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This Week on the Road - November 23rd-29th

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This Week on the Road - November 23rd-29th

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…

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This Week on the Road - November 16th-22nd

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This Week on the Road - November 16th-22nd

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.

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This Week on the Road, November 9th-15th

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This Week on the Road, November 9th-15th

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.

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This Week on the Road - November 1st-8th

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This Week on the Road - November 1st-8th

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…

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This Week on the Road - October 25th-31st

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This Week on the Road - October 25th-31st

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…

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This Week on the Road - October 18th-24th

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This Week on the Road - October 18th-24th

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…

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This Week on the Road - October 12th-18th

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This Week on the Road - October 12th-18th

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…

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This Week on the Road - September 28th-October 4th

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This Week on the Road - September 28th-October 4th

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.

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This Week on the Road - September 6th-13th

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This Week on the Road - September 6th-13th

It’s been a fairly quiet week out here on the road this week. After leading an exciting tour for my old tour company, I needed a little bit of time to relax and get back into the swing of things as I prepare for a busy fall season. It’s cooling down and I’m looking forward to fall colors and apple cider. While I spent a few days out in and around Sandusky, my week started and ended in the greater Cleveland area. Cleveland is definitely a city of neighborhoods, and while it hasn’t struck me as hard as Cincinnati did, it has grown on me. It seems there are little hidden secrets around every corner and I’ve only scratched the surface of what the city has to offer.

I started my week with an evening in Chagrin Falls. Chagrin Falls is a charming village on the far outskirts of the Cleveland suburbs. It gets its name from the small but pleasant waterfall which flows right through the center of town. Surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants, I just enjoyed wandering around town and taking some photos… 

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This Week on the Road - August 9th-15th

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This Week on the Road - August 9th-15th

This has been an interesting week for me out here on the road. Not only have I covered a reasonable amount of ground and seen some great places, but I also spent time in the hometown of my grandfather (and his father). He died when I was just 3 years old, so I never really knew him or much about that side of my family, so it was fascinating to visit tiny Dillonvale, Ohio and walk where he walked and learn about where he grew up. I also visited my great-grandparents' grave while I was there and introduced myself. The week brought me from Columbus all the way back to the Ohio river, north to Lake Erie and down into Cleveland. The weather is turning cooler and overall, it's been a great week out here as usual. 

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This Week on the Road - August 3rd-8th

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This Week on the Road - August 3rd-8th

It's been another busy but wonderful week out here in Western Ohio. I started the week in Dayton, returned briefly to Cincinnati and then made my way out to Columbus, Ohio's capital city. I've met some great people, taken some sweet photos, learned some interesting history and attended some great events. The weather has turned pretty hot and some amazing Midwestern thunderstorms have passed overhead, but I'm keeping cool and dry and really enjoying my time in the Buckeye State. As I've been driving, I've been enjoying a great podcast called Ohio V. The World. It is an interesting , in depth look at some of the history of the state and it's really given me some great background as I travel. This week has brought me into some of the flat, farm filled landscapes Ohio is most known for, but even these are dotted with cool old farm buildings and Rockwell-esque small towns. It's been another great week exploring all the great things America and Ohio have to offer… 

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This Week On The Road - July 12th-25th

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This Week On The Road - July 12th-25th

While I have been based out of Athens, Ohio for the last week and a half and have slept in the same campsite the whole time, I have been out and about exploring Athens County which has been really awesome. While it is time for me to get moving again as I want to see the rest of Ohio and Michigan before summer turns to fall, it has been nice to spend some time here and get caught up a little bit before pressing on. While I am leap-frogging over Kentucky to get here, I hope to return there in the fall when the leaves are changing and I can have a really good look around.

Coming into Athens County, with its rolling hills and coal mining history, it is definitely good to be back in Appalachia. I've spent a lot of time in Appalachia over the last few months, so this makes for a nice transition into the Midwest. Having seen dramatic differences between the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee and the Mississippi River floodplains in West Tennessee and between coastal South Carolina and the Upcountry, I am prepared for the differences I expect to see between this Ohio and the Ohio on Lake Erie. And I'm looking forward to it. 

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