This trip will lead me on a 14-day tour of eastern Alabama, western Georgia and a slice of Tennessee.

Today I’m not driving much with the van, mainly straddling Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

Mink Creek Boat Ramp

Came in late last night after everybody headed home and as usual, I had the whole place to myself. The Mink Creek Boat Ramp is large and the access is paved and you could spend the whole day here, fishing or watching the boats.

I parked out of the way along a grassy field, sprinkled with trees. The main road was too far away to hear any traffic noise and I had a quiet night without any fellow campers.

I woke up with a gorgeous view of the Tennessee Valley.

Unclaimed Bagage Store

In Scottsboro, not far away from my boondocking spot, a visit was planned to the local Unclaimed Baggage store, a business with some national fame, that buys up unclaimed airport baggage.

With high expectations, I entered the store, to quickly realize the hype surrounding it.

Nothing much to come back to, except for the extremely friendly people that work there.

Cowan Train Station

On my way to my next hike, found myself in the center of a little town called Cowan. The town center consisted of a few storefronts and an old train station, which was the purpose of my visit.

I found most of it closed for the day, but that did not keep me from walking around the old train station. With just one old train, that had seen better times, and a few rail cars, only the building was impressive.

Whole towns were built around these train stations and they still add character to these places, even after they lost their primary function. They have an uncertain future, in which the younger generations prefer being online, above involvement in these local historical treasures.

Restored Texaco Gasstation

Restored Texaco Gasstation

Quite unexpectedly, on my way out of the town of Cowan, I found an out-of-commission, but carefully restored Texaco Gasstation. A quick stop satisfied my curiosity and added two more surprises.

It was one of these seemingly standard buildings with a large windowed front and the “men’s and women’s” on the side. A side addition must have been a two-bay garage where small repairs could have been done.

The two bays now contained two beautifully restored old Fords, from what I could tell. It made the station complete.

Fiery Gizzard Hike

A 2.5 mile heavily used loop trail through a forest with cliffs, numerous streams and waterfalls. This is an easy trail for the whole family, including the dog.

The trail is reasonably level and the closed forest canopy makes it also suitable for a summer afternoon.

Prentice Cooper State Forest

This time I arrive a bit early at my nightly boondocking spot, but that gives me some time to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.

Close to Chattanooga, this state forest offers much to explore; but before I leave for Georgia tomorrow, I will visit a viewpoint, several miles down the road, that looks out over the Tennessee Valley. This is a place, I will come back to.


Locations

  • Mink Creek Boat Ramp ➜ 34.5774, -86.1163
  • Unclaimed Bagage ➜ 34.6735,-86.0446
  • Former Cowan Train Station ➜ 35.1636, -86.0103
  • Restored Texaco Gasstation ➜ 35.1648, -86.0105
  • Fiery Gizzard Hike ➜ 35.2518, -85.7473
  • Prentice Cooper State Forest ➜ 35.1641,-85.4168

Trail Download – Gpx

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