A new memoir piece, Tsali, describes a mountain biking trip Debbie and I took in western North Carolina in the summer of 2011. It is set in a recreation area adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains that is rich in history, though the history is not always evident. Christopher Camuto describes the region well in his excellent book Another Country: Journeying Toward the Cherokee Mountains. Ron Rash also describes the area in his novel Serena, and Charles Frazier mentions the historic figure for whom the modern recreation area is named in his author’s note to Thirteen Moons, as incidents involving the historic figure served as the basis for an episode in the novel. I hope this post and my brief essay might lead you to one of those writers, or to the Tsali Recreation Area itself. If you go, enjoy the ride.
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