The sun burned away the clouds and the afternoon warmed into the 70s. Arriving in Gadsden, I found Broad St marked off by Police and Fire for a Veteran's Day parade. Having plenty of time to kill, I lounged around the shady spots and talked with a few locals while the high school marching bands warmed up around the corner. The town is near Anniston Military Depot and has a large military presence so the parade was well represented. The JROTC led the parade followed by marching bands and floats. It was apparent that certain schools had predominantly one racial makeup as I watched the nearly all black band pass, followed by a nearly all white band. In Alabama, many people do still live on opposite sides of the tracks. Large armored military vehicles, some alarmingly owned by the police, chugged past. The remaining WW-II veterans in their decorated Class-A uniform waved and smiled on floats decorated with American flags. Somehow in the event and walking around the streets, my American flag went missing from the bicycle. At least I know it was put to good use!
The day grew short and shadows long as I turned west onto 278, a busy highway with much traffic and narrow shoulders. Ahead of me lay a 600 ft climb outside of Attalla which I chose to tackle this evening. It was a bear but I made it up on the mountain and soon found a grove of pine behind a closed Flea Market in which to camp. A quiet night and warm.