"Howoooll!" went the hillbillies as they gazed up at the full moon. Glug went the moonshine as it slipped down their throats. This was the sunset/moonrise scene atop a fire tower overlooking the Great Smokey Mountains on the North Carolina section of the Appalachian Trail.

After three weeks of travelling between America's sprawling southern cities - Austin, New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga - we finally escaped into the wild, travelling up into the North Carolina mountains. Wesser Creek is a totally different world, the kind of place that Davy Crockett might have lived and just over the hill from where Cold Mountain was set.

We were late to the rendezvous point, but no matter, for our hillbilly chum was happily entertaining the passing Jehovah Witnesses with his banjo playing. Loaded up with our Couchsurfing host's tie-die, the roads started to narrow, the rivers started to proliferate and the scenery turned to trees and mountains. Fresh air!

Isaac and Tanis, befriended over run and banjos on a Belize beach, live in an 1850's wood cabin high up on a hillside in a forest next to a creek. It was the warmest day of the year here, so far, and spring fever was in the air. The earth was warming, taking a relieved breath and letting the melting snow gently seep in and transpire out. Daffodils were budding and wood anemones were blooming. The red cardinals were chirruping and the wild turkeys gobbling (while remaining mysteriously hidden).

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