From time to time, I’ve contemplated compiling an anthology of travel writing from Western North Carolina. Such a volume would commence with the descriptions of the region compiled by the Moravian explorer Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg in the early 1750s. Next would be William Bartram, who entered the western tip of the state in 1775 and published his famous Travels’ in 1791. In the 19th century, the accounts were numerous, with my favorite being In the Heart of the Alleghenies (1883) by William G. Zeigler and Ben S. Grosscup. And accounts were equally numerous during the next century. The difficulty would lie not in finding materials but in winnowing it all down to manageable proportions. One late 20th century writer that I’d insist on including would be the irascible Bill Bryson.