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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DAY 212: GOSPORT - WHATLEY - GROVE HILL, ALABAMA

The tiny village of GOSPORT, ALABAMA was good to us...peaceful, quiet, with exception of 18-wheelers popping gears as they roared through the night. TIMBER the local sign pronounced...center of Alabama. Logging trucks heading East full of Pine Trees freshly cut from the surrounding forests...returning West empty to load up and do it again.

SPIA remains parked at GOSPORT as I wrap the ankle, put on shoes and reflective vest...no shirt as it promises to be utterly HOT and humid...head West...ever West...on US 84 towards the village of WHATLEY, ALABAMA...another wide spot in the road like so many I have passed walking US 84.

A new crop...at least do not recognize it...certainly not cotton...too robust to be peanuts...and not corn...certainly is healthy.

Churches are spread out a bit in the countryside...one every 5 miles or so...always standing proud amongst the forest...proud and empty except for Sunday 9:30 am Bible Study; 10:30 Service; and Wednesday 7:30 pm services...all other times sitting alone, aloof.

Many new homes dot US 84. At least 8 out of 10 being "Manufactured" homes, like the one above. Such a home can be made to look quite comfy and in tune with surroundings

One of the exceptions...a built-from-scratch home.

But, Manufactured homes dominate.

At something like $75,000.00 set up on your property, not a bad way to go. Manufactured homes should not be confused with"Mobile Homes". Manufacture homes have more conveniences- much as a normal home - and more sturdily constructed. I visited a few factories and was pleasantly surprised at the quality built in.

An older ranch home, boarded up and apparently empty.

The usual muddy creek flows lazily under US 84.

US 84, well constructed, well maintained, welcoming vehicles with numerous "pull-offs" and RVs who slip into a wide spot for the night.

After parking SPIA at a wide spot at an intersection, we had a visit from the local Sheriff...just a courtesy call to see if everything is OK...says the jolly Deputy driving a spiffy white 4-wheeler pick up. We chat for 15 minutes or so...He obviously enjoying someone to chat with. I'm the only Sheriff for the entire County and can make my rounds only 2 or 3 times a day...apparently hoping for more Deputies to help out.

He promised to come by during the night to see if we needed anything...and would certainly look out for SPIA while I'm out walking.

Alabama folks are certainly near the top of my list for being welcoming, courteous, and helpful to travelers...now if only to reduce the millions of no-see-ems and tiny mosquitoes. The local tiny mosquitoes have a "big boy" bite, but are not much larger than the gnats.

U 84 is a pleasure to walk. Every passing vehicle is super to me as a pedestrian on HIS roadway.
I receive many toots and nearly EVERY vehicle - private cars included - wave or honk as they go by.




The ever-present Rumble Strip...precludes SAM from rolling with me.


An abandoned log trailer.

Wavy...hilly...caterpillar-like US 84 in Central West Alabama.

Many sections have NO berm for walkers...I step into the grass to allow ALL traffic to go by. Courtesy works both ways !

Yes, it is HOT...Yes, ear flaps are required to keep no-see-ems out of the ears...they like the nose holes also. I have limited the use of my mosquito face net because I have deduced that my fainting two weeks ago was partially due to lack of oxygen - in addition to the heat. The weave of the net mesh is so tight as to restrict passage of fresh air, resulting in my re-breathing my exhaled air...did this for over 7 hours...my take is that I was "oxygen deprived" when I hit the floor.

Gosh...who IS that Man?


A familiar sight to me...we used just such a hand water pump out on the Stump Ranch back in the 1930s and 40s.

This blog is being written and posted a day late. Been walking through really back-woods of US 84 which had NO Verizon (computer) or AT&T (cell phone) service to complete posting until now.

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