On a rainy day in late March our family decided we needed a day in the Smokies, or, to be more precise, under them. Our destination was Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Tennessee, about 25 miles south of Knoxville. The word Tuckaleechee is derived from the Cherokee word, Tikwalitsi (original meaningContinue Reading

Mountains are in my blood. I spent my early childhood in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Pennsylvania while my extended family was (and still is) out West. My people hail from the mountainous region of Northwestern Oregon’s Willamette Valley, down the Pacific Coast Range all the way to San Diego.Continue Reading

Welcome back to Part 2, the last of Appalachia Bare’s series about the Daugherty surname. Our focus here will mainly be on Sir Cahir Rue O’Doherty, the last Gaelic/ Irish Chieftain. Understandably, Cahir is not from Appalachia. But I remember something my grandmother once said to me: A Daugherty isContinue Reading

Like just about everyone else in this region (and across the nation), I am a conglomeration of peoples. I am Irish, Scottish (Scots-Irish (Scotch-Irish)), German, English, Dutch, French, Swiss, Bohemian, Melungeon, and I could go on. The earliest known existence for any of my ancestors in this region was aContinue Reading

At the end of February, we packed our bags (masks, sanitizer, and alcohol spray included) and took a daytrip to downtown Asheville, North Carolina, to visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, honoring the Appalachian writer, novelist, playwright, and poet, Thomas Wolfe. We took the scenic route on 25-W and it wasContinue Reading

Check out the following answers for Appalachian English Quiz 3. Appalachia Bare works to provide the best available answers, with the understanding that some words are said or meant differently in various Appalachian regions. Let us know in the comments if other meanings for these words exist. The following dictionariesContinue Reading

One day, I’d just hung up the phone after talking with my mother, and my oldest son asked, “Mom, how come you talk different when you’re on the phone with Mammaw?” “Do I?” I asked, puzzled. My youngest son chimed in, “Yeah. You do. You talk more country. It’s weird.”Continue Reading

Archetypes are essential to a deeper understanding and appreciation of film and literature. Popularized by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in the early 20th century, the word archetype is defined as a recurring symbol or motif found in traditional storytelling. This definition particularly refers to the recurrence of characters and plotsContinue Reading

I’m a bad Buddhist. I lead with that statement when describing my spiritual practice because claiming Buddhism as one’s spiritual path often leads to the inevitable questions (or jokes) about enlightenment or the assumption that I have an outsized well of patience and wisdom. Neither of these things are trueContinue Reading

My first “spiritual” teacher arrived simultaneous to the literary discoveries. Anything but spiritual and much older, he drew me at nineteen into a long and difficult entanglement, a liaison lasting years that would, these days, set off all the #MeToo sirens. The sum of it was traumatizing, but there wereContinue Reading