Driving in Southern California can be a harrowing experience. The spiderweb of freeways and drivers who appear to be in qualifying heats for the Indy 500 can turn even the stoutest of us into cringing, white-knuckled cowards.

NORTH CONWAY — I’ve been afraid of ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies for my entire life. While other kids watched horror movies at birthday slumber parties, I hid behind the sofa, and pretended to pick lint balls off the rug. After reading “Rosemary’s Baby” during high school, I slept…

Weeks before I actually headed to Mammoth Cave National Park for a weekend trip, and a day after I’d booked several guided cave tours, I encircled my chest with a tape measure. I was relieved to confirm I’d be an OK fit — quite literally, if just barely — for the Wild Cave Tour, the longest,…

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jay McDowell is a nerd, he’s quick to point out. The head nerd, in fact, of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Or at least that’s what the multimedia archivist, the official title on his snazzy black and gold business card, calls himself as he leads a grou…

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