Quit Your Job. Grab a Rod. Hit the Road

That's one of my best friends since high school, Mark Wizeman, casting on a Smoky Mountain creek in NC last week. You might remember him from the "Montana Experiment" and "Alaska Experiment" articles in the magazine, as he joined me on both assignments. He was also the model holding a big brown trout in the dark on the cover of our June 2010 issue. Anyway, Mark emailed me this shot, along with an update on an adventure we all dream about, but few really make happen. Mark and his girlfriend, Leslie, decided to put their two very good jobs on hold, fill the car with camping gear, and see the U.S.A. over the next 4 months.

I must say I'm jealous of this endeavor. The only gripe I have is that now Mark won't be around all summer to fish with me, but I'll survive, and live vicariously through his emails, some of which I thought would be fun to share here from time to time. In the email with this photo, Mark wrote:

The stream that I intended to fish was Abrams Creek on the TN side of the Smokies before I found out that most of the trails in that portion of the park were closed due to tornado damage. From what I heard, an F3/F4 that went through there...we saw more tornado damage driving from Alabama to Louisiana. The scope of destruction that these tornadoes caused to solid forest was amazing. Entire trees uprooted and snapped in half across huge sections of woods.

From Louisiana, Mark and Leslie will make their way to Denver, where Mr. Kirk Deeter has graciously agreed to take my man fishing and show him how you tear up some trout on the Front Range. In the meantime, any flyfishing stop-off suggestions for my buddy on his way to Colorado? If you were able to make a trip like this, what route would you follow?