Saturday, January 2, 2010
From Boulder to Birmingham
Wynell and Ed took us on an excursion into the northern part of St. Clair County, Alabama today to a place called "Horse Pens 40" atop Chandler Mountain It is a collection of sandstone rock outcroppings that was used in ancient times by Native Americans to corral their horses. Back in the 60's it became a folk and bluegrass music venue that utilized the natural acoustics of the outdoor rock amphitheater to house weekend music festivals. It was here that a barefoot 16 year old Emmy Lou Harris mounted a stage made from an old door and made her music debut.As we started into the entrance to the "park" we spied what we thought were campers bearing overnight sleep cushions on their backs. What we learned is that they were boulderers, a subset of climbers who undertake short difficult climbs over "crash pad" so they can avoid serious injury. They were camped atop Chandler Mountain and had come from Michigan, New York, Connecticut and lots of other places to "boulder."