I could no longer resist. It was like saying “no” to chocolate, bourbon or an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Not really, but it was time to get out on the road. I finally got my new camera (Fuji X-E3) and was done getting familiar, so it was time to hit the backroads.
The new camera
The Fuji X-E3 is a mirrorless model, with some cool design features that give it a vintage rangefinder feel. And there is quite a buzz surrounding these mirrorless cameras, especially the Fuji “X” series. They can use manual lenses (with an adapter) and have focus aids built in to the camera (standard, digital split image, digital microprism) to help out. I own four manual lenses for my X-E3, a 25mm, a 35mm and 2 old Nikkor 39mm screw mounts, a 5cm and 8.5mm. More on all of this later, but using full manual focus and exposure again is a little odd. I enjoy the whole throwback thing, but it takes some getting used to.
On the Road again
I left my home in downtown Birmingham just before 9:00am, taking I-20 East toward Atlanta. It did not take long to arrive at Exit 199, where I made the turn on to my starting point, Alabama Route 9 toward Lineville. From there, I crossed Randolph County using Alabama Routes 48 and 22 to find the towns of Wedowee, Roanoke and Wadley. My expectations were (and always are) low, so finding an elephant shaped gas station in Roanoke was quite a shock. Being a train fan, I knew about the old Atlantic Coast Line depot in Wadley, I just did not know how badly it had deteriorated in recent years.
After clipping the corner of Chambers County, I entered Tallapoosa County and followed Route 22 through Daviston, New Site and into Alexander City for a lunch break and gasoline. I eventually found my way back onto Alabama Route 9 and headed down through Coosa County towards Equality, crossed the Elmore County line and was headed for Wetumpka. Located on the Coosa River, Wetumpka (The City of Natural Beauty) is not only the county seat, it is a cool little town. However, there was a problem I encountered several times during this particular day, the light was always wrong. It seemed everything was overwhelmingly backlit or doused in shadows and neither one is really a good look. It will be worth a return trip another day.
I left Wetumpka, passed through Santuck and decided to make a quick side trip to my favorite small town in Alabama, Eclectic. I first visited and photographed there in the late 1980’s and just found it quirky as it was cool. I’d love to find the negatives from that trip…….
What the cluck?
Most of the day I had been driving on Alabama Route 9, through what I call the “Chicken Belt” of Alabama. Poultry farms dot the landscape, but riding through Cleburne County I just was not prepared to find this….
I really love Halloween, but haunted houses aren’t my thing. However, this is so weird and creepy that I’d like to go through it just for the spectacle. And they sell t-shirts!
Thanks for taking time to read this and I hope you enjoyed it.