Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Left Lane
Celebrating the onset of the Spring riding season. When the weather starts to warm back up just before summer, and the temperatures get a little more motorcycle friendly. I was excited about the prospect of my first springtime ride of the season. With a busy schedule at work, having Mother’s Day weekend off in May was a welcomed gift.
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After getting the invite from my Biker Friend, who also lives for the ride. We were scheduled to meet up in Double Springs Alabama, to get an early Saturday morning start out on the highway.
A Missed Forecast
Being the fair weather rider that I am. Namely I’m not getting on my bike, when the temperature is below the 60’s. The first thing I done was check the weather Forecast for the weekend.
On Thursday we checked the weather. We both saw that the forecast was calling for temperatures to make it near 80° F. Which was fine by me.
Well, unfortunately I’m here to tell you that this forecast was a miss! Instead the farther North we rode into the State of Alabama, the colder it got. With Temperatures averaging around 58° F.
Of course anyone who’s ever been to Alabama knows there are plenty of hills here. Riding in the valleys between the hills, down alongside the lakes, and in the shade of the trees. It was a down right cold 🥶 ride.
By the time we had reached Cullman Alabama. I couldn’t even feel my fingers anymore. Having expected the temperatures to reach almost 80° F per the weather forecast. I dressed for a summer ride, having nowhere near enough cold weather riding gear on for what would be early Fall, late Spring temperatures.
With my hands gone completely numb during the ride. To the point where they started locking up making pulling the clutch lever difficult. I decided it was time to pay a visit to Wally World, and buy some more gear.
After a quick trip to Wal-Mart to purchase new winter gear, long sleeve shirts, warm socks, and thicker winter gloves. Around $33 bucks later I was back on the road, and warmer!
With a little over an hour and a half drive to our next destination in Fort Payne AL. Around a 85 mile ride from Cullman AL. I was most definitely warmer then I was the first 2 hours of our ride.
Finding A Place For Lunch
After making it to Fort Payne AL we pulled over at a gas station to discuss some serious business. We needed to figure out where we were going to have lunch.
Originally we were planning to ride another 30 minutes Northeast of Fort Payne. To a little city just across the Georgia State Line to have lunch at a mom & pop restaurant in Rising Fawn, Georgia.
After debating on a few different restaurants, checking star ratings, and ruling out a few cuisine types. We came to an agreement on a restaurant right in Fort Payne Alabama, just a few miles away.
This unique restaurant we chose was located in a building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage list. You can view the listing for this historical site by Clicking Here.
A Trip Back In Time
The name of this restaurant is Vintage 1889. I’ve also heard it referred to by a few locals as “The Big Mill Restaurant”. After the building to which it is attached.
Their menu offers many different options. They have two separate menus, depending on the the time of day. The Lunch Menu runs from 11am to 3pm Monday thru Saturday. Whiles the Dinner Menu runs from 3pm to 11pm Monday thru Saturday.
After looking over the menu thoroughly. I made my decision, and I can honestly say I have no regrets on what I chose.
Vintage BBQ Bacon & Cheese
My fellow Biker friend decided that he wanted to try one of their sandwiches.
John’s Wise Guy
Not only was the food, service, and atmosphere in this restaurant good. They even had live music to top it all off.
There’s also another side of the restaurant, if your not really digging the semi-open air setting like we were. You can sit at the indoor section near the bar, or go all the way open air with the patio seating area.
After eating your fill of food, you can wobble right out of the restaurant, and into the Big Mill Company Artisans and Antiques to explore the 2 Story Antique Mall inside the Old Factory building.
The Big Mill History
This Historical Factory opened its doors in 1884 as a building materials manufacturer. After big promises of plentiful, and high quality Iron Ore for materials, lead to the creation of this Factory. During a time of particularly rapid growth for the Fort Payne area. Within just 6 years time, those promises were discovered to be false.
Leading to economic hardships for the Mill. In a last ditch effort to save this facility, the 8 largest manufacturers in town came together to form the Alabama Builder’s Hardware Manufacturing Complex. As they struggled to keep from drowning in debt.
Even though they put up a good fight, they eventually succumbed to their debt, and went into bankruptcy by 1890. The building lay vacant until W.B Davis purchased it 19 years later.
He then converted the old mill into a factory knitting, and producing Hosiery, and Socks in 1909. Giving the building it’s most commonly recognized name as the W.B. Davis Hosiery Mill. Which stayed in this very building until 1974. Leading to the nickname Fort Payne developed as it became known as the Sock Capital of the World.
Quick Trip Around The Block
After enjoying my Saturday Springtime Ride, I decided on Sunday. I still needed a little more riding time. Hopping back in the saddle I planned to just ease around town, and enjoy the (Thankfully) much warmer 80° F day.
Next thing I know, I’m pulling into the city of Leeds Alabama. Into probably one of the best truck stops in the country, Buc-EE’s!
Originating in Texas, this place is as big as it’s mother state! With over 120 gas ⛽️ pumps at this Mega Station. It’s such a popular place that you still may have to wait in line for a pump.
If you like to take Road Trips. Like this amazing Road Trip I took HERE, and greatly appreciate a place with a clean bathroom. Look no further then Buc-EE’s.
Cleanest Bathroom Around!
If your still not convinced this place is worth stopping by. Check out the crowd this place can attract, as seen during one of my previous trips to Buc-EE’s.
This place seriously sells everything from clothing, hunting gear, and furniture. To coffee, hot sauce, food, and beef jerky.
Sandwich Me Please!
After picking up a few sandwiches to share with my few of my coworkers. I was back on the road and maneuvering through Birmingham traffic on my way home. Laying down a cool 550 miles on two wheels this weekend for a nice springtime ride.
If you are interested in visiting the historic Big Mill Co. Artisans and Antique Mall, and Vintage 1889 Restaurant. You can get Google map directions by Clicking Here.
Want to pay Buc-EE’s a visit? Get your Google Map directions to visit the Leeds Location Right Here.
The Roving Gypsy
Thanks for reading my Travel Blog. I hope you enjoyed this weekend motorcycle adventure around Alabama as much as I did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.