Graveshelters, Lovely Roadside Stand, Strange Chicken, And Covered Bridges

Recently, we were in Blount County, Alabama and got to look up some things – one thing was from the best website on graveshelters (the people who have it are just super-nice, too) – these shelters at High Rock Cemetery:
Blount County Graveshelters

Blount County Graveshelters

…and this one at Stewart’s Chapel Cemetery:
Blount County Graveshelters

Couldn’t help but stop at this fruit stand, and got a big bag of Vidalias:
Sugar Creek Grocery

Lunch was at Benedikt’s, on County Road 27 outside Oneonta.  It was odd.  I wanted to like it, but the fried chicken had this odd tempura batter on it (think super-thick Chinese tempura batter), and everything seemed just…(ouch)…bland.  It was self-service everything, as the food was buffet-style and drinks were from a fountain.

If you needed service, a sign on the table instructed you to pick up the small American flag on your table, wave it in the air, and sing a patriotic song (seriously).  Not to be a stick in the mud, but to be a stick in the mud anyway, that’s not one of the ways I have ever been taught as okay to ‘use’ an American flag.

There’s chicken under all that batter:
Benedikt's, Blount County AL
All this to say: can someone please recommend a good restaurant in that area?

We also wanted to see how the covered bridges were doing – we try to visit them every couple of years.

Horton Mill bridge – this was built in 1935 and is the highest covered bridge over water in the US:
Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges

Closed to traffic.
Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges

Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges

This is how it looked a few years ago when I was feeling arty and playing around with b&w film:
Horton Mill Covered Bridge Entry, Blount County AL

This is the Easley bridge, built in 1930:
Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges
See that sign on the inside right of the bridge?  It begins “Isn’t it sad the condition Blount County’s three remaining covered bridges are in?” and goes on to talk about the level of neglect they have gotten.  I have to say, it is surprising how much worse they appear each time we visit.  I wonder how much anyone in leadership (elected or otherwise) in Blount County has done in thorough research on government grants or other avenues of private funding for restoration.  Surely there is something out there.

Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges

An older pic I have of it:
Easley Covered Bridge Entry, Blount County AL

The saddest part of all was that we couldn’t even get to Swann bridge anymore from this side.  It was built in 1933 and is the longest covered bridge (324 feet) remaining in the state.
Blount County, Alabama Covered Bridges

Old pics:
Swann Covered Bridge Entrance, Blount County AL

Swann Covered Bridge Span, Blount County AL

Last year, we were still able to drive on the bridge.  I hope something can be done quickly to get these bridges in better condition.  Blount County, after all, still has an annual Covered Bridge Festival.

This is a great list of old, gone, and new covered bridges in the state.  All the states are here (open the .htm file so it looks best).  If anyone knows of a covered bridge society in Alabama, like some other states have, please let me know.  Thanks!

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