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Appalachian Music Trails: Destinations in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Music stage at Floyd General Store, Floyd, VA

Music is an easy way to celebrate Appalachian culture. All American music can be traced to Appalachia. That’s where the cultural blend of European and African musical and rhythmic forms came together. Everything from jazz, old-time country music and Dixieland, to Cajun, soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll, is a product of Appalachia’s cultural fusion. …

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Italy’s Lazio Region by Motorcycle: Ronciglione and Bolsena

This is Part Two of my series on Italy by motorcycle. Start the series here. Day Two finds us north of The Eternal City, in the medieval burgh of Ronciglione, now home to fewer than 9,000 people. Our guide Enrico tells us we have 45 minutes to grab a cuppa, …

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Appalachian Roots Music: What’s with the Banjo?

We will visit the Blue Ridge Music Center and learn the history of bluegrass music on the Appalachian Mountains and Music Motorcycle Tour

I never learned to like bluegrass music as a child of the 1970’s. After all, we had the Rolling Stones, The Who, and Fleetwood Mac on the AM/FM dial so who needed that old timey stuff? (How ironic,the words “AM/FM dial” when talking about old timey stuff). And why were banjos …

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Appalachian Mountains and Music Motorcycle Tour with Wayne Henderson

In addition to the best motorcycle roads in Appalachia, my guests will enjoy two bluegrass concerts

There are lots of motorcycle “bucket list rides” in Appalachia, especially the Blue Ridge province. As a matter of fact Motorcycle Roads website ranks 30 of the top 100 motorcycling roads in America in the region. Many of these top roads are in the Blue Ridge province where my Appalachian Mountains & Music Motorcycle Tour (AMMMT) is …

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Driving a Motorcycle in Rome: My Surprising Experience

Huge motorcycle parking lot Siena

I’ve been chasing an Italian man riding a BMW GS Wasserboxer  motorcycle for the last six days through Lazio, Tuscany, and Umbria. Tomorrow we’ll be back to Rome, where the entire adventure began. My husband fully approves. We have an understanding. Rome traffic and the social contract On the first day …

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Tribute to My Hillbilly Grandparents: Appalachia Proud

Trapping was a winter way of life for boys I grew up with

I’ve been traveling the Appalachian Mountains all of my life, first in the family station wagon, then on my motorcycle. It’s gorgeous country, and the people who call it home are often misunderstood. I know this because they are my people. Growing up in central Ohio our county was bordered …

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Holiday Road Trippin’ with ABC Radio

Listen to free tips for a perfect holiday road trip

Did you hear me interviewed on an ABC radio affiliate today? The segment leads with the JFK assassination (53 years ago today) but 13 seconds into the segment, it turns to a couple of my favorite subjects: roadside kitsch and road tripping. The radio production wizards took a simple interview and …

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The “Ambition Dress” and Extending My Middle Age

Tam with Shepherd Center Seniors

Yes, that’s me with a group of seniors in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of the Shepherd Center Author Series.  Take a closer look at the folks in the photo at the top of this post, all normal-sized and ambulatory. I loved what they shared with me about their lives, past …

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West Virginia’s Miss Vickie: Let Go, Let God

Miss Vickie's famous Dodge 1950 Ram

My travels have blessed me with countless—countless—chance encounters. From a fry cook walking across America before he goes blind, to a homeless Vietnam veteran, and the people who shared their journeys with cancer with me, I have been blessed, and my character molded by each one of them. Perhaps none so much as Miss …

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Camping For Beginners with Kids: Free Download

This free download makes your first camping trip super easy

If you’ve never gone camping with your family, you need answers to these three questions: WHAT equipment do you need? WHERE should you camp? WHAT can you do with the kids once you get there? My free download: Camping for Beginners” will help. I eased into camping with one of my sons as …

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