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Appalachia

A tour host and amateur anthropologist I love the Appalachian Region. Generations of my maternal family worked the coal mines of Kentucky and West Virginia. Scroll down for stories and travel ideas.

History, Music, Food, and Serenity at Kentucky’s Shaker Village

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill goat

When you hear the word “Shaker” you likely think of 19th-century furniture. Fair enough. That said, Shaker innovations went far beyond furniture and crafts. They invented: The flat broom The circular saw blade The spring clothespin Chair tilter buttons The paper seed envelope. They also developed social reforms that provided …

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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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Appalachian Coal Heritage Tourism: Yes, This is Important

This week in my TV interview, I highlighted some "Coal Heritage Tourism Sites" in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky, where the mining industry provided not only income, also a way of life to its workers and extended communities.

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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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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?

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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.

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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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Leaf Peeping and Waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway

This year's wet weather may have postponed your annual trip to the North Carolina Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the fall foliage. Good news, you haven't missed a thing. The dazzling colors will continue to descend from high elevations to low through the beginning of November.

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Why Visit a West Virginia Coal Mine?

The Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley, WV is worth a stop

We all do it. We drive the same stretch of road time and again, never stopping to see what those "little brown signs" are enticing us to visit along the way.

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