February is upon us. Hard to believe, but it’s really here. I know I’m not the only one that thinks February is weird because it’s so short. Why don’t we take the two days from some of the months with 31 days and add them to February to balance it out a little bit? I don’t know and I’m not going to look it up. I guess I could use the same argument I make against the metric system - boring! But it is February, and that means spring is coming. It’s just about a month until Mardi Gras, and then it’s only 40 days until Easter. Before we both know it, it’ll be May and I’ll be back at home in D.C. and planning my next moves. I’m not going to lie, I am going to need a break. I’ll be going back to guiding this summer where I hope to do some planning, some real site maintenance, some catch-up, and figure out where Miles2Go goes from here. In all honesty, the loneliness is getting to me. While I have amazing friends who have been super supportive and amazing to catch up with around the country, my day to day is a little too isolating and a little too quiet. I don’t know what the answer is to that right now, but I will let you know.
It’s been a pretty good week out here in West Florida. My second Georgia podcast is finally done. This one took a while because the weather has been so great here, and my mind has been on other things, but it is up and published. You can find it at THIS link, or by searching “American Anthology” on iTunes, Stitcher or most podcasting apps. Other than that, I’ve been catching up with friends and trying to get out and enjoy this great weather in some of Florida’s beautiful parks.
Greetings from the Conch Republic, the farthest south you can get in the United States by car (or van). I’m writing to you this week from the wonderful public library here in Key West. It’s been a great week for me in South Florida, full of fun in the sun. It’s been windy but warm and I’ve gotten to see some really cool places this week. I had a few nice days in the parks south of Miami, and then made my way down the Keys. I’ve been on some great excursions this week, seen some beautiful sunsets and spent some great time with friends old and new. Life is good here in the Keys, and it would be hard to complain. In addition, the days are getting longer and spring is not too far away. Lots of things to be grateful and happy about this week.
After I posted last week’s This Week on the Road, I did indeed go to Coral Castle. Coral Castle is an astounding place - the product of one man’s dream, innovation and hard work. While “castle” may be a bit of a stretch in the literal sense of the word, the fact that every man’s home is his castle makes it okay to use the word in my worldview. My castle is 100 square feet on wheels. Built by Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin over the course of many years, Coral Castle is a fascinating structure to visit. I don’t think it is worth the $19 entrance fee to be quite honest, but it is Florida and this is one of the area’s oldest tourism ventures. To see all my photos and learn more about Ed and his dream, see my full post HERE.
It’s been a sunny and wonderful week here on the road in Florida. While the locals are wearing their winter coats, I’m enjoying the sunny, breezy 70 degree days and cool, perfect nights. I stalled for a bit in West Palm Beach, finding some great little spots to hide out and taking a bit of a break from moving around. Many of the things I want to see in the far south of the state are in National Parks, and with the government closed I want to try and wait the shutdown out. As you know if you are a constant reader, I try and stay away from politics whenever possible, but closing our National Parks over a partisan dispute is a disgrace. People travel from all over the world to see our amazing parks, and there is simply no excuse to close them down. There are many other sides to that story, but I will leave it at that. Despite thinking about politics too much this week, I had a wonderful stay in West Palm Beach and everywhere I else I visited this week. It’s been a quiet but fantastic week in east-central Florida.
I spent Thursday slowly making my way down the coast from Vero Beach. I stopped in Fort Pierce at the Bluewater Beach Grill for a delicious ahi tuna poke bowl, which I ate looking out at the inlet from the wonderful waterfront park there. I continued down the A1A to Stuart which had one of the most treacherous intersections I’ve ever seen, and I’ve driven in a lot of places in the world. It was like a roundabout, but there were weird (and dangerous) inlets and outlets at strange angles. I have no doubt they see their fair share of accidents there. Thankfully I made it through in one piece. I thought about turning around and trying it again because it was so crazy, and then thought I wouldn’t push my luck so I continued down to Jupiter, just north of West Palm Beach…
Hello everyone and Happy Holidays to you all. I know I’ve had quite a few people subscribe this week, so if you’re new to this newsletter, welcome! My Week on the Road posts are basically my digital journal entries for the week just past. I do try my best to do one every week, but sometimes life has other plans. You can click on any of my photos to see a full-screen view, and most places I mention have links attached if you click on the name.
