days away, so we celebrated both together, a rare opportunity.
Birthday girls and their parents
To make a great celebration even better, cousins Tom and Shelia were in town also, and thankfully, Tom was determined to ensure that Ken and I made our first visit to the legendary Deer Bluff, a local limestone bluff that has been much visited since the 19th century. 
Expedition to Deer Bluff
Local legend suggests that the indigenous peoples who lived here before the arrival of Europeans used this bluff in the manner of a buffalo jump.  Deer were herded and driven to the top of the cliff, where they continued running and fell to their deaths because they were being pursued.  Whether this is true or not is still up for debate.
Deer Bluff
What is clear is that many, many non-natives visited the bluff after this territory came into U.S. possession.  And a good number of those visitors left their mark.  The face of the bluff is covered with initials carved by visitors from the 1800s to—well, to the day we visited.  Yes, some of us did add our own.  An examination of the bluff demonstrates clearly that this entire area was once underwater. Fossils of seashells are widespread.
Marine fossils abound
After a photo op with Tommy, our intrepid Deer Bluff expedition leader, we had to head back to "civilization" before the sun set, arriving back at Tommy's place just at dusk.   It was a fantastic day and a wonderful Thanksgiving with family.
With our intrepid expedition leader, Tommy

David, Tonya & Lizzie on the ATV
Carrie, Jeanne and Joey examine old inscriptions.
Jim and Dean and Joe
"The cousins" who attended the meal—Generation 3 of the family
Just part of Uncle Jim's lively crew
Generations 4 & 5 with spouses