This trip will lead me on a 14-day tour of eastern Alabama, western Georgia and a slice of Tennessee.
A much more detailed account of the trip can be found at AmericanVanLife.com
After quiet night at the Rood Creek Landing campsite, located in the Eufaula NWR in Georgia, I drive a short distance to a part of this wildlife refuge that lies within the state of Alabama.
Here, I find a large property with a few gravel roads, where flora and fauna is protected and nature lovers can find and observe a variety of birds and flowers, that change with every season.
On Jan. 3, 1966, Sammy Younge Jr., a 21-year-old Black college student, was murdered for trying to use a bathroom, which was then reserved for white customers — at a service station in Tuskegee.
Tuskegee Airmen NHS
Only a few miles away, at Moton Field, the contributions of African-American airmen in World War II is commemorated.
Moton Field was the site of primary flight training for the pioneering pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. It was constructed in 1941 as a new training base.
Notasulga Rosenwald School
A few miles further north, I find the Notasulga Rosenwald School, an positive example of how better education became available for the black community.
Syphilis Study Benches
Next door, in front of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist church, you will find two old benches under an old tree, where African American males in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study would wait to have their blood samples drawn by Nurse Eunice Rivers.
Notasulga Shiloh Cemetery
The School, the Church and the Cemetery were used during the course of the 40 year “U.S. Public Health Service Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male in Macon County”.
Smith Mountain Fire Tower
At the next location, a short 0.5 mile hike brings you to the foot of the fire tower. Smith Mountain overlooks Lake Martin outside of Auburn.
Devil’s Den Waterfall
A not too long, easy trail leads to under the waterfall and while the falls are not big, it has a big poo in front of it, where you can hop in and cool down. Joey did exactly that; after a whole day of hiking, just sitting in the water was probably the best thing, he did today.