Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hanceville Alabama Old Time Bluegrass with Just Passin Through

Hanceville Old Time Bluegrass

Last Saturday afternoon from 2:00 till 8:00 the Hanceville Recreation Center hosted Bluegrass Groups from North Alabama.  Admission was a donation to the bands.  There happened to be a nice group on hand to cheer on their local talent.  The Center holds roughly 200 people and the concession stand is open serving food and drinks.  This get together is perfect for familys and everyone seems to be very nice and hospitable.  They usually hold this get together on the 3rd Saturday of every month and could be held at the park in Hanceville during the Spring.  The park usually brings larger crowds especially when the weather is pretty.  So bring your family and be ready to have a good time.  Here are a few videos that I got of the last two bands to play including the band "Just Passin Through" and a group of "old timers" who put a group together on the spot.  Pretty impressive.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oak Mountain

Oak Mountain located just 20 minutes South of Birmingham is Alabama's largest State Park.  With 9,940 acres Oak Mountain has a wide variety of family activities.  Offering cabins, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, golf, swimming and boating. No matter what you need to wind down, Oak Mountain has got it. 

There are 10-2 bedroom cabins nestled around a 28 acre lake.  Boats, paddles and life preservers are offered for the cabins guests.  The Cabins are perfect for Family Reunions and get togethers since there is a large covered pavilion close by.  Rates are $110 per night and there is a 2 night minimum for weekends.  Pets are welcome in 2 cabins (for an additional fee) but must be kept on a leash while in the park.  There are discounts for senior citizens, government workers and handicap persons. 

If you prefer to rough it, then Oak Mountain has 85 improved camping sites for RV's and 60 tent sites.  RV sites include water, electric and sewer hook ups.  There are also bath houses with hotwater throughout the camping area.  Primitive sites start at $14 and RV sites start at $18 and go up to $23 with sewer hook ups.  The backpack sites are $5 per person. 

If you enjoy golf, Oak Mountain has a newly renovated 18 hole golf coarse with a driving range.  The coarse is often rated as one of the top 75 public coarses in the United States. Tee times need to be reserved 5 days in advance and they are not accepted for same day of play.  Walk ons are welcomed however.  Oak Mountain golf coarse offers a full service pro shop with snack bar.  There is also a chipping green and putting green to get warmed up for your round.  The pro shop is also a wi-fi hotspot.  Green fees are $35 dollars Monday thru Thursday and $42 dollars Friday thru Sunday.  Clubs can also be rented for an additional $20.

Oak Mountain has two 85 acre lakes for fishing and boating.  Largemouth bass, bream, crappie and catfish can all be caught here.  Both lakes are fertilized and maintained and visitors are welcome year round.  Gasoline motors are not allowed but trolling motors are welcomed.  Private boats can be launched at either lake and jon boats can be rented.  Jon Boats are $15 per day, paddle boats and canoes can be rented for $12 per hour.  Fishing supplies, bait  and food can be picked up at the fishing center shop. State fishing licenses are required and can be bought on site.

The Park also offers swimming areas and hiking.  Swimming is at your own risk as there are no lifeguards on duty.  There is also no alcohol allowed.  If you prefer hiking, there are approximately 51 miles of trails for your enjoyment.  There are five trails each having different lengths and difficulties. The Mountain Biking trail is 17.5 miles long and is steep and rough in places.  A BMX track is located on site and there is also a trail for horseback riding.  All trails are color coded and marked in case you are lost. 

More information can be found on Oak Mountain State Park at:  The park gates are open 24 hours.  Admission to the park is $2 for adults on Monday thru Thurday and $3 on Friday thru Sunday.  Admission is $1 for children from 6-11 years and for seniors older than 62 years. Check out the Video Tour here.

If you or someone you know is moving in the Birmingham Area, give me a call at 205-520-3039.  I would be glad to help you find a home.  You can also check out my website at:

Sources:  Alabama State Parks Website

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vulcan, The Moon Over Homewood

Vulcan Park on Birmingham's Red Mountain is home to the worlds largest cast iron statue "Vulcan".  Vulcan was created by Giuseppe Moretti in 1904 from 50 tons of local iron.  Vulcan is 56 feet tall and stands atop a 125 foot pedestal where he commands the local skyline with spectacular views of downtown Birmingham, Alabama. This beautiful statue is now a local icon and considered to be one of the most beautiful works of civil artwork in the United States.  Vulcan Park was created on 10 acres and features an interactive museum and a beautiful park for visitors to enjoy.  The museum tells the story of Vulcan along with the history of Birmingham's rise as the iron and steel giant of the South.  Vulcan Park also has a 1 mile trail where hikers can get some exercise while taking in the scenery.  More information can be found on Vulcan Park at:  Over the years Vulcan has called three places home and caused controversy with his exposed backside.  Citizens of Homewood and Mountain Brook have even petitioned to have Vulcan's butt covered from view. The Vulcan's famous posterior was immortalized in song with "Moon Over Homewood" written in 1981.  Thankfully the statue was never covered and still remains in his full unbridled glory.

Vulcan was first unveiled in 1904 in St. Louis at the World's Fair. He was received with great fanfare and took the grand prize at the fair.  Vulcan was then disassembled and shipped by train to Birmingham where he was  reassembled at the Alabama State Fairgrounds.  Vulcan would call the Fairgrounds home for almost 30 years.  When he was assembled at the Fairgrounds his right and left arm were installed incorrectly and Vulcan was unable to support his hammer and spear.  His left arm was supported for a while with a wooden timber to keep Vulcan from toppling over.  Merchants have used the statue for years to advertise their products.  Over the years Vulcan has held objects such as an ice cream cone, a pickle sign and a coke bottle.  He has even worn a huge pair of Liberty overalls.  At his lowest point Vulcan was painted flesh tones with rosy cheeks for viewing at the State Fair. In 1939 Vulcan was moved to his permanent home atop Red Mountain.  The statues hollow body was filled with concrete to anchor him atop his stone pedestal.  This would prove to cause future problems for Vulcan.  In 1946 citizens got the idea for Vulcan to hold a cone shaped light.  The cone was lit red on days were there was a traffic fatality and green on days with no fatalities.  In the late 60's a marble clad observation deck was assembled over the pedestal.  This obstructed the view from the ground and also covered Vulcan's beautiful stone pedestal.  Rain water entering the statue from the top of the head along with concrete that was poured inside Vulcan started a series of cracks.  Vulcan was again removed from his pedestal in 1999 due to rusting and structural issues.  The Vulcan Park Foundation was created that year to raise money for Vulcan's repairs.  Vulcan then underwent a $14 million dollar restoration lasting 3 years.  Vulcan was raised again in 2003 where he still stands in his rightful place atop Red Mountain.   If you are planning on moving to the Birmingham area I would be happy to help.  You can find more information on homes, schools and local attractions at:   
Sources:  Vulcan Park and Museum Website, photos from Google.