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Author Topic: Juneteenth Ride - West Alabama Counties  (Read 302 times)

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Offline Guidedawg

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Juneteenth Ride - West Alabama Counties
« on: June 21, 2022, 02:33:46 PM »
It’s 5:00AM and I’m dressed, reheating some leftover homemade biscuits Mrs. Guidedawg made the day before.  Why am I up so early on a Monday holiday?  Obviously, there is a motorcycle involved and with ridiculously high temps in the forecast, I wanted to get an early start on my continued journey of visiting as many county courthouses as I can in 2022.  Today’s agenda is west Alabama.

By the time I fill the tank and hit the Interstate, it is just after 6 and the sun is up.  Today is not a day I dressed in layers for early morning warmth!  I turn onto Highway 80 and pass the Montgomery airport on my way to Selma.

My last county run had me picking up Dallas County as the final find of the day, so this time I picked up where I left off and went north into Perry County to Marion.  I stopped to get a quick pic of Marion Military Institute.



My wife had attended nearby Judson College for a year before transferring to Mobile College where we met.  The students at the all-girl school had mandatory formals with the MMI cadets.  Judson is closed now; COVID was the final nail in the low attendance coffin, but MMI is still operational.

I stopped for my photo of the county courthouse.


Then I made my way to Hale county and got my picture at the courthouse just as the clock was chiming 8AM.




The last time I visited Greensboro was with a church riding group where we had lunch at Mustang Oil and dessert at the Pie Lab, but it was too early for either.

I passed a sign pointing me to Eutaw, but I had to go south to make my way to Sumter County while I was in the area.  As I passed through other communities, I thought of my last motorcycle ride in this area



That time I was picking up the historical sights in Marengo County and it was a very hot day also.  You can read that trip report here: http://www.motorcyclealabama.com/rides/index.php?topic=3584.0  But my current mission to find county courthouses does not allow for leisurely criss-crossing a county to document those places on the National Historic Register; that is far too time consuming.

I went to Livingston and saw the University of West Alabama campus and got my photo of the courthouse.



I was parked next to a covered pavilion and read the accompanying historical sign



And now it was time to go north into Eutaw.  Greene county has fairly non-descript courthouse with no signage that I noticed, but at least I was in the right place.



 

Although I had been on my motorcycle in the other counties at least once, this was my first trip into Pickens County.  Certainly, I was familiar with the courthouse from reading 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.  I believe there are a number of historical inaccuracies in the story, but it’s still a good ghost story and, based on the fact there is an arrow pointed to the pane in question with a coin operated telescope across the street, a tourist attraction as well.






Now I headed east and went into Bama country.  I had just eaten at the Montgomery location of Dreamland the day before, so I decided to just take care of business and move through.  I followed my directions to get to the courthouse and was surprised to see it appeared to be open for business on the Juneteenth federal holiday.





This was by far the section with the busiest roads I had traveled and since it was close to lunch, I pulled into a KFC for a bite before continuing.  The temperature was climbing, so I went to my saddlebag and pulled out the cooling towel that I went to 3 different Walmarts the night before the trip before finding one on a shelf.  I took it into the men’s room sink and soaked, wrung, snapped and slipped it beneath my shirt to ride on my shoulders and neck.  I was pleasantly surprised at the difference it made.

It wasn’t long before I was back on the road and this time on Highway 82 so often traveled between Prattville and Bibb County.  In fact, I specifically chose to omit Autauga County from today’s ride so I would not be stuck traveling the long 2 lane sections on this road.  I did have to deal with some on the way to Clanton, but used the convenient truck passing lanes when needed and made it to Centreville for the Bibb County Courthouse.






I continued on Hwy 82 before turning onto 10 near Maplesville and going to Clanton in Chilton County.
Some of the counties have old historical courthouses, and some have more modern looks.  Clanton is the latter.



I made my final gas stop in Clanton before heading home.  Today was definitely the most money I had spent on gas for the bike!  Although I could hear the siren song on the establishment across the street (seen in the pic through the gas pump), it looked like it was very crowded, and I decided to hop on I-65 for my ride home.




Before going home, I stopped in one of the larger cemeteries for a photo tag.  One of the VTX forums had a Scavenger Hunt thread with the current tag being a military headstone.  I knew where this section was and got a few pics:






I knew of that location because it was very close to this grave:





You’ll notice in the second pic that someone left a tribute for Hank by his headstone.


As for myself, I was ready for some more ice water, so I pointed the bike towards home.

It was interesting to ride sections of highways that I am normally on in other sections on the state such as 43 when I’m in Clarke, Washington, and Mobile counties, 28 when I am near Camden, and 14 in Elmore County.

I look forward to my next expedition to courthouses.  The ones I need are either further away or in metropolitan areas that I do not normally ride in for fun.  This will take some planning, but I’ll get out at least one or two more times before the deadline.

Admittedly, the route looks like something scrawled on a windshield by a 12 year old boy, but it was a fun ride


« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 02:37:02 PM by Guidedawg »

Offline Nice Goat

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Re: Juneteenth Ride - West Alabama Counties
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 08:39:23 AM »
MMI has been on the brink of closure for many years.  They found another donor about two years ago, but at this point, it’s probably just a matter of years before they have to close.
IBA #63019 - 1996 DR350SE - 2003 Honda Reflex 250 - Deep thought: "Pie and coffee are as important as gasoline."