Appalachia & Bluegrass Country: Route End


CWU's fourth tour, Appalachia & Bluegrass Country, wrapped-up in Asheville, North Carolina on May 20, 2016. After a short visit with my family in NC, some needed rest and time spent catching up with friends back home in Houston, and a few days in the garage cleaning and fixing equipment, I finally chained myself to the computer. The result is an updated website with the audio clips, videos, and photos that I spent nearly six weeks collecting while pushing my rig mostly uphill, mostly in the rain.


Last night while I was comfortably nestled in my own soft, dry bed with my own clean sheets, a light went off in my head. Actually, it may have just been the pale blue glow cast against the wall from my printer's power button, but I did realize that one of the reasons I was late to update CWU's website is that I've been using a very cumbersome and time-consuming process to edit and load audio clips. So, from here forward, I will use a much simpler, and I think cooler, map-based system like the one shown below. I will endeavor to add markers on-the-go during my next and subsequent tours.




When conditions permit I setup my phone to record the formal conversations I have with folks. Often, the informal chats with people I meet by chance are as illuminating and interesting but don't make it on tape, and so you won't see them represented on the map above. I try to make notes about those conversations in my route journal as soon as I get the chance, though, so that I can eventually share those stories in print.



My last update came about 2 weeks into the tour, way back in late April, taking us through Louisville, KY. As I pedaled from there into Eastern Kentucky and through West Virginia, the roads narrowed while the hills and the tales grew taller. The Appalachians began to flex their muscles, putting mine through the ringer, and the rains arrived with my ascent through Kentucky's Red River Gorge. I found myself lingering at diners and service stations to rest, enjoy a chat, and dry out a little bit.