13-Oct-2018 -- As I was in the region conducting workshops, a keynote address, and presentations all designed on promoting and supporting the use of geotechnologies in education, and as the Degree Confluence Project is focused on geography and geotechnology, and as I knew I could make an attempt on this point en route from Florence Alabama to Knoxville Tennessee, I set out while it was still dark to the point. After the day dawned, I was treated to a set of truly wonderful backroads through tiny hamlets, onto uplands and down into hollows past creeks, to the road that ran almost due north to the state line. There is a rail-to-trail here with signage but it does not look like it is maintained as such. My plan was to approach from walking in from the south, in part due to previous warnings about the blockages that others had experienced from the route from the east.
I drove west on the gravel road up and down a few low hills to the point where a stand of trees ended and a field growing cotton existed. In fact, most of the fields in this area were growing cotton, and as it was autumn, it looked like it was all ready for harvest. I gathered supplies and set out to the north, skirting the cotton field so I would not damage any plants. The only problem with this route is that it was laden with vines and thorns, and I was wearing my work clothes. After a while, I cut through the woods to the field to the northeast. I skirted that field as well, bending to the west, and then northeast. I crossed 87 West several times. I rounded the bend of trees to the field where the confluence would lay. After walking to 87 West one last time, I walked as due north as I could without stepping on any cotton plants. After about 7 minutes in this field, I reached the point.
The view from the point was magnificent, trees and cotton field all around, with just a few homes visible to the southeast. The temperature was about 65 F under gray skies, which added a very nice touch to the white of the cotton on the plants. I especially love the confluence points on state lines. I had stood on 35 North numerous times in the past, from California on the west to North Carolina on the east. I had also stood on 87 West a few times, from Indiana on the north to Alabama on the south. This was my first time on 35 North 87 West. I saw a few birds but no people or animals. I now had a very nice collection of Tennessee confluence points, in just about all corners of the state.
As I needed to get to the airport today, which was a few hundred miles away, I only spent 10 minutes on site, but to avoid stepping on anything else, after I visited the point, I walked west-southwest, so as to follow the soil between the rows of cotton. Once I reached that, I walked south, cutting through the woods, to the field beyond, and then cutting through the woods again, to the original field that bordered the road. There were no fences on this whole trek. I reached the vehicle with about an hour of hike time. I filmed my driving along the state line, since no other vehicles were around. Get out there and explore the world!