This week has been spent on beaches, near lighthouses and under Spanish moss as I made my way down the Georgia coast from Savannah to Brunswick. The scenery has been magnificent, and the people have been great as well and it has been wonderful to get some good seafood again. Brunswick has been my base of operations these last few days as I explored the coastal barrier islands of South Georgia. It’s been a busy week, as usual, but a good one. The days have been short, but the weather has been good. I’ve been in shorts and a T-shirt while North Carolina has been blasted with snow. I did get my Canon camera off to the repair shop for a new shutter, and it will be waiting for me at home in D.C. when I get there for Christmas. I have been using my old Olympus E510 this week which is pretty outdated at this point in time, but it’s been chugging along and I’m very grateful to have it. I apologize that my photos aren’t quite up to par this week, but they’ll be back on track in the new year. It’s been a fast month here in Georgia, as I have had to keep the pace up to make my flight home from Orlando next week, and I’ll admit I’m pretty tired. I’ve been going seven days a week all month, and I am definitely looking forward to a break. This last week was my last full week in the Peach State, and it has been a really good and fascinating week and month…
It’s been an interesting week out here on the road. The weather has been clear and sunny, and very cool for Georgia. I started the week in Athens, made my way through Atlanta for Thanksgiving and then headed towards the southwest of the state. Columbus was a wonderful surprise, and I found some great places to take photos along the back roads as well. The holiday threw a loop into my work schedule, but it was nice to take a bit of a breather for a change as well. I’ve booked a flight home for Christmas from Orlando, so I’m on more of a schedule than I normally am, but I’m making good progress to and through Georgia and enjoying every mile of it.
After I left you last week, I went for a burger at Georgia’s iconic Varsity and then headed out in downtown Athens for a few drinks. Athens definitely has some cool bars to explore, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to go out there. I really liked the dark, cool vibe of the Manhattan Cafe where I could sip on a bourbon and sit on the couch and just relax for a minute. They had a great selection of drinks with some special winter favorites like hot buttered rum, and a very chill atmosphere. I also liked the funky, arty, unorthodox Sister Louisa’s Church, which reminded me of some of my favorite weird bars at home and in New Orleans…
Hello everyone! Thanksgiving Week is upon us here in the United States, and turkeys are being rounded up by the thousands. Pecan and pumpkin pies are going in the oven and families are preparing for long drives to relatives houses around the country. It is our busiest travel weekend of the year, so please be safe on the roads out there. It’s also a distinctly American holiday, which I’ve always been fascinated by. As I mentioned at Easter, many Americans don’t give off a lot of hints as to their ethnic background until you visit them at Christmas or Easter and then you’ll see old family recipes they don’t even consider as anything but “what we’ve always eaten”. Of course millions of Americans don’t celebrate these Christian holidays at all, celebrating their own religion’s holidays instead. This is am amazing time to visit these Americans’ homes and learn their traditions. It’s really only the 4th of July and Thanksgiving we celebrate all together with some form of consensus on the menu. So Happy Thanksgiving America. Eat lots and get extra exercise this week to make up for it. Watch some football and throw the ball with your kids. Enjoy your family and friends and ask them how they are and if they’re happy and healthy, laugh out loud and hug often while you are together. Leave the politics and B.S. off the menu for a day and just enjoy each other and our special American day.
I’ve spent lots of Thanksgivings on the road, so I’m ready for it. Two that were particularly memorable had me fixing a traditional American Thanksgiving meal for tour groups of 13 people. One was around a campfire in Key Largo in Florida and the other was in a ski lodge in Stowe, Vermont. In the first instance my group was out snorkeling all day and in the second they were skiing. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope it’s where you want to be.
I will be here in Georgia! I have made my way into the Peach State and had a fabulous first week in Georgia’s Far North. Most people probably don’t associate mountains and Georgia, but they certainly go together well. My week has been spent out in the woods, enjoying cool but sunny weather in Georgia’s State Parks and natural areas. It’s been an amazing week exploring this region and has really whet my appetite for the rest of my stay here.
It’s been another great week out here on the road, despite Mother Nature trying her best to put a damper on things. The weather has been getting significantly colder, and we’ve gotten quite a bit of rain. Winter weather advisories are starting to kick in which is definitely my sign that it’s time to turn my headlights south for the winter. It was great to be around friends and family for much of the last week, as it was a much needed recharge on my spirit batteries. My last week in Kentucky will be my last week in Kentucky for the moment. I spent most of it in the lovely Kentucky State Parks, and then wound down through Appalachia and Coal Country to the Cumberland Gap where I find it fitting that I will leave Kentucky the way early explorers first entered the area.. Despite the weather closing in, it really has been a wonderful week.
My week started where my last week ended, in Charleston, West Virginia at my dad’s place. It was nice to be off the road for a few days, clean up and fix a few things, get some work done and just spend some time with my family. The weather wasn’t great, but we did get out for dinner one night at a place called Bricks and Barrels. It was amazing and nice to go for a great meal with my dad.
