Dismals Canyon

_MG_8454With the warmer weather, I’ve been itching to spend some time outside. I recently learned of a really cool hiking destination in North Alabama called Dismals Canyon that is not only beautiful but has such an interesting history. Because of its many caves, canyons, and waterfalls, Dismals Canyon was a popular hideout for outlaws on the run from the police and runaway slaves. Today, it is a popular hiking spot that boasts visitors from all over the South. A few weeks ago, a friend and I drove a few hours to Dismals Canyon and spent the day exploring, picnicking, and snapping photos.

Last semester, I took a class on southern art, and it’s gotten me really interested in southern culture. I’ve lived in the South all my life, and I’ve always passed it off as a really uninteresting and unimportant place. I think a lot of that has do to with other people’s perceptions of the region. But because of this class and an internship I did at an Alabama history magazine, I’ve come to realize that the South has a rich and varied culture that encompasses much more than what people think of when they think of southern history.

My plans to intern up North or in the Pacific Northwest this summer fell through, so I’ll be spending the summer at home in Alabama. And even though I’m little disappointed that I won’t be experiencing new places and interning at a big publishing company, this summer will be the perfect opportunity to explore some cool places and southern gems around here.

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How are you spending your summer?

– Lauren

P.S. My photographer friend Jordan (who takes lots of photos for my blog and is pictured in these photos) is trying to build up his Instagram community, so check him out at @jfg_photography.

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