The coronavirus didn’t stop people from coming out for the first holiday since Gov. Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order was lifted.
Crowds filled Wind Creek State Park as many took the long Memorial Day weekend to stretch their legs after staying at home but it didn’t mean some traditions didn’t change among people huddled up and cooking together because of COVID-19.
“I think everyone was ready to get out after being cooped up for so long,” Alexander City resident Shelia Martin said. “Everyone was ready to get out in the sun and enjoy themselves.”
Martin and her husband Jimmy like to camp at Wind Creek, especially on holidays, and are taking a few extra precautions even with a lakeside campsite.
“It gets a little crowded as those without the water come here to swim,” Shelia said. “We are being careful but we are also ready for whatever the new normal is going to be.”
The crowds were not just on the lakeshore. Lake Martin was churned up by many boats and it was something Jimmy chose to avoid.
“I put the boat in the other day and it has just stayed here,” Jimmy said. “I looked out there Saturday and said, ‘No way.’ I will just wait until Tuesday when many of them have left to go out on the water.”
Jimmy said the waters of Lake Martin have been crowded a bit more so far this spring as people worked from lake homes and Wind Creek due to restrictions from governors.
“I have customers in Georgia,” he said. “They said the boat ramps and parks were closed. They saw things open over here and just came on.”
Food is something else Jimmy said changed on Memorial Day weekend due to COVID-19.
“I normally make my own hamburgers,” he said. “The work out to be about a half pound each. I went to shop for this trip and hamburger was like $6 a pound. I just couldn’t do that. I did get some frozen patties though.”
Jimmy also admitted to grilling up a few more hot dogs than normal.
The Martins weren’t the only ones changing up cooking habits at Wind Creek.
Matt and Lisa Wright of Harpersville found their quiet little place in the B section of the campground away from the crowds just over the hill. Joined by their children and some friends, they were also grilling Monday afternoon at the park.
Matt normally cooks on a smoker but had corn roasting over the remnants of a campfire in the fire ring as he tended his grill.
“I would cook them here but it would take a lot longer,” Matt said. “This thing is a little on the small side.”