10-Nov-2019 -- As I had just arrived in the area to conduct a geotechnologies set of presentations and workshops at the University of West Georgia and then at Clemson University, and as the confluence project is enabled by these same geotechnologies (GPS, web mapping, Geographic Information Systems), I considered a confluence visit to be the perfect capstone. As I had already visited 33 North 85 West, and 34 North 84 West, near Atlanta, that left 33 North 86 West, in eastern Alabama. Plus, this one had not been visited in nearly 20 years! From the Atlanta airport, I traveled southwest on I-85 on a glorious Fall day, sun shining, temperature nearly 70 F (21 C). I exited the interstate at West Point, crossed into Alabama, and drove on some marvelous county, state, and US highways until I reached Alexander City. I proceeded up Washington, Pearson Chapel, and Bice Cemetery Roads, all paved. I slowed and turned west onto Sally Bice Road. It was one lane, but only featured one low wet spot, which I successfully made it through and parked on the rise beyond it to avoid crossing the stream on foot. This stream is marked as Oaktasasi on the digital maps of the area. I gathered supplies and set out.
I was not far from houses but yet seemingly deep in the Alabama forest. I loved it, despite the thorns, one deep ravine, and the many rocks that presented tripping hazards. I kept the creek off to my left (east). The ground was a bit damp but still fairly solid. I encountered no fences until the dilapidated one mentioned by a previous visitor to this site. I generally walked south and in about 17 minutes from the road, arrived at the site. The confluence lies on ground sloping about 5 degrees to the south-southwest, in an area that has no doubt been cleared of its original forest but now is fairly densely covered once more with trees. It was a sunny pleasant autumn day, midafternoon, about 67 F (19 C) under sunny skies with little wind. If you are wondering why I am wearing my raincoat in the photos and video, it is because I am wearing my work clothes, tie and all, and I wanted to sacrifice my coat to the thorns rather than my work clothing.
I now have visited at least 5 confluence points in the great state of Alabama, including way down south, one on the Tennessee-Alabama border, one in the north central part of the state, and one just one degree north of where I was standing on now, that I visited 13 months ago. I needed to get to my destination to prepare for tomorrow's teaching, so I only spent 10 minutes on site.
As I walked back to the road, this time taking a fairly cleared lane to the northwest until it started bending too far west, I unfortunately found some trash out here in the woods. I reflected on the point. I had been to 33 North several times, from Georgia on the east to California on the west, and also 86 West several times, from Michigan on the north to Alabama here on the south. They have all been unique, varied, and I have enjoyed them all. This point, unlike many I have visited, actually turned out easier to reach than I had expected, and I was glad to be here. Once back at the vehicle, I exited the area via highways 7, 63, and 9, and had a lovely drive back into Georgia to the University of West Georgia campus. I also stopped on the state line to get a few additional photos including the "Sweet Home Alabama" sign.
Get out there and explore the world!