Saturday, June 25, 2011

I’m getting sick of genealogy!

0616110958aTennessee – before heading up into NC.  This is the Douglas Lake looking toward the Douglas Dam… which dammed up the French Broad River where I believe my ancestors had farms.

Asheville, NC

Did I say that?  I’ve been mesmerized by searching for my roots since I was 24 years old – and that’s been more than four (4) decades ago.  Sometimes too obsessed to eat or rest.  Then came out and I’ve been wild to track down each of my ancestral lines.  And I’ve really enjoyed doing research for others as well as my own family.  But, having been totally devoted to this obsession for over two full months… I do believe I’m reaching the point of maximum saturation for diggin’ roots. 

For one thing, it’s too sedentary.  I need to be up moving around more and staying more active.  When I’m out in the field like I’ve been the past couple of weeks… I do get more activity, but what happens, I get to a library or archives, walk around get what I want to look at and plop my butt down for hours more… then return to the van, get on the computer, and enter the new stuff I found.


The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Today I drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, NC a ways, went into the Southern Highland Craft Guild exhibit at the Folk Art Center… drooled over some of the beautiful things… and left with some free brochures and booklets.  This is where I’d do my Christmas shopping, if I were a millionaire.


Reems Creek, in Buncombe County, NC.

I’ve enjoyed driving around the areas where I believe my ancestors lived… but the problem with Eastern TN and Western NC is that the roads are narrow and hilly and windy all at the same time.  Most times there is no place at all for me to pull off quickly with an extended van hauling a 12 trailer. .. and people are always on my tail.


Once a Methodist Parsonage, but now a Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Yesterday I believe I visited the home my ancestors (Calfees) lived in during the Civil War era and later.  That was pretty neat but the discouraging thing is that I can’t prove the link between my great grandfather and those individuals due to the fact he may have changed his name.  Ughhh! And most the people related to those people are dead, and those living that I know… well most don’t care, and the few that do care about our roots, don’t believe I’m barking up the right tree.  Uggghhhh!


From the driveway of the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society, looking back toward Asheville, NC.

This week I planned to visit two places in Asheville NC and do more research.  The Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society and the downtown Pack Library.  I just scooped them out this afternoon and there is no place I can park.  Downtown was a hustle and bustle this afternoon which really surprised me.  The only way I can do it is drop my trailer someplace and just drive the van in.  There is lots of “tagging’ in this town and I don’t feel safe leaving my stuff in my van.. and don’t want to lock it up in the trailer and leave the trailer someplace unless I can leave it on private property someplace. 

This is just too complicated and I want to just start driving west… but where? ND where the river is going to bust it’s banks, or OK where another nuke plant is being threatened, or where?  None of the water here that I’ve seen so far motivates me to get the boat out.  And the population density here… well, let’s just say I’m in shock.

I feel depressed and miss my friends, my sister, my family in Washington State.  I feel like the van is becoming my coffin.  I need to get out of the East and back to the wilds.  I’m not motivated here to take good care of myself.  (Well, not all my blogs can be uplifting, and I needed to vent and after all, it is MY blog!)

Pout (:

(O.K. who wrote that and where did Charlene go???)


The headwaters of the French Broad River in North Carolina… it runs down into Tennessee.  I believe my ancestors travelled up and down this river.

But I have learned some interesting things about this branch of the family and if I am correct, I hope others will be thrilled with my findings.


  1. My roots are from Eastern TN also and I live in the east but would love to get out of the heat and head west!!

  2. Hey Charlene !

    Sorry we missed each other but I am back home in Florida. Take care my friend and be safe !!!


Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.