Read all about my latest backpacking adventure in the New York Times.
I loved touring the Pine Mountain Trail and Whitesburg, one of the friendlist small cities I've ever seen. I call it the Santa Cruz of the Southeast. I had a great time talking to documentary film makers and broadcasters at the legendary Appalshop, and listening to its excellent old-time/bluegrass/Americana station -- WMMT --- as I explored the backroads from Glomar to Hazard. I also hiked to a waterfall, hung out at the general store where parts of "Coal Miner's Daughter'' were filmed, and talked to ecologists who are trying to fight off the deadly woolly adelgid, an aphid-like creature that is slaughtering the state's historic hemlocks.
To mark my emergence from the Pine Mountain backwoods, I bought two bottles of top-shelf bourbon in Lexington, Kentucky, and wrapped them very carefully in brown bags and newspapers to survive the long trip home. They made it to San Francisco all right --- but as it turns out, they sell both brands right here at the Bevmo on Geary!!
In other news, I want to thank the staff of the beautiful Livermore Public Library and the great crowd that turned out for my latest Cactus reading -- in spite of the fact that the Obama/McCain debates were going on at the exact same time. (Don't worry. The people in the audience said they were going to watch the whole thing later on Tivo.) Also, thanks to Tori at Firehouse Bistro and Books for her help setting this up. I also enjoyed talking to everyone at my reading in The Castro, including my youngest reader -- or at least the youngest one that I know about.
I will be doing more readings and events in the winter and spring, with two firmed-up dates in San Francisco and Sebastopol, and one in Santa Cruz.