In August, My Man is going to Alaska. Damn him. Me and the kids got to go last summer, so I suppose it’s only fair. But still, I’ve had to carefully work my head around the envy.
Part of my tactic is the same as I use for my 4yo– offer an exciting alternative! And so I started thinking about places closer in that I might like to take the kids on a road trip to. I started by thinking about Tennessee. What’s in Tennessee? Why, The Farm of course! Hippie icon of communal and progressive living, as well as home to Ina May Gaskin, mother of the 1960’s midwifery revival in the United States. Also in TN, my not-so-secret crush Sandor Katz (author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved) lives at yet another farm commune called Short Mountain.
But it’s a 9 hour drive up there. Do I want to spend 18+ hours of my vacation driving? Have I mentioned that I hate driving? Alone with 2 kids? Just to go knock on their respective doors and say, blushingly, ‘hi….’ It was not sounding very appealing.
I’ve been wanting to take them on a train ride though. That could really be fun. I looked to see how close I could get by train. Hmm. Not very. But in the course of my futzing around I stumbled across the fact of the Blue Ridge Mountains, right there on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, and a mere 2 hour drive from the train. Errr? Mountains? Well, more like high rolling hills. Nevertheless I was hooked.
And then, lo and behold, the Appalachian Trail runs through them mountains! And ends in Georgia! Who knew? I’ve always had a thing about the AT, what outdoorsy person hasn’t? Of course, solo with two littles, I can’t actually hike on it, but I could go and stand on it. Maybe peeble a few hundred feet of it. I could see it anyway, and how cool is that?
Then I started to realize that hey, the Appalachians are famous for their backwoods old-timers. The mountain farmers of yesteryear. Like in the Foxfire books, another icon of my yearning-to-be-a-homesteader days. Wait, hold everything, could this be true? The Foxfire Museum?! Right there in the southwestern tip of North Carolina?
So, looks like me and the kids will be taking a train trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Renting a car and driving up to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve got a line on a couple of farms, hoping one will take us for a few days. Late August. Anyone want to join us?
Or, more likely, anyone know the area and have any recommendations, or live round about there with an extra bedroom?