This Week in Awkwardness

I think I’ve mentioned it before but in case I haven’t, I spent about a year and a half living in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The ‘Burg is kind of kitchy and goofy but it’s a fun place to live in a beautiful area.  It’s been in the news lately for a horrific wildfire that burned thousands of acres, destroyed many homes, and killed at least 14 people.  A video someone shot of their escape from their burning neighborhood is easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen.  I used to be the photographer at a zipline course, and that remains possibly the best experience of my life.  From what I hear it’s been lost to the flames.  All of this is coming right as businesses are gearing up for Christmas tourism, which undoubtedly many people rely on to get them through the winter.  From what I’ve seen the downtown area and a lot of the really popular parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are still intact and mostly open, so if you were planning a vacation don’t be deterred, but maybe call your lodging/activities of choice to make sure they’re in a position to do business.

If you’ve been following the Dakota Access Pipeline story from North Dakota, you’ve probably heard that the Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement for it to go under the Missouri River.  This is an incredible victory for a group of people who have been marginalized for half a millennium, but the fight is far from over.  The company doubled down on their commitment to the project and there are other fights happening all over the country, like Sabal Trail here in Florida and Line 5 in my home state of Michigan.

I have successfully completed my 3rd semester at USF, which brings me to the halfway point of my time here!  One of my final things was a long paper on the Port Royal Earthquake of 1692, once it’s graded and they’re not going to accuse me of plagiarism I’ll post it.  Next term should be pretty interesting, at the very least History of the Soviet Union will make for better re-watches of The Americans, plus I don’t have to be anywhere until 11:00 on class days and that’s always nice.


Added to the Travel Map:

Cascada de Texolo, Xico, Mexico – 70 ft waterfall in a canyon.

Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship, Wisconsin – ancient rock art.

Boston Harbor Islands State/National Park, Boston, Massachusetts – especially Peddocks Island for fort ruins, summer cottages, yurt camping.

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