On Saturday, 23 January 18 vehicles left Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham setting off on our 12th consecutive challenge to the grip of winter which we have never had to cancel or postpone.
Our route took us down Alabama 25 (The Copperhead), and across Logan Martin Dam. We stopped at Talladega Speedway's, International Motorsport's Hall of Fame, where we met with the Section members from Huntsville. While at the Museum, Jim Roberts led the group to where his Championship SCCA Mitsubishi was on display. Running this car in 1988-89 he won 21 races, garnering 3 SCCA Championships. After a brief question and answer session we set off for Cheaha State Park.
A short drive from the museum and we were climbing up the serpentine Cheaha Road through Talladega National Forest. I counted 187 turns in this 14 mile stretch vs. 216 in 12 miles for the famous “Tail of the Dragon” in TN/NC. I get the same 180-190 turns for that run, so there must be some difference in opinion about what constitutes a turn.
The nice thing about Cheaha in winter is that your sight lines of the road are not obstructed as much by foliage. The traffic is light, so the drive was exhilarating. The state park extends from the base of the mountain over the summit. In the park we began the “Talladega Scenic Drive” which is built out similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway with multiple vistas of the forest below as it follows the crest of Horseblock Mountain.
The weather was perfect, 60's, sunny, light wind. Our group stopped at a turnout, we occupied all available parking spots. Maintaining COVID-19 guidelines we consumed our lunches, and spent time socializing and comparing memories of the drive and the past holiday season.
January 23 proved to be a wonderful day, where we not only were able to shed Winter Blues, but also once again be out with friends in spite of the Covid-19 threat.