Journal of 100 Miles

Celebrating the communities and culture along the 100 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee.

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Peace, Love and the Farm – Journal of 100 Miles, Vol. 6

We didn’t quite know what to expect walking onto the grounds of The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee.  We knew it was a hippie community, but what does that really mean?  It was enlightening, to say the least, during our visit around the property and talking with two of its residents. One being the leader of the hippie movement himself, Steven Gaskin, who was responsible for the largest caravan of buses across the US  in 1971 before settling as The Farm in rural, southern Tennessee. Read the article here: Peace Love and The Farm.  Peace!


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Land That We Love – Journal of 100 Miles Vol. 5

Lewis County boasts rich history and culture despite it’s thin population rate per square mile.  A beautiful setting among the “High Forest” as the name Hohenwald implies where natives and transplants alike meet for good fellowship.  Here we meet Mr. Brewer and his farm full of flocks and implements, talking squirrel stew and poke salad.  Read the article here published in Southern Exposure Magazine:  Land That We Love.

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Happy Trails – Journal of 100 Miles Vol. 4

Our latest journey off the Natchez Trace took place, and in what better fashion, on horseback!  We explore a picturesque area of Fly, TN and a stone’s throw from the Natchez Trace riding trail that actually covers a total of 25 miles for a good day’s ride. Our 90 minute ride was enough to see some pretty land and hear amusing stories.  Read  Happy Trails in Southern Exposure Magazine.

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It’s the Mule’s time to shine.  Known as the Mule Capital of the World, Columbia, TN sees thousands of onlookers and participants in their signature event each spring.  They can be called such things as a hinny or  john or mollie, but in the end, they are all bred to become one in the same – the Mule.

Kicking off the event was the Wagon Train starting from Leiper’s Fork and following the Old Tennessee Trail down to Columbia.

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Trace of Light – Photographer Mike Serkownek

Living a few miles off the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mt. Pleasant, TN is Mike Serkownek, businessman turned photographer. Having traveled to many parts of the country to capture beautiful landscapes through his camera, he claims, “The best places you do your best work seem to be close to home.” With the convenience of neighboring the Trace, he will often go back and find a different look to each setting depending on the time of year. Serkownek is intrigued by his discoveries and the mystery of whether he’ll find something he’s been looking for or fall upon that moment, “When it just happens to become a great picture,” the photographer says.

A lover of nature and supporter of environmental preservation, Serkownek’s photos have appeared numerous times on the cover of Tennessee Conservationist Magazine.  His keen eye for composition and play on light can turn simple elements like water, the sun, moon and leaves into a compelling work of beauty. Patience and observation allows him to find those moments that, captured on one particular day, will inevitably change with the season or simply by a rainy day.  A mere ripple in the water changes with the wind.  A winter fog reveals a river that will glow with the spring blossoms.  His work is a reminder of how nature in itself gives a photographer plenty of choices for fine details. Favorite spots for Mike to work include Fall Hollow, Water Valley and Metal Ford.

Emerging from Serkownek’s work is a heightened awareness of his surroundings.  His daughter, Rachel, points out by saying, “You see things I don’t see.” A talent also appreciated by wife Sandra and youngest daughter, Sara.

Serkownek strives for a “picture with a story in it; one that moves you somehow. “  He will attest, “There are two pictures in one:  the photographer’s and the viewer’s.”

Mike is a mostly self-taught photographer who has been featured in numerous publications, galleries and festivals.  He teaches classes and workshops in his home and on site in digital photography basics, composition, exposure and printing.  To experience nature, wildlife and rural life at it’s best among light, visit Mike Serkownek at

December 2009

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Meriwether Lewis Remembered

Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Lewis’ Death

It will be an affair to remember as hundreds will gather to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Meriwether Lewis of the exploration duo Lewis and Clark. A true American hero whose death remains a mystery, Lewis will finally receive a much deserved official memorial service on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 2:30pm.

At the end of the winding lane off milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Hohenwald, is the peaceful setting of Lewis’ gravesite and memorial where the event will take place honoring the man who sacrificed for his country and for his achievements and contributions to our nation.  Among those joining the event will be family descendants of both Lewis and Clark, government officials, tribal chiefs, representatives from Monticello, re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark Expedition bicentennial and people from across the country along with a moving performance from the 101st Airborne Infantry Band and a drum and fife corps.

Following this historical event are weekend festivities in the surrounding area of Hohenwald which include the town’s Oktober Heritage Festival (Oct. 9-10), a performance at the Strand Theatre (Oct. 9, 10, 16, 17) bringing to life the story of Meriwether Lewis and a festive time at Amber Falls Winery with their Meriwether Lewis commemorative wine release along with entertainment through the weekend.

What a great time to experience Hohenwald!  For more information

October 2009

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Tommy Thompson – Plein Air Artist

There are winding roads neighboring the Natchez Trace Parkway where Tommy Thompson can be found capturing his surroundings.  “I always want to know what’s around the bend,” he says, as he loves to discover new places with his wife, Marie.  For this plein air artist, around the bend is a few more miles of the unknown and endless possibilities.  When finding that perfect spot, where sunlight dances on the fields, he’ll pull out his easel and, like a poet putting words to paper, brush paint to canvas of a peaceful landscape and unsuspecting subjects.

Thompson’s impressionistic style with a play on light and color creates a tranquil display of a rural environment along with elements that “give life” to his art.  Horses and children are among his specialty. “With both you have to stay with them long enough for them to get accustomed to you, when they finally get quiet and move away from you, you can get a natural painting.”

The former architectural and commercial illustrator turned painter has been featured in numerous publications and solo exhibitions throughout the south and has studied under top painters like Kevin McPherson, Roger Dale Brown and Jason Saunders.  A labor of love, to be a painter, he will declare, “You have to work at it every day, never stop painting.”

Inspired by the Tennessee’s hillsides, his work here includes Dream Acres, Hillside Horses and Southern Light.  Left, Tommy paints with equine friend Sedona.  This picture was published in the Winter 2008 issue of Horses in Art Magazine.

To inquire about Tommy Thompson artwork, please visit and tell them sent you.

August 2009