The 50 States Project Update: Tennessee and North Carolina

By Editorial Team on January 7, 2020

Tennessee was FUN! We didn’t get a whole lot of work done, and we’re pretty sure we’re going to have to make a second visit, but we sure did have a blast while we were there. We spent a couple of nights and one full day in Nashville: eating, playing tourist, and, oh yeah, eating (Kate can’t control herself when biscuits are involved). We walked down Broadway and saw the honky tonks (which were in full swing at 11:00 am on a Tuesday), ate at Biscuit Love in the Gulch (and then needed a nap), visited Jack White’s Third Man Records, poked around Vanderbilt, and hung out in East Nashville.

Broadway in Nashville
Third Man Records in Nashville







After that we headed to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place we were both eager to see. We pulled into our campsite after dark, made a tasty dinner on our camp stove, and snuggled up in bed. The weather dipped below freezing but we managed to stay reasonably warm in the van. The next morning was Thanksgiving, and we had been graciously invited to share Thanksgiving dinner in Pigeon Forge with the Moughon Family — all 25 of them! We showed up for dinner and somehow ended up getting adopted into their family for the next three days. We felt so loved and taken care of and grateful. Thank you Moughon Family!!

Thanksgiving with the Moughons

On our way out of Tennessee, we drove all the way through the National Park and stopped at Clingman’s Dome. It is SPECTACULAR. We had the most perfectly clear day imaginable, and the view was unreal. We crossed the border into North Carolina just ahead of a snowstorm, and spent two extremely cozy nights at at a friend’s house in the mountains. We then headed east, exploring Pinehurst and the lovely Weymouth Woods before making our way to our dear friend Kristen’s place in Greenville. From Greenville, we took a day trip to Nags HeadPea Island, and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The weather was even warm enough to have a picnic on the beach!

The top of Clingman’s Dome
The top of Clingman’s Dome
Weymouth Woods
Weymouth Woods







A picnic in Nags Head
A picnic in Nags Head







As we headed out of North Carolina we stopped to camp at Carolina Beach State Park outside of Wilmington. It was a Saturday night and we ate dinner by the fire to the sounds of families enjoying their weekend getaways at the beach. After weeks of chilly mountains, we’re so excited to have made it to the South!

Many, many, many thanks to all our hosts and friends in Tennessee and North Carolina who brought us in out of the cold. Now that we’re in the South we can finally camp more regularly!

Amanda Oyakawa
The Moughon Family
Carolyn and Liston Orr
Kristen Orr

All the very best,
Kate and Tom

P.S. We’re headed to Georgia and Florida next. Add some pins to our interactive map if you have suggestions for us!

Bonus Pics:

(Source: Photos courtesy of Kate Flemming and Tom Woodruff | Project Sponsored in part by Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.)