High Country Bus Fest & Collins Family Reunion


Upon leaving Johnson City a few weeks ago, Eddy and I traveled a couple hours on back country, mountain roads, over to Crumpler, NC in search of the Twin Rivers Campground. One day in JC when we were parked at a park and cooking on our little campstove, a stranger approached us and started talking to us about our van. He restores Vanagons and as we were chatting with each other, he asked us if we were headed over to the Bus Fest in NC. We of course had no idea what he was talking about, but decided to go check it out for ourselves! We had never been to a “Bus Fest” before and since we don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, we thought “might as…

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Backpacks & Books – In Patagonia


Let’s take this time to head down to South America in this month’s book club pick, In Patagonia, written by Bruce Chatwin. I have heard that if you want to explore the Patagonia without having to actually go there, this book is the book to read. The Patagonia is a large, mystical place, full of intriguing adventures just waiting to be had. One day I want to set foot there and see it all for myself, but until then, I will just catch a glimpse of it through Chatwin’s experiences in this place he loved! You can find the complete 2016 reading list by clicking on this link or by visiting the book club page via the main menu. Please feel free to join in on the discussion even if you…

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Backpacks & Books – July Book Review


This should have been done exactly 15 days ago… but it’s probably no big surprise that I sometimes procrastinate… Oops!! For everyone that has been following along with the book club, let me start out by saying that I actually DID finish this book shortly after I posted the review for Under The Tuscan Sun. And… I LOVED IT! Neither Here Nor There was funny, witty, and full of adventure! I thought I would see more of my beloved Katz in this book, but alas, there were just a few memories shared of Bryson & Katz’s experience traveling the same areas about 20 years prior to Bryson’s present day trip. On his journey, Bryson explores several Countries, museums, and historical sites, but for me, the most fascinating parts of this…

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Our Visit to Johnson City, TN


Upon leaving the Nantahala National Forest, Eddy and I decided to go check out Johnson City for a few days… those few days turned into a whole WEEK! We really enjoyed the city and everything that it had to offer… besides the hot days of course! Luckily each evening and night cooled off enough for us to sleep comfortably. One morning while we were there, we decided to check out the Saturday morning Farmers Market and it did not disappoint. We got some great veggies and even some TURKEY EGGS which was a bit of a splurge price-wise, pretty neat to have tried, but all-in-all just tasted like a chicken egg. I just love all of the friendly people and beautiful colors that are usually the norm for the Farmers…

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Backpacks & Books – June Book Review


Better late than never, right?! Well at least that’s how I feel about this particular book review. It did take me a while to finish this one. Partially due to the fact that by the time I got my hands on the book, I became extremely busy with some additional work I dove into, and partially because I couldn’t really get into it. Under the Tuscan Sun was an excellent movie in my opinion, and I think because of that opinion and expectation, I didn’t enjoy the book very much. They are COMPLETELY different! The general idea of buying and restoring a villa in Tuscany stayed the same within book and movie, but nothing else seemed to follow along with each other. I’m not saying the book was terrible, I’m…

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Hiking Nantahala National Forest


Eddy, Tripp, and I set out for our long road trip adventure last week. We drove from my parent’s home in Prattville, AL to just East of Chattanooga, TN and found ourselves happy and chilly in the Nantahala National Forest. We traveled along the Cherohala Skyway until we took a left onto National Forest Rd. 81, traveled about 8 miles on the gravel road that it is, and parked Hippie at the Wolf Laurel trailhead. We organized our camping gear, packed our food bag, strung it all together, threw it on our backs, and started hiking uphill. Straight uphill and/or downhill was definitely the theme for this hiking adventure. Although the views and scenery were gorgeous, and most of the trail was surrounded by beautiful blooming Mountain Laurels,  we spent…

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