Mallory and I have a nice trip planned in May for California, so to test out some new gear, we took a long weekend and went backpacking for a few days with our dog Lowe. I wanted to take Mallory to the Sipsey as she knew not of the bewilderment that is Bankhead National Forest.
Alabama the Beautiful
Just a hop and skip up HWY 22, the Sipsey Wilderness never disappoints.
We parked at Randolph trailhead and started up trail 202 past Johnson cemetery. After a short time reviewing some the dates on the headstones, we continued up 202 toward the river and junction of trail 209. The water was brisk and a little deeper than we had hoped. This was Mallory's first time fording a river with a pack on. She is a rockstar at anything she puts her mind to. We laced up our boots and continued west on 209.
This is where the Sipsey truly becomes breathtakingly different. The water is blue and the vegetation is sprouting from every crevice, bursting out of rocks and reaching for the sun. Vines lank from high limbs that evoke childhood memories of what the jungle must be like. Our campsites were beautiful. No bells, no alerts, no scam calls, just the roar of the river and crackle of the fire.
When you get the chance. Go to the Sipsey. Explore Alabama. It's really so magical.