Page 29. " He thought they had enough food to get through the mountains "
Mount Mingus, viewed from the Sugarland Mountain Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMount Mingus, viewed from the Sugarland Mountain Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains - Credit: Brian Stansberry, 2008

Given that Cormac McCarthy was raised in Tennessee, there is much to support the theory that the man and boy are approaching the lower stretches of the Appalachian Mountain Range, perhaps the Great Smoky Mountains which are situated on the Tennessee-North Carolina border.


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Page 31. " flaring and shimmering against the overcast like the northern lights. "

Northern Lights is the popular name for the aurora borealis: naturally occurring light displays caused by