We stopped the first night at a state park in Warrior, Alabama, Rickwood Caverns State Park. We arrived later than we had hoped, and the park office was closed, so we were on our own to figure out the layout of the park and to find a spot. We also arrived after dark, making it more difficult to back into our space. But the real adventure began after we left to find a place to eat and arrived back at the park. On the short drive back to the park, we were laughing and reminiscing about our earlier adventures at Red Bluff. But our laughter came to abrupt stop when we arrived and saw that the gate was closed and locked. After some discussion as to the next steps to take, we agreed that Marvin's mom Gwen, who came with us on our trip, would stay in the truck with the doors locked while Marvin and I took the flashlight and walked down the long driveway to try to locate either the code for the padlock or the security personnel who had locked the gate.
Walking down the very long, very dark driveway, the night was filled with the loud song of the locusts in the woods. Had a large animal jumped out at us, we would have had no protection and very little way of even seeing it coming. Fortunately no such calamity presented itself! We looked around the office and found no information about the gate, the code, or after-hours check-in. We knew we had passed an empty guard shack and a house off to the side, so we backtracked to the house and knocked on the door. The security guard who answered the door was clearly annoyed, but drove us back to the gate in his pick-up, unlocked the gate, and locked it behind us. Back inside, we settled in to the camper for the night, already laughing about our adventures at Rickwood Caverns State Park.