Horse Pens 40 Rocks

Most people don’t think of boulders in Alabama but they exist. Horse Pens 40 is known as a  world-class bouldering destination. I had been here several times before at a child with my parents, probably during some craft festival but didn’t remember what it looked like even when my sister and I stopped by in March. I don’t remember the big rocks although I wasn’t much into rock climbing as a child and that was well over 40 years ago. It was cool to walk around and they have some great easy trails if you don’t want to climb around. My favorite is the last picture of the big rock with the small sign that says “Rock” in case you were confused.

There were a few people there rock climbing although the park was mostly deserted due to the recent rains.

Along the trails.

From the top.

We only stayed for about 2 hours.  We were already tired from walking around another park so we didn’t go to far on the trails. The dark clouds were just starting to break up so the weather turned out nice. I would love to come back here and stay for a night or two. In a cabin though, not a tent.

SkyWatch Friday

Horse Pens 40 Park

Horse Pens 40 Park sits at the top of Chandler Mountain in northern Alabama, the 3rd highest elevation in the state in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I hadn’t been since i was a toddler so I didn’t have any memory of being there. On the way home from  hiking around Noccalula Falls, my sister and I decided to stop in for a quick walk. The park has cabins and trails and is known for holding music festivals during the summer. The park was originally settled in 1880 and the name comes from the deed containing the amount of land the horses were kept on, horse pens 40 for 40 acres.

Looking down the mountain.

SkyWatch Friday

A little bit of history

I was born in Birmingham Alabama in 1963. My mother was pregnant with me through some historic events that happened that year in this city. I would not learn what happened during that time until much later. My parents were not from the south. They ended up there because of my dad’s job in the middle 50’s. My mom grew up in New York and my dad grew up in Argentina, moving to American in his late teens. When I was young, my friends thought my parents were from another planet since they didn’t have southern accents. I didn’t know the small park in the pictures below existed. I grew in northern Birmingham going to a Catholic grade school and then a public high school. I don’t remember learning about any of the events that took place the year I was born. It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta after college and became interested in history that I heard the stories about “Bombingham”. 

My sister and I spent some time at Kelly Ingram Park during my visit over Easter weekend. Neither of us had ever been there before. The park is located across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church where 4 young girls were killed when a bomb when off in the church on a Sunday Morning in 1963. The park now has many statues and sculptures related to the civil rights movements.

The famous “Foot Soldiers” statue depicts a scene of what happened in  May of 1963.

More sculptures in the park.

The statue of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Four Spirits statue that depicts the 4 young girls that died in the church bombing in September 1963.

Roses next to the Four Spirits statue.

Across from the park, the 16th Street Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. was a frequent speaker. There’s a lot of history in this building that you can read about here. 

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Debbie’s and Dave’s Botanical Gardens

Lots of things were blooming at my sister’s house in north Birmingham when I was visiting over Easter weekend. A bad storm hit the day before I arrived and when the sun came out over the weekend, everything started blooming quickly.

She had orchids blooming in the kitchen.

A fire in the old pot-bellied stove kept us warm while we watched the full moon rise out in the backyard.