Maryville (Stay Woke)

Just today, I learned that Maryville (mumbled locally as “Murrahvull”) College was founded by abolitionist Isaac L. Anderson and that the city has a rich history in anti-slavery movements. The Society of Friends presence was strong in the area beginning in the 19th century, and one of their core values is opposition to slavery. This…

Seven Future Islands

In Kodak, Tennessee right off exit 402 is a 416-acre state park; a birdwatcher’s paradise where over 200 different bird species have been spotted. The park offers around eight miles of hiking trails and hosts sporadic educational events. Dogs on leads are welcome, bikes are permitted on some trails, and the park has plans to…

Blood, Sweat, and Haggis

I went to the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the Maryville College campus for the first time ever. Despite three layers of sunscreen, I was baked to the core by an unforgiving sun and am struggling to regain energy, but every minute was justified. The SMSF began in 1981 and changed locations…

The Pliocene Era & Little Chicago

I decided on a whim to take a road trip to Johnson City, Tennessee. I’ve been several times but it was always arriving late for a show at the Hideaway that left little time to explore. Johnson City, as I recently learned, is called Little Chicago and there is a festival each year to back…