Day 979: Russell Cave NM, Little River Canyon National Preserve

This morning we drove east, crossing from Mississippi into Alabama and passing the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  We’ve set an aggressive schedule for ourselves this week, so we will have to visit this site some other time:

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We arrived at our first destination of the day, Russell Cave National Monument:

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This site preserves a cave used as shelter by Native Americans since the Clovis period.  We toured the visitor center:

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A pottery stamp used to emboss patterns in wet pottery:

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After watching the park film, we walked out towards the cave:

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The caterpillars were out in force today:

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We arrived at the cave.  The left opening is an underground stream, and the right opening is the cave in which the Native Americans lived:

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The cave goes back quite a ways, but it’s fenced off from visitors:

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Spring is well along here in Alabama:

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In the visitor center, I found a book with a suitably Southern title:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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It’s very pretty here:

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We drove to Scottsboro, Alabama, home of the Unclaimed Baggage Center:

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This company contracts with air carriers to receive all of the carrier’s unclaimed baggage.  Some of the more unique items found are on display and not for sale, like this Tibetan Dung Chen.  M is doing his “how could this possibly get lost” expression:

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The center has multiple buildings, with areas for clothing, tools, electronics, and many other types of merchandise:

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M purchased a shirt, but otherwise we left empty handed.

As we were leaving, I checked the tires as usual and noticed that the bead was cracking away from the tire, and in this spot there was a hole in the connecting rubber:

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We had a new tire put on, our second this week, and were on our way after a few minutes:

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Our last stop of the day was Little River Canyon National Preserve, which contains one of the deepest canyons in the Southeast.  We viewed one of the falls in the canyon from this overlook:

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The kids had completed the Junior Ranger workbook for Little River Canyon at Russell Cave National Monument and received their badges:

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We continued east, crossing from Alabama into Georgia:

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We overnighted at the Walmart of Cartersville, Georgia.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 978: Nachez Trace NHT, Corinth Battlefield, Shiloh NMP
Day 980: Kennesaw Mountain NBP, Chattahoochee River NRA, Cowpens NB, Kings Mountain NMP

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