“This is JUST LIKE the Blair Witch Project!”

I didn’t need to hear that. At 6am. As I forced my forty-five-year-old limbs over the sheer rock cliff that is Breakneck Ridge. While wearing a headlamp. And following three women, one of whom makes her living by cutting up Barbies into dismembered jewelry that is coveted all over the planet.

flags first tierBut Kristen lit the way ahead of me. If you read Not Without My Father, you’ll learn that Kristen is Cooper’s mom. And she’s sort of like my little sister.

We met on a Charleston stage. She set her sights on New York. And she moved. Met her husband. She grew. And made Cooper.

sunrise breakneck ridgeAnd I’m so proud of the person she’s become. Not that what I think matters. I’m just glad to know her. To call her my friend. To follow her into the dark up a rocky incline and experience a crisp sunrise.

I’ll never think of hiking in the dark without conjuring Breakneck Ridge. And headlamps. And sheer cliffs.

Ingredients for making memories.

upriver breakneck ridge


Or making words. It’s the same thing these days.

Our No Family Holidays With Family policy is breaking new ground this Thanksgiving. I need to take a trip for book research. To smell the scents. And haunt the haunted places. And tease out sounds from almost 200 years ago. Or millennia ago.

I’ll take what I can get.

And I’ve been working on my Help! I’m Married to An Architect! board on Pinterest, torturing MTM with images from a place he’s never been.

No. That wasn’t intentional. But this destination has been a regular subconscious theme of late.

When the characters told me I needed to get on a plane, I found a way to turn our family tradition into a Deductible Event.

We wanted to go somewhere else.

Blasted characters.

We’re flying to Mexico City instead.

*image from

Have you ever wound up going somewhere you never meant to be?


Apologies for the second post for today, but last night’s updates fell into a cell-hole.

Keep those questions coming, and I’ll keep answering them!

To see the best photos from Day Seven of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

And don’t forget to Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet. Don’t forget those hashtags #ToLiveForeverBook

You can finish the book before I’m done walking. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these great places: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.