Christopher A. Chapman

Chris Chapman of Birmingham, AL

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I returned from a trip to the Boston Mountains in Arkansas this past weekend. I went to see the Crimson Tide take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in glorious Fayetteville.

The trip started a bit on the rough side. This was my third road trip to an Arkansas game. Once again, I went to stay in the Devil's Den. The state park is situated in a mountain chain just 15 miles from the Oklahoma border and about 20 miles from Missouri. This has to be some of the grandest country in the Ozarks. This is not too far from Branson and within shouting distance from Wal Mart's HQ. Me, and my travel partner Wes, were into about our eighth hour of the road trip (at Fort Smith, AR) when the weather decided to get really dicy.

In the plains, lightning looks much more sinister than it does back in Alabama. It has the the same look of residual weather from a hurricane that rips through the Gulf of Mexico and manages to impact Birmingham.

As we headed into the mountains, the lightning looked more plentiful and vibrant. The glow of ozone crashing kept an otherwise dark sky constantly lit.

Later, as we checked into the campground at the state park, the ranger said that the tornado watch "should end about 9PM. " The good news was that the rain was supposed to clear out by Saturday afternoon around game time.

Like experienced suburban Boy Scouts, we checked out the soggy site, then headed to town for supplies (ponchos) at the Wal Mart [where else in Arkansas?] and dinner on Dickson (the "strip" at the University of Arkansas). There were no Clinton sightings, in spite of the large amounts of coeds strolling about.

Apparently, Bubba was too busy getting ready to rant on Fox News Sunday. Maybe it would have been better for Clinton to cheer on his beloved Hogs in-person. At least the little tussle with Chris Wallace eliminated any possible gloating over his team beating Bama.

Upon our return from town, the rain receded enough to erect the tent. That's the last time it stopped raining over the next six or seven hours. The good news is that air mattresses do float on water. The bad news is that my sleeping bag retains water. It made the next evening's sleep time a bit chilly as temperatures dropped into the low 50's.

As anyone in Birmingham knows from this weekend, two overtimes and a loss can depress even the heartiest of souls. So, even with perfect weather for the game, the mood soured on Saturday. Leigh Tiffin, as most know, managed to blow several kicks.... He's the player pictured in this post.

That said, at least one joyous Bama occasion happened this weekend. The "biggest BAMA wedding ever" is sure to win your heart... or confirm that everyone here is way too enamored with the team in Tuscaloosa. Although, is there anything really wrong with picking a crimson-colored wedding dress?

Anyway, the family departs for Gainesville, FL later this week to visit my in-laws. While visiting, everyone (except my sister-in-law) hopes that the winning streak over Florida is maintained.

I've literally waited years for the moment to see a Florida game at "The Swamp." I started looking for tickets before the current Florida coach was even hired. Some how, some way, I've got my tickets to see the Tide play. I'll be there Saturday!
posted by Chris, 10:38 PM

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