Every time I visit the Tennessee Trace, I say hi to Meriwether Lewis. At milepost 386.9 along the Natchez Trace Parkway,

You can find Merry Lewis, too.

Visit the reconstruction of the stand where Merry died. Pay your respects at his grave. Walk on the Old Natchez Trace. Hike through the woods for miles. Have a picnic. Use a real toilet. Say hi to the ranger. Follow the interpretive trail. Take note of the fangirl gifts. (I last left a clove of garlic.)

Read about a birthday wish that Meriwether Lewis gave to me and read the whole story I wrote about him in To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

A desperate explorer. A little girl in danger. Can they beat their mutual enemy before it’s too late? If you like thrilling action, compelling characters and rollicking adventure, then you’ll love the 2nd book in New York Times bestselling author Andra Watkins’ Nowhere series.


Make sure you connect with me on social media so you can see the rest of the videos in this series! All the links are on the top right of this page.

memories are moments of consequence

Memories are moments of consequence. – Unknown

In 2005, Alice Guess agreed to visit the Columbia Gorge with me. It was my first trip to the land of Lewis and Clark, my first sighting of their final waterway to another sea. We got wet at Multnomah Falls on the Oregon side, and we entered Washington via the Bridge of the Gods. At a random interpretive center, we chanted ‘MAGMA’ through a 1970s movie about the Gorge’s formation, and we shared a cabin, its charm a worn patina.

I never knew I’d write about Meriwether Lewis. I was focused on making memories with my friend.

On a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, I retraced our steps, stayed in the same cabin, and gawked at timeless scenery. Cheryl Strayed made the Bridge of the Gods famous, but I never knew its ancient provenance.

For hundreds of years, Native Americans ambled across a land bridge in that very spot, a place they called the Bridge of the Gods. When flooding erased the crossing, modern man constructed a bridge and commandeered the ancient name. A drive between its steel girders is akin to time travel. I can almost hear the footsteps of the multitudes who crossed there.

I know I glimpsed a younger version of Alice and me, cackling the word ‘MAGMA’ over and over again through a few moments of consequence. My first trip to Columbia Gorge altered my life’s trajectory. My recent visit confirmed its path. Like Meriwether Lewis, I may not discover an unfettered path to where I’m headed, but I know I’ll get there anyway. We draw from our moments of consequence to bolster our spirits, to stay the course, to find the strength to believe again.


This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

Happy Monday, Dear Readers! What are you reading right now?

jo ann trogdon william clark

I’m reading The Unknown Travels and Dubious Pursuits of William Clark by Jo Ann Trogdon. About a decade ago, she unearthed William Clark’s journal from 1798, and she reconstructed his questionable activities. Was he a stooge for the evil General James Wilkinson?

You’ll have to read to find out.

I met Jo Ann Trogdon at the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Convention in Kansas City, and I must confess to flubbing our meeting. Completely. Flubbing. I was an IDIOT.

Jo Ann is married to a man named William Least Heat-Moon. Perhaps you’ve heard of him and his international best seller Blue Highways. He was standing at her table when I approached, and I morphed into a giddy fangirl.

Me: “OHMYGOD! It’s such an honor to meet you, William Least Heat-Moon! I read Roads to Quoz with my book club several years ago and enjoyed it so much!”

WLH-M: “Jo Ann is Q in the book.” (desperately trying to turn my attention back to his poor wife, who had the book debut)

Me: “I KNOW!!!!!!” (cackles like I forgot to take my crazy lady medication)

WLH-M: “I noticed you’re an exhibitor. What are you selling?”

Me: (motions in general direction of my display) “Oh, a few books. Nothing compared to what you’ve written.”

WLH-M: (looks toward my table and double takes) “Not Without My Father? You wrote that?”

Me: “Um……..yes?”

WLH-M: (charges over to table and PICKS UP MY BOOK) “I just bought this book. From Barnes and Noble. I haven’t read it yet, because I have a lot to read, but this one went in my ‘to read’ pile. If I’d known you were going to be here, I would’ve brought it for you to sign.”

Me: (more insane cackling as I face-planted into carpet)

Books I finished recently:

Malibu Betrayals, a contemporary romance by MK Meredith. I stayed awake until 3:30am panting through this book. 🙂

A beta read for an upcoming memoir.

Martin Marten by the genius Brian Doyle. FIND THIS BOOK AND READ IT.

Meriwether Lewis: The Assassination of an American Hero and the Silver Mines of Mexico, a new Lewis biography by historian Kira Gale. EXCELLENT READ.

What I’m reading next:

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

What are you reading right now?
Please share any recent reads
you’ve enjoyed in a comment today.