After the noise and chaos that was the very fun Barber Vintage Fest, neither of us really wanted to spend time in a city, and would have preferred to camp somewhere quiet for a night. However, who knows when we’ll be near Birmingham, AL again, and we wanted to see at least a little bit before leaving town.
First up – the Sloss Furnace:
Birmingham exists because it was an ideal place to site the Sloss Furnace to produce iron. Now a National Historic Landmark, the site offers self guided tours, and is also apparently a venue for events and concerts (and in October, a most excellent haunted attraction). Per the website:
Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years, which gave rise to the city of Birmingham, AL. Now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Sloss Furnaces, with its web of pipes and tall smokestacks, offers a glimpse into the great industrial past of the South and our nation.
We spent an hour or two wandering around the complex, and watching the video (VHS! no kidding!) overview of the history of the site up to the modern day.
Civil Right Tourism, Kelly Ingram Park:
Birmingham is of course home to some significant civil rights history. We didn’t even scratch the surface with our short visit, but a walk around Kelly Ingram Park for an hour was well worth the time.
Huntsville, AL – US Space & Rocket Center
Hunstville, AL, and the US Space & Rocket Center, is a quick 100 mile ride north from Birmingham. Space program tourism is always a favorite with us, and Hunstville is a must-visit if you are into that sort of thing. There is a lot to see, and we couldn’t leave Alabama without spending most of a day here.
(Kevin and I may have been a tiny bit jealous of the Space Camp kids:)
Exploded view with color coding for country/region of origin of the International Space Station (ISS):
ISS treadmill and bedroom:
Fun stop! Highly recommended, well worth the visit.
From Huntsville, we began our ride back towards home. Along the way, we stopped in Oak Ridge, TN.