Posts Tagged ‘bat cave’

Chattanooga Lookouts v Birmingham Barons, Sunday 29th May 2022, 2.15pm

June 2, 2022

Bryant, Alabama was an enjoyable place to stay, and we spent four nights in a hut by a small fishing lake. There were plenty of opportunities to cook on an open fire and for watching squirrels and birds. At dusk and dawn I kept an eye out for the family of deer that we had been told would visit the lake. If they did show up then they managed to keep out of sight.

There were a couple of options for things to do nearby, one of which was Rock City, a park where you could walk through caves and between giant boulders. There was a view from the top of a hill that took in seven different states. Nearer to Bryant was a cave that was home to thousands of bats. We turned up at dusk to watch them exit one evening and it was a constant stream from both sides of the cave. Many of the bats flew over our heads but they didn’t hang around. It was interesting to see but not as good as the bigger fruit bats that we would watch at dusk in Darwin a few years ago.

Bryant is also handy for Chattanooga and it wasn’t much more than a half hour drive to the A T & T Stadium for some third-tier AA baseball between the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Birmingham Barons.

Top price seats were $14 for the lower box seats. We went for the next section up at $12 on the basis that it was more likely to have some shade. What we should have done is bought the $10 General Admission seats as they provided the best shade of all. If we’d done so we could have got in for free as Jen is an ex-soldier. They were also free to anyone making a foodbank contribution and at a reduced price to over fifty-fives like me.

As you would expect there were lots of food options. Jen got a pulled pork sandwich whilst I went for ‘bacon on a stick’. It was a single streaky rasher in a barbecue type sauce. I don’t see it catching on. If I hadn’t been driving, I could have chosen from a wide selection of beers.

Our seats in the upper box section were in the sunshine so we moved back to the unreserved General Admission seats higher in the stand. The stadium was small enough to provide a good view from just about everywhere and so we watched from under the shade provided by the roof.

We stood for a rendition of the national anthem that sounded like the strangling of a cat and then applauded those who had served in the military. I think it was just for US personnel rather than the likes of the Taliban. Jen gets a bit embarrassed to stand up for this sort of thing, perhaps because she didn’t ever get shot at, but it’s commonplace to make a fuss of service veterans over here.

I think that one of the best things about baseball is the variety of entertainment that takes place at the end of each innings. We started off with a bloke having to decide whether to swap a bobble head doll for a mystery prize. Apparently it might have been a million dollars but turned out to be a baseball cap. There was a contest where kids had to put on a tee shirt that was handed to them as a frozen block, a dizzy bat race, a ‘find the lady’ style cap shuffle, guess the crowd and a kid taking over as the stadium announcer.

There were a number of cam events too. We had a jump cam where people would leap in the air and a dance cam that seemed popular with the grannies. There was a smile cam, sponsored by a dentist, and an air guitar cam with a bloke on a podium who looked like he was grating cheese.

Highlight of the day was a Barons home run in the seventh that cleared the stand and ended up outside somewhere. The fielder didn’t even move. That one contributed to a seven-three lead for the visitors as the Lookouts started their ninth.

They managed to load the bases and threaten an epic comeback but couldn’t quite pull it off at the death and the score remained at seven-three to the Barons.