TOR and I were off on our second road trip, TOR driving this time. Our ultimate destination was Buck’s Pocket, but as always, we were open to interesting stops along the way—ever willing to hit the brakes and make a U-turn if need be. We were not hopping on I-59 to take the quickest route possible. Instead, we started out enjoying beautiful Highway 119 (Cahaba Valley Road), past Lake Purdy, horse farms, and rolling hills to Leeds, a small town that spreads its neighborhoods into three counties—Shelby, Jefferson, and St. Clair.

Leeds claims at least two famous sports residents: Charles Barkley, basketball Hall of Famer and colorful personality (to say the least), was born there, and Harry “the Hat” Walker, major league baseball player and UAB’s first baseball coach, lived on Cahaba Valley Road in Leeds for many years. However, TOR and I will always remember Leeds as the destination of our very first corona virus venture, which almost scared us completely out of the road trip idea. Back in late March, before more drastic social distancing, we decided a drive-in with car hops would be a fun, safe place for lunch, so one day we took this same beautiful drive and enjoyed a burger and a BLT in the sunny fresh air of TOR’s car at the Sonic in Leeds. Only problem was, a few days later, I saw on the news that that particular Sonic had shut down because an employee had THE VIRUS. What are the odds TOR and I would pick the only drive-thru restaurant within many miles of our homes that shut down for that specific reason? Fourteen days later, we breathed a sigh of relief and began planning our first major road trip (to Cheaha Mountain).

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