I recently took a walk/hike through finished portions of the Fonta Flora State Trail in Burke County, North Carolina. The trail is named after the local Fonta Flora settlement of African-American sharecroppers whose homes were flooded when the Catawba River was dammed to create Lake James. I started the walkContinue Reading

Here in 2020, odd year it is, we’ve canceled everything. Like the rest of the world, our usual day by day is not our normal day by day anymore. Today is kind of an odd one, though, because I’m on the road. I’m taking a mini vacation of sorts. ToContinue Reading

Our hike continues on in humid air with welcome breezes when, all of a sudden, I sense someone running behind me before hearing a terrified scream. “Ah!” Katie yelps. “Oh my God, Casey! Help!” I’m in the lead of our pack, but, startled, I turn around to my wife. Katie’sContinue Reading

“Do you have it?” Aunt Debbie sounds hopeful and looks to Mom with a soft smile. “I do,” my mom whispers stoically, reaching her hand into her purse. Aunt Stephanie curiously watches as an old handkerchief, a memento of their Grandma Shorty, is carefully lifted for the three sisters toContinue Reading

The tent appears a little blurry, I must admit, as my eyes wrinkle open. I peek out the tent door, in a fresh morning glow, to find Katie cooking breakfast by the fire. Rubbing my eyes, I reach for a water canister and take cool refreshing gulps. Elijah, still inContinue Reading

Freedom, consciousness, and wildness are all around and ever present as our feet lightly jog across an old, wooden dock. We move gently in the golden light of an aging afternoon sun. With each stride, I sense everything. Blushing coral clouds travel like vessels across a cerulean sky. Brilliant flowers,Continue Reading

Ah yes, old forest, thank you for the reminder – we are in bear country. Black bear used to inhabit most of North America, but, like all too many animals, habitat loss has significantly reduced the species range. So, here in a mixed forest with plentiful snags, bear find aContinue Reading

This March evening is perfect – one that flickers like a motion picture. I am enjoying myself heartily with good food, music, and drink. I’m accompanied by my little family in a tiny cottage in rural southwestern Virginia. Our lamplight rests at a low dim that accents the rustic wood,Continue Reading

“I like the old stuff, man.” Steve’s voice is soft as he sips gas-station coffee and cruises the Little River Road. “I mean, just listen to this, dude. Sounds like you’re supposed to rock Bob Seger in the mountains.” We are heading to Rainbow Falls trailhead to climb Mount LeConte.Continue Reading

Appalachia Bare is proud to introduce a new monthly nature series written by Grant Mincy, an assistant professor of biology and (sometimes) geology at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also sits on the Earth and Planetary Sciences Advisory Council for the University of Tennessee. He often hikesContinue Reading