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Connect Deep

The people and places I’ve encountered on my travels have taught me the importance of connecting with the natural world and to other people in ways that have made me more human and humane.

Henry Ford’s Kentucky Coal Camps: My Great-Aunt’s Memories

Stone coal miners at Eastern #8 Lamphouse 1944

I recently spent a week in Kentucky with my Great Aunt Buntin in the video above. She is the youngest and only surviving sibling of six, all of whom born in the 1920's and 30's in a Kentucky coal camp near the West Virginia state line.

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Tuscany Italy by Motorcycle: Siena

Siena's duomo campanile

Awake once more at dawn in my 400-year-old room, I’m eager to get into Siena. The shimmering city on three hills that has been enticing us from the infinity pool at Podere la Strega is now on our agenda.

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Italy by Motorcycle: Negotiating with a Greve in Chianti Shopkeeper

The "gallo nero" (black cockerel) is everywhere in the Chianti region. This one is in the Piazza Matteotti.

After leaving San Gimignano we head to Greve in Chianti, the birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano. He is famous for being the first  European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and Newfoundland, and for discovering the New York Bay in 1524. This discovery is why the bridge spanning the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island bears his name.

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Tuscany Italy by Motorcycle: San Gimignano

werewolf at the torture museum

I awake on the third day of my tour in a 17th-century country house and it occurs to me that human beings have been conceived, born, lived, and died in this very room for over 400 years. The walls are freshly-painted plaster, their yellow hue the perfect shade for the faint early morning light.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Visit Death Valley Now, the Desert is Blooming!

Death Valley 2016 in a rare super bloom?

After sunset, we took a gravel road that was designed to cross the park. However, we found that it was completely unmarked, which left us to our own devices.

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Finding Courage to Relaunch Your Life

The "Courage" card that Jeri made for my birthday

My dear friend Jeri and I learned how to be grownups together.

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