Honky Tonk Puppy

Tennessee, it turns out, is a very long state. But it's quite lovely: the interstate wends over and around forests and cotton fields. We broke up the drive this afternoon with a walking tour of Nashville, which during our brief visit lived up to its reputation as a music-crazed party town.

We're aiming for breakfast in Memphis tomorrow morning before pushing on through Arkansas, where we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for ivory-billed woodpeckers.


Oh, Shenandoah!

I could summon a dozen clichés to describe the perfect fall conditions we witnessed today in Shenandoah National Park. But the most original description I could come up with while navigating the curves of the Blue Ridge Parkway was this: If the many-hued forest were a fabric, it would make a skirt my crazy 6th-grade art teacher would have worn. (She was the one with elongated holes in her earlobes presumably owing to years of heavy jewelry.) The clichés might have been better.

Moxie & I hit the road again today after three weeks catching up with family and friends (and blog postings) in Maryland. I'd hoped to camp tonight, but temperatures threaten to drop into the low 30's, which is rather too cold for us to bear. So we're resting our hiking-weary feet in a high-speed-internet-equipped hotel this evening. Tomorrow: Tennessee.


Climb Every Mountain

As we've come to expect, the Midwest treated us well this trip. S & K and their Australian shepherd Booker treated us to a delightful impromptu overnight in Madison. Then we lunched with A & D north of Chicago and spent a great weekend with M & K to the city's west. We even scaled Mt. Hoy -- which at 150 feet appears to be the highest spot in the county!

Mt. Rushmore

Moxie in '08?

We Heart Wyoming

We meandered through the state last month, driving through Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park before camping in Yellowstone, where a coyote sauntered by just meters away from our tent and bison made an obstacle course of the road east. Then we visited a dinosaur tracksite (which was discovered by a friend of a friend) and spent a chilly night camping in the Big Horn mountains.

On the way, I compiled this list of commonalities between Wyoming and Texas: 1) Cowboys 2) Big sky 3) Always-in-season boots 4) Frontier spirit 5) Love-to-hate-them politicians 6) Cowboys