the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Alabama

6.3 miles (10.1 km) N of Wright, Lauderdale, AL, USA
Approx. altitude: 182 m (597 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 35°S 92°E

Accuracy: 15 m (49 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: 35N 88W Looking North #3: 35N 88W Looking East #4: 35N 88W Looking South #5: 35N 88W Looking West #6: Gate at Tennessee - Alabama border #7: Manbone Ridge Road #8: 35N 88W from above looking east into 2nd Creek Valley

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  35°N 88°W (visit #2)  

#1: 35N 88W Lauderdale County, Alabama, USA

(visited by Woody Harrell)

20-Feb-2004 -- International Confluence Day Observance - 2004

To mark the 8th anniversary of the Degree Confluence Project, I headed out just at sunrise for my first visit to the confluence nearest my home. 35N 88W [Photo 1] sits a mile and a quarter south of Tennessee Highway 69, a much traveled route between Muscle Shoals AL and Savannah TN, and a road whose reputation for numerous wrecks has earned it the local nickname "Bloody 69." As this confluence was checked off two years before I even heard of the project, I had been in no great hurry to go there myself, but desiring to begin a world-wide tradition of everyone on planet earth taking a holiday to visit a confluence each February 20th, I had circled the date on my calendar and counted down the weeks. After squandering a glorious day previous with bright sunshine and unseasonable temperatures in the mid-60's F., I had awoken to overcast skies and windy weather, discovering the first week of February may not be the best day to promote an outside international holiday if you're in North America. But I digress...

Traveling north on TN69, you cross Second Creek just after entering Hardin County, Tennessee, from Wayne County. Just up the hill from the Second Creek Church, and just southeast of the Starlight Inn [which from the outside looks like the kind of place they check you for a gun as you walk in, and if you don't have one, they'll issue you one as a loaner], you will find a gravel pull-off on the south side of TN69. Just to the side, someone has scrapped out a ditch to pile up a clay berm to block vehicles from a road down the spine of Manbone Ridge. Pretty quickly this path widens into a road able to accommodate logging trucks which have harvested much of the woods to the west in the last decade. For the next three quarters of a mile until you reach a gate at the Tennessee - Alabama state line [Photo 7] you are traveling through land leased to a local hunting club. Going on into Alabama, Manbone Ridge Road [Photo 8] will take you to within 300 yards of the confluence. Along the way I saw deer and fox tracks, several buzzards, and a couple of stray dogs. The area has been replanted in pine trees to grow another crop for the voracious local pulp mill, and the young trees seem to be doing quite well. In fact I did not notice the briars and brambles between the trees seem to be an even more successful crop until I got off the road to cover that last 300 meters, and then very quickly found myself tangled in more thorns then I could handle. I was blooded and torn, and no longer in a holiday spirit, by the time I reached the edge of Manbone Ridge above the confluence [Photo 9]. The confluence point is about half way down a steep 300 foot slope in a short drainage. Even with all the leaves off the trees, the last three digits on the GPS unit seemed to stay in constant motion and a double .000 reading proved too elusive to photograph [which explains why Photo 6 is 'missing in action' - I really have to start taking an official GPS holder to accompany me on these treks!].

The cloudy skies made the pictures in the cardinal directions a disappointment, as they don't show much detail or contrast [Photos 2 – 5]. Maybe I'll try again on a sunny day before green-up, the next time bringing gloves and yard clippers for the briars.

As International Confluence Day is not yet officially recognized in this neck of the woods, and as I was way past the time I had allotted to this task, I rushed back home, and made it in to work at 9:30 a.m., only slightly worse for wear, but with exciting, even death-defying, stories to share with all of my co-workers, at least those polite enough to stop and listen...

 All pictures
#1: 35N 88W Lauderdale County, Alabama, USA
#2: 35N 88W Looking North
#3: 35N 88W Looking East
#4: 35N 88W Looking South
#5: 35N 88W Looking West
#6: Gate at Tennessee - Alabama border
#7: Manbone Ridge Road
#8: 35N 88W from above looking east into 2nd Creek Valley
ALL: All pictures on one page