Wichita Section

Covered Bridges, Challenging Roads & 13th century Tuscan Architecture

Saturday, June 13, 2020 -
8:45am to 5:00pm
Jim Roberts

Note:  Members of the Alabama section from Birmingham, and Huntsville will drive to and Meet in Oneonta, Al. Where we will have lunch and then explore the covered bridges.

Covered Bridges, Challenging Roads & 13th century Tuscan Architecture

Saturday, 13 June

8:45 am


We will gather at Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham s beautiful Irondale campus on Grant’s Mill Road at the exit from I-459.

They require masks to be worn inside.

Huntsville participants will meet Doug Bloomberg at 8:45 at Bruegger’s Bagel, Jones Valley, southeast corner where Carl T. Jones becomes Bailey Cove Rd and 4-mile Post Rd becomes Cecil Ashburn Dr. You might want to arrive early to enjoy fresh bagels and other breakfast goodies.

Be prepared to depart at 9am with a full fuel tank and an empty bladder.

Both groups will take beautifully scenic routes on challenging roads to meet at Ken’s Barbeque in Oneonta.  They offer take-out service.

You may also choose to bring your own lunch from home.  While there are multiple pavilions and picnic tables at Palisades Park, we can better maintain social distancing by bringing our own chairs.

We will stop and cross the 70 foot high Horton Mill Bridge on the way to Palisades Park operated by the City of Oneonta.

Some of the county roads on the drive are challenging to drive, but they are all well paved.

We will drive across all the bridges, but the load limit is 6000 pounds.  If you are driving a Sprinter or Maybach, we will have alternate routes around them.

In stark contract to this almost frontier like countryside we will emerge into the finely crafted 13th century north Italian Shrine of Most Blessed Sacrament pilgrimage cloister church near Hanceville.  It is like bursting into a different time and place.

While it looks like it is 700 years it was built at the end of the 20th Century.  It is open for visits.  Talking inside is not allowed. They don’t allow shorts, but they will provide cover up pants.

They also want you to wear long sleeves inside.

The bronze doors are wonderful.

See if you can translate the German bible verse around the outdoor sculpture.

The Italian & Brazilian mosaic stone floors are beautiful and the German stained glass windows are breathtaking even if you are not religious, the art is moving.


Even though any restrictions have been lifted, the COVID-19 virus has not been cured.  The at-risk groups include:

  • Poorly controlled Diabetics (i.e. A1C greater than 6.2 (Even if your Dr. tolerates up to 7.0)
  • Chemotherapy in the last 2 years
  • Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome controlled with corticosteroids.
  • Emphysema
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Post Organ transplant recipient
  • HIV
  • Other immunocompromising conditions

If any of these apply to you, you should remain sheltered at home.