• Adventures,  Life,  National Parks,  North Carolina,  Tennessee,  U.S.A.

    What I Did & Spent on a Solo Weekend in Asheville & the Great Smoky Mountains

    I really, really needed this trip. I needed to get out of town, to put on my pack and walk into the woods. I needed to spend a few hours in the car, music up and windows down. I needed to be alone in the woods, to take myself to dinner, to drink new beers, to catch up with one of my oldest friends. I just needed to go. Asheville, North Carolina, is a place I keep going back to. The first time I went, I was 19. It was my first-ever road trip. I took my boyfriend, headed south on I-81 and felt like a grown up doing grown…

  • Life,  National Parks,  Tennessee,  U.S.A.

    A Waterfall, the Great Smoky Mountains & How We Said Goodbye to Us

    We broke up six months ago, but there we were, driving south from Richmond to Gatlinburg, Tennesse, toward the Great Smoky Mountains. It was an unintentional farewell tour, a trip hatched months ago, planned and booked right before things broke again and executed defiantly and stubbornly because that’s who we are, defiant and stubborn humans with an excessive amount of love for one another and hopelessly divergent viewpoints. On Thursday I pulled up the trip planner for Great Smoky Mountains National Park and gestured to a list of waterfall hikes. “Pick one,” I said. “That one,” he said, pointing to the short description of the hike to Ramsey Cascades which listed…

  • Road Trip Pit Stops: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park || terragoes.com
    Adventures,  National Parks,  Tennessee,  U.S.A.

    Road Trip Pit Stops: Chattanooga National Military Park

    When you’re on a multi-day drive in a big stupid truck hauling home some furniture that belonged to your dead grandmother, it’s best to include some adventures along the way. In fact, it’s probably mandatory. I’d never done the drive from Texas to Virginia, although it’s one my grandmother managed a few times in her 89 years of life. She was born in Loop, Texas, between Lubbock and Midland, and then moved to Virginia and, much later, returned to Texas, to Houston, for her remaining years. After coming home from my deployment, getting to Texas to gather up some of her things was among the pressing items on my to-do…