Happy Trails: Future Travels

The apple butter is about half-done at lunch time

â–¶ So maybe I’m one step closer to making a decision about the Peru trip. I went to the first planning meeting last night, and other than the expenses (known and unknown), what I learned made me lean towards rather than away from signing on.

I was quite surprised to learn that two of the three lodges we’d be staying in have wireless connections, one has solar cells that can be used to recharge batteries (for cameras, phones and laptops.) I’d be powerfully drawn to write and shoot photos on a trip like this, and it seems it’s reasonable to think I could do so without having to write everything in my indecipherable long-hand and shooting only with the pocket camera.

I’ll have to decide in the next couple of weeks; a small deposit is due before Thanksgiving.

â–¶ This weekend, I’ll tag along for fun while she suffers (gladly and beneficially, hopefully) her obligatory CEU’s in a pharmacy workshop at Wintergreen south of Charlottesville–about three hours up-valley, and new territory for both of us. Thanks to helpful Facebook friends, I have some trails suggested for my Saturday morning (frozen) hiking. I’ll enjoy exploring the area in Google Earth ahead of time. Who knows: maybe I’ll meet someone there who will change my life–or maybe I’ll change theirs! Or (more likely) I’ll hole up in the motel room with a good book and watch the snow blowing out the window. (Just snow showers predicted.)

â–¶ And two weeks from yesterday, I’ll wend my way to Westlake as I wrote about on Monday. I so often go into these speaking opportunities with great expectations, and come home telling Ann “At least I did a job I’m proud of” when the attendance is disappointing. That may happen this time, but I’m thinking not. And I know my audience will hold a higher-than-average percentage of writers, so maybe at least I’ll be able to find the nerve of connection. Or not. Traveling hopefully, arriving soon.

â–¶ Yes, thanks for asking: I AM enjoying the new version of Scrivener–in which I’m writing this blog post and where I have a half dozen active pieces in progress, and love the ease with which I can add comments, in-line annotations and such. I thought I couldn’t live without Diigo for that purpose, but their new PAID model ran me off. I’ve found comfort in the arms of another, thank you very much.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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