Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Visit to Fort Tombecbe in Epes, AL

24 January 2018

We were able to arrange a tour of Fort Tombecbe in Epes, AL near the town of Livingston. The site is only accessible through arrangements with the Black Belt Museum in Livingston. A phone call to Dr Ashley Dumas, Asst Director and Curator of Archaeology put us in touch with Brian Mast, Public Historian who agreed to meet us at 200PM and give us a tour of the site.

The Black Belt Museum across from the Sumter County Courthouse in Livingston is dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the landscape and history of the Black Belt region of Alabama and Mississippi. The museum is affiliated with the University of West Alabama and is not yet open, but does have window exhibits for viewing. Black Belt has both a geographic and cultural history.


Future Home of Black Belt Museum

Another View

Thank you Ashley and Brian for making our tour possible. Brian, you gave us a very in depth history of the forts on this site and we appreciate your time and expertise. Also, thanks for bringing Charlie along. He is a very handsome and friendly dog.

With Charlie
John and Brian

Fort Tombecbe (Fort Tombigbee) was established as a French trading post in 1735 by Sieur de Bienville, governor of French Louisiana high on a bluff overlooking the Tombigbee River.The French wanted to strengthen their relationship with the Choctaw tribe and to protect France's holdings from the British expansion. In 1763 it was ceded to the British in Treaty of Paris and renamed Fort York. In 1768 it was abandoned and established by the Spanish in 1794 who renamed it Fort Confederation. The Spanish withdrew in 1795 under the Pinckney Treaty and the Americans occupied the site as Fort Tombigbee until 1799.

Tombigbee River & Chalk Cliffs

Remains of Ramp

The area lay dormant until 1815 when a Choctaw Trading House was established near the site. This was compensation for the Choctaw support against the Creeks and operated until 1823.

There is a stone monument placed in 1915 by the Colonial Dames of American.Archaeological excavations from the 1980's are continuing.

Brian & John

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fort Rucker, Fort Gaines & Kolomoki Mounds

20 January 2018

Today a beautiful day so we decided to drive to Fort Rucker near Dothan, AL and Fort Gaines ,GA to visit sites. It ended up being a 300 mile roundtrip day which is somewhat routine for us on our day trips. This is why the Malibu has over 208,000 miles.

Fort Rucker is northwest of Dothan, AL and is a US Army post and home to the 110th Aviation Brigade and 23rd Training Squadron opened in 1942 known as Camp Rucker. It is primarily a helicopter training base. During WWII the post provided training for Army Infantry combat troops. Toward the end of the war it housed German and Italian POW's.  During the Korean War the post was reactivated. During the Cold War the US Army School of Aviation was activated and the name changed from Camp Rucker to Fort Rucker.

Located on the Base is the US Army Aviation Museum with a collection of over 160 military craft and helicopters. The helicopter displays is the largest in the world. Below are some of the helicopter craft on display. I did not attempt to name them. There is also a slab of the Berlin Wall.

Slab of Berlin Wall

After a stop in Dothan for lunch at McAllister's and Camping World, we passed thru the town of Abbeville enroute to Fort Gaines, GA. Got a picture of the Henry County Courthouse and plaque. A county older than the state and named for Patrick Henry. The land was ceded by the Creek tribe.

Continuing on our drive to Fort Gaines via Hwy 10 and 37 as you cross the Chattahoochee River take the first left turn to view the Fort Gaines Blockhouse and Pioneer Park. Also located in the park are old pioneer cabins brought to the site of the fort.


Chattahoochee River

Toll House

Scout House

Ingram House

Newt Engram Cabin

Fort Gaines was founded in 1815 as a frontier fort and built as a result of the Treaty of Fort Jackson between the Creek Nation and the US transferring 24,000,000 acres of Native American land to the US. Three different forts would stand on this land over the next 50 years. The second fort was built in 1836 during the Creek War of the day. The last of the forts was built during the Civil War by the Confederates. One of the original cannons still remain.

Civil War Cannon

We noticed a sign on the highway for Kolomoki Mounds HP in the town of Blakely just 15 miles from Fort Gaines, so decided to drive there. The day was getting shorter, so we did not hike any of the mounds, but did manage to get some photos. This is one of the larger mound sites in the Southeast containing seven earthen mounds. There is the great temple mound, two burial mounds and four ceremonial mounds build between 250-950 AD by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island indians.

Temple Mound

The park offers camping, fishing, boating, hiking trails and many other activities. Wish we had had longer to explore.

It was a good day.