We just got back from visiting Birmingham, Alabama, to see my sweet friend Darcy. She and I have been friends for a few years, and even though she lives in a different state from me, it’s always important to have some actual face time with the people you love.
Darcy and I (and a few other friends) are eating paleo for the whole month of August, and really took it upon ourselves to trade recipes, and cook great brunches. Ryan isn’t following the same regimen as us, but is supportive and positive about the whole thing (and who can really turn down bacon + eggs + fruit for breakfast).
Once we got into Birmingham, we made a quick stop by Oak Mountain State Park, and hiked up to Peavine Falls. The rain came sporadically, and softy enough that the tree canopy kept us dry. The falls weren’t like I’d seen before, they were very modest and uncommercialized. No signs, no pavement or wooden decks, just the noise of the rushing water and Ryan’s voice telling me “please don’t fall off the edge trying to get a good picture.”
Lots of really amazing nature scenes to photograph, as well as bright colors besides green and brown. Since we were at the top of the mountain, there were many dead trees that had been struck by lightning. There was so much light, compared to the forest.
After our hike, we stopped by a restaurant off a cobblestone road for dinner.
Played with the iPhone 5S’s slow-mo feature for a bit:
The next day, Darcy and Ryan and I set out to explore the Sloss Furnace. A huge structure that you can see from nearly any high point in the city (or at least, I could), Sloss Furnances produced the iron in Alabama for nearly 90 years, and is arguably the reason Birmingham exists. It was the backbone of industrial production until it closed in the 1970s. Now, it’s just a spooky and stationary piece of history. You can walk into all of the buildings, climb up ladders and walk through skinny corridors dividing massive iron wheels.
Ryan really hates when I take his picture.
Darcy snapped this picture of Ryan and I looking up into the buildings—the ceilings were so high!
Birmingham is a lovely and largely underrated place, I strongly recommend you visit the first chance you get. I can’t wait to go back.