Sunday, May 25, 2008

WalkingWest 08 -Liz & Ed Morgan

American Heritage Trail - Hiking from Isle of Palms, Charleston, SC (Atlantic Ocean) to Seaside, OR (Pacific Ocean) following historic Indian, exploration, and expansion routes.

Ed was born in 1945 and grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Virginia. Liz was born in 1951 and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut where she was very active as a Girl Scout and with the Audubon Society. We met while attending Virginia Tech where we were both very active with the VPI Cave Club, as well as participating in backpacking, rock climbing, and paddling. Ed received an MS in Micro Economics and Liz received a BS in Mathematics and after additional classes in accounting passed the CPA exam. We were married in 1972. Over the years we worked at various jobs, including owning and operating our own printing business for eighteen years. Most recently Ed had been working as a part time captain for Charleston Harbor Tours and Liz had been working as an accountant for a local surveying and engineering company. We have had many years of backpacking experience and trip planning though until the last several years we had been primarily just weekend warriors. We have taught classes on backpacking, trip planning, land navigation, and outdoor safety plus led backpacking trips with Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission for ten years. We are also Outings Leaders with the Sierra Club, planning and leading backpacking trips, plus started a Backpacking Group under the Sierra Club here in Charleston about eight years ago which is still going strong. Also, we have done several extended backpacking trips on our own, many of which involved extensive planning and logistics. These include the following: (1) Seven day backpack to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,300 feet; (2) Twenty-four day backpack in California, hiking from Mt Whitney (the highest point in the lower 48 states at 15,400 feet) to Badwater, Death Valley (the lowest point in the western hemisphere); (3) Seventeen day backpack in Colorado, hiking a combination of the Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail; and (4) Fourteen day backpack in Arizona, hiking down in the Grand Canyon; plus many additional backopacking trips from weekend trips to week long trips in various places across the USA.

Start: March 25, 2008
Finish: November 01, 2008



Ed and Liz came through Cannon County TN and gave us the following journal entry. This is one way to see America without the high gas costs.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Destination: between Woodbury & Murfreesboro on Hwy 70S
Starting Location: Hwy 70S west of McMinneville
Today's Miles: 15.00
Trip Miles: 562.00

JP, Candice, Ed, & another customer at JP's Fine Swine Bar-B-Que - Click picture to see full size
We had more ups & downs on our way to Woodbury, TN. As we approached Woodbury we passed an historical marker for the Trail of Tears which indicated that this was a usual place for the Cherokee to rest. As we entered town we passed Davenport's Full Service Gas Station. They were very busy. At the center of town a car stopped and Jessica got out. They seen us and turned around to come back to find out what we were doing. When she found out she shook our hands and got our autographs. Both she and her husband Joe wished us well. As we passed by the court house square we spotted a restaurant called JP's Fine Swine Bar-B-Que. We try to stop whenever possible at bar-b-que places so decided to have lunch their. The menu indicated that they only have ribs on specific days but the waitress, Candice, said they did have them today. They were absolutely delicious! While we were there Candice's dad, Bob, a reporter for the Cannon Courier, the weekly county newspaper, stopped by. He interviewed us, took a couple of pictures, and chatted with us while we finished our meal. If you are ever in or near Woodbury, TN, JP's Fine Swine Bar-B-Que is a must! While in town we met a lady who had to talk to us when she saw the word Indian on the signs on our packs. She is Chippewah and grew up on a reservation in Minnesota. As we were leaving town we passed a large neon sign for the Moonlite Drive-in that still operates and appears to be doing well. The road heading west out of Woodbury was a four lane divided highway with nice wide shoulders for walking. It passes through a series of low mountains and has a lot of road cuts through limestone. This part of TN, known as middle TN, has been very picturesque. We camped in the highway right-of-way but much less obvious than the night before.


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