About us:

We are the Housden family, based in Gainesville, Florida , and we love American history and traveling! We’ve combined our love of history and traveling and share our adventures here on The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. We travel throughout the States, exploring historic parks and museums, charming cities, and reenactments and events. If you have a story or a place we should discover - please let us know through our contact page. Enjoy!

meet us:

Laurel - photographer and writer

 I love to travel to early American historic locations.  I also enjoy photographing reenactments, architecture, epic landscapes, and interpreters.  Colonial Williamsburg is my "happy place".   I'm a professional photographer based in  Gainesville, Florida.  You can check out my website here.  When I'm not traveling, you will often find me watching reruns of Turn: Washington's Spies, reading the latest CW Trend and Traditions magazine, or playing cribbage with my family.

Laurel at Mt. Mitchell - Blue Ridge Parkway

Laurel at Mt. Mitchell - Blue Ridge Parkway

Aidan - Editor and Writer

I first discovered my passion for American history in the Hamilton craze of early 2016. Since then, I have never looked back. I specifically favor the early nineteenth century, but I love learning about all periods of our nation’s past. As an aspiring author and teacher, I hope that channeling my thoughts and experiences in an online travel and history blog will help prepare me for a future of learning - while also sharing my passion with the world!

Aidan at the James K. Polk Ancestral Home

Aidan at the James K. Polk Ancestral Home


Doing whatever I can to help get these thoughts and images out into the Ether is as much fun for me as it is for Laurel and Aidan. It is also intriguing to see some of the historically significant places and sites through the lens of their importance in American history – particularly for a British/Australian dual-national like myself. For instance: did you know that Britain used to own America?

Stuart at St. Augustine Beach, Florida

Stuart at St. Augustine Beach, Florida

What is The Trail of the Lonesome Pine?

As a professional photographer I have always aspired to the kind of scenic tableaus that regularly awe readers of formidable publications such as National Geographic. With this ambition nagging at my mind, I embarked on a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina in the summer of 2017. My intention was to set about establishing a stock of panoramic and scenic images that I could build on subsequently as I developed and honed my craft.

However, as I busied myself in pursuing this – scouting for suitable vistas, setting up shots, talking with locals and fellow travelers and so forth – I found myself being seduced by the majesty and beauty of the setting I was in. Whether it was the feel of the mountain air, the colour of the tree lines on the horizon, the excitement in the voices and faces of the people I met, or the majesty of a single towering pine tree, I knew that I wanted to share how I experienced these places as much as capture their images.

Thinking I would start a travel blog, I brainstormed names with my family – mainly due to the references to Virginia and pine trees in the song from Laurel & Hardy’s 1937 film “Way Out West” we tentatively settled on “The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine”. This name fitted well in a number of ways, not least that I started this quest on the Blue Ridge Parkway (the “Trail”). Watching the film of the same name released in 1936 and starring Henry Fonda was enough to cement the choice.

However, this enterprise resists being pigeonholed or constrained and has grown to be more than a simple travel blog. Enchanted and fascinated with the history as well as the geography of our beautiful country, we regularly travel to places and events where we can experience them – capturing images of the country as well as the engaging and committed people we meet who are dedicated to learning about and preserving both. We invite you to explore the experiences we have captured, and we welcome all and any suggestions you have as to possible places or events that would augment what we have presented here.