Buck’s Pocket has to be one of the newer state parks in Alabama, not opening until 1971. However, its name dates back much farther. Here are three possible explanations, so you can take your pick. Depending on whom you ask, it was named for  1) large herds of deer that roamed the area, 2) the death of a large buck that leaped to its death from Point Rock while being pursued by Cherokee hunters, or 3) a man named Buck Perry who supposedly hid out around there  to avoid the draft during the Civil War.

There’s another persistent rumor dating to the 1940s that Buck’s Pocket is where defeated politicians go to lick their wounds. I wonder if anyone up there has spotted Roy Moore or Robert Bentley roaming around. Maybe one of them was leering at us from that gray truck.

The overlook perches atop Sand Mountain with breathtaking views of deep gorges on either side. Like Cheaha, it offers a nice boardwalk with handrails and steps, updated in 2017 by Leadership DeKalb County class members. Buck’s Pocket definitely offers competition for bragging rights as the most spectacular view in Alabama. We both admired the stark gray, weather-beaten tree remnants silhouetted in the sunlight against the deep green backdrop of the gorges.

Heading home, it took a couple more U-turns before we wound our way back out of Grove Oak. Consulting the map, we concluded that, if we didn’t want to head south on heavily traveled (even in these weird times) 431, our best choice was to turn west towards Cullman and pick up Highway 31. Both of us had already visited The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, which TOR referred to as Mother Angelica’s place, and the Ave Maria Grotto. Besides, it was getting late, so we just turned onto 31, which turned into I-65 after a while.

Another day well spent.

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