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fun driving in Birmingham, part 2

A while back, I told you about my drive on Grants Mill Road and Highway 119 towards Pelham. The other day, I decided to go the other way on 119 and see where that took me. Then I decided to go on Rex Lake Road off of Grants Mill.

I believe that I've found my new fall drive.

I said earlier that the drive on Grants Mill is hilly and twisty. At times, you kind of feel like you're on a roller coaster in a car. At one point, the curve is so steep that the recommended speed is 10 m.p.h. And I was right. It looks pretty amazing in fall, especially over the narrow bridge that you cross just before you reach Highway 119.

Making a left on 119, you find some amazing stuff. I had no idea there were so many riding acadamies on this road. I must have passed at least four stables. There are some great views of yellow-green fields with lots of mountainous, deciduous areas as a background. There are a couple of times that the road itself vanishes into leaves of gold, and you're in one of the best fall sceneries not found in New England.

I made it to Leeds somewhere, turned around, and came back. Coming back towards home on Grants Mill Road, I decided to turn onto Rex Lake Road. I had a feeling that this would also be a fun road to drive. I wasn't disappointed.

This section of road had times that made you think of those Goodyear commercials where the tires have to be "validated" before you can drive on the road you select. The speed limit is 45-55 miles an hour, and you're going through some relatively curved roads. It's a great drive.

I made it all the way to the end of the road and found myself intersecting with a road that connected almost immediately to I-20. I had no idea how far away from my normal exit I was.

I had made it to Leeds again, at least 10 miles from Grants Mill. I got on the interstate and headed for home.

There's a reason that Paul Fussell called interstates "conduits of the middle-class". Interstates are designed to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. If you see something along the way, so much the better, but that's not the original intent of them. They're not nearly as fun to drive as the back roads, with their farms and lakes and fall colors. When you're not rushing to your next stop, take a drive on a back road or two and you'll see what I mean.

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