Birmingham, AL questions

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Mikey B
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Birmingham, AL questions

Post by Mikey B » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:30 pm

Sorry if this isn't appropriate to ask here, but hopefully some down that way can help?
I have a pretty nice job offer in the Birmingham area and it looks like there might be decent paddling in the area? Am pondering it but have some reservations. I did have a friend of a friend tell me that it could be hard for my wife and sons to find a decent job. He also said the summers are very long, very hot, and very humid :D to be expected I suppose, although I do see it's the 3rd rainiest city in the US :)
Anyone from that area?

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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by Sir Adam » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:37 pm

You'll melt, coming from MI.

Good food, good folks, and from what I've heard good paddling (when i was in town years ago I didn't have time to paddle unfortunately).

Good luck!
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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by Wendy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:52 am

I had to leave because of the summer heat, but.... incredible paddling there and nearby. check out" onclick=";return false;
This will let you see runs, pics, etc.

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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by River Elf C1s » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:30 am

Hi Mikey,
We've got lots of great whitewater here in AL when its rainy season. We usually have plenty of water Dec - March. Sometimes the water dries up in April, sometimes things run into June. You never really can tell. You will have to endure August in AL which is miserable but at least you would no longer have to deal with the brutal winters of MI - you'll be paddling while everyone up north is shoveling snow ;).

Most of the whitewater in AL is east of I-65 and north of I-85 - with a huge variety of class 2-5 rivers ranging from big water to steep creeking. There are also some very interesting small canyon runs north of I-22 and west of I-65 - though more in the class 1-2 range. AL is a surprisingly varied and beautiful state.

When the water dries up in the summer, the ocoee is about 3 hrs away from birmingham and there are several dam controlled piedmont rivers along I-85 - the best of which is the chattahoochee in columbus.

The alabamawhitewater website that Wendy posted above is the definitive resource. If you check Kirk Eddlemon's newest books you'll see he has info on the Little River Canyon area, the creeks of Sand Mountain, and staples like the Mulberry and Locust Fork of the Warrior among others.

There are also very active paddling clubs in Birmingham and Huntsville.

Not sure about job opportunities in B'ham - depends on your wife and son's field I guess. Birmingham does have a lot of jobs in the health care industry with UAB, St Vincents, Andrews Clinic etc in town.

Anyway hope that helps.
River Elf

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Mikey B
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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by Mikey B » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:23 pm

Thanks for the info everyone. Looks like pretty decent paddling...huge plus :)
The timing right now isn't the best for me to be selling my house here, and my wife isn't so sure about the hot summers...lived in Winston-Salem for a few years and likes NC. But it's worth checking up on it sounds like.

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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by 2opnboat1 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:02 pm

It is hot humid and very crowded lots of creeking just north and some dam controlled stuff pretty close. Seems the Job market is pretty good
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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by road_warrior64 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:34 pm

Yo Mikey,

Having lived here most of my life (and traveled often), here's my two cents:

The summers are rough especially compared to what you guys have. To simulate the experience, get fully dressed, lock yourself in your bathroom, and turn the shower on as hot as it will go. After a few minutes, you'll have recreated our summer conditions. On the flip side, we usually get about 8 hours of snow a year which usually melts by noon. I make the most of summer time by sailing and swimming. But...from late October to mid May is fantastic! With all the rain we've had this year, I've been wearing out my canoe. My friends wore shorts on our December 27th trip! Even when local creeks are low, you still have the Chattahoochee, Ocoee, Hiawassee, and Coosa within 3 hours. As an added bonus, I believe our property taxes and home prices are substantially cheaper than many other states.


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Re: Birmingham, AL questions

Post by NelsonKarl » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:34 am

They do have air conditioning.

Check out: ... stinations" onclick=";return false;

The quality of the water coming out of the tap is one of the best in the nation and much better than that of Flint, MI.

I moved to NE Ohio from BHM in 1999. I was told not to worry--the Yankee's have not burned a southern city in 140 years and if listen fast enough, you can understand what they are saying.

And then there are the springs--all kinds of flowers, redbuds and dogwoods and the sweet smell of honeysuckle wafting through the air.

Check out the lilies on the Cahaba River in Bibb County.

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