It’s been a very busy and very enjoyable week on the road. Fall colors are peaking here in Kentucky and it is truly beautiful to see. Peak foliage is such a short and intense time it’s hard to fully appreciate it before it’s over. Like strawberry season you just have to enjoy it as much as you can with the time you have. I finished my first Kentucky podcast this week which you can listen to HERE or by searching “American Anthology” wherever you get your podcasts. I really like how it came out. I’ve also taken some great photos this week which I’ve only now begun to sift through.
My week started in the world’s largest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park. I had a great time exploring the park both above and below ground. From there I made my way out to beautiful Big South Fork National Recreation Area and on to Renfro Valley where I got to see some great music in a wonderful setting. I had a wonderful visit to tiny Berea with its fascinating historic University and from there made my way back into Appalachia and spent some time in unbelievable Red River Gorge, one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen here in the east, especially under fall colors. I’m finishing the week with a visit to my dad here in Charleston, West Virginia, where this whole journey started just about a year ago. In fact this week I will be celebrating my one year anniversary on the road. The weather is turning colder and as temperatures dip below freezing I’m starting to turn my attention south for the winter. It’s been a great stay in the Bluegrass State, but it’s almost time for me to be moving on…
It’s fall here in Kentucky and the leaves are really turning in full force this week. It went from hot to cold and this week it’s settled into perfect fall weather. We’re expecting some pretty epic rainfall over the next two days, but I’m hoping that it won’t knock off all of the leaves, as I haven’t gotten nearly enough fall photos. I’ve made my turn back east this week after reaching the far western border of Kentucky on the Mississippi River. Now I’m headed back across the south towards West Virginia. It’s been a really busy week as I put the final touches on my podcast which will be out by this weekend, and it’s going to be a good one. Also, I celebrated a birthday this week, as I turned 43. No big party or cake this year, just a quiet night by myself in the woods. The political adds are winding up on the radio, which I find appalling quite frankly. It sounds like a bunch of junior high school students who haven’t yet mastered the art of civil discourse. I’ll be glad when they are over, but please do get out and vote this week. And finally my week is ending on Halloween here in Bowling Green. I have a costume for tonight, but you’ll have to wait until next week to see how it all comes out!
I left Owensboro last Wednesday and had a wonderful drive through Henderson County. I had received an email from the Henderson County Tourism Department that they were interested in some photos of the small Mom and Pop stores around their county…
I saw a great meme this week. It said the temperature went from 90 to 35 like it saw a state trooper on the highway. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know about where you are, but in northern Kentucky I was sweating in shorts and a T-shirt last week, and this week nighttime temperatures are hovering just above freezing. It’s nice to be able to sleep with my blankets pulled up and my windows closed, but I sure was hoping for a little “in between” weather before winter set in. It’s been a good week out here as usual. I have moved into Western Kentucky and also into Central Time Zone. That makes my mornings easier and my evenings harder, but it’s also pretty cool. I used to blast through time zones like they were nothing when I was guiding cross-country tours. Now it’s more like a special occasion.
My week started where my last week ended (imagine that!), in Bardstown. Bardstown is a really lovely place. It has some really great historic buildings in the small downtown area and just has an overall pleasant feel to it. It’s also the center of the universe when it comes to bourbon, with several large distilleries and a lot of barrel houses in the area. They like to tell you that there are more barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky than there are people living in the state…
Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great week out there wherever you are. It’s been a chilly, rainy week of catching up with old friends for me. The weather has gone from hot and sunny to cold and rainy and has finally leveled out a bit to somewhere in between this week. I’ve spent most of the week in Louisville and really enjoyed it there. It was a cool city with a lot to offer and a lot more on the way. I’ve had some good food, sipped some wonderful bourbons, and slept inside for 6 days in a row. I haven’t done a lot of work or a lot of travelling this week, but it’s been a fun one and great to catch up with my friends.
When last we met, I was off for one last day in Kentucky’s capital city of Frankfort. It was another busy and interesting day this lovely city. I started the day with a visit to their local history museum: The Capital City Museum. It was a really interesting little museum packed with local artifacts that told the history of the city from its origins to present day. The people working there were really friendly and I enjoyed talking with them before, during and after my visit.
From there, I headed off to the Buffalo Trace distillery, just outside of downtown. I signed up for the National Historic Landmark tour which only runs once a day and I was really excited about it…
It’s been a fairly quiet week out here on the road this week. The weather has warmed back up again and the shorts and T-shirts are back on. Halloween stores are still popping up though, and the live haunted houses that have proliferated in recent years are starting to open. I have seen the borders on the leaves in some trees starting to take on some color as well. As for me, I’ve made my way down the far western edge of Ohio and am writing to you today from Covington in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I finished my 2nd Ohio podcast this week (find it HERE), and will be wrapping up my final posts about the Buckeye State in the next few days. I’ve also been doing some planning and trying to figure out where the next few weeks will take me as I begin my journey through the Bluegrass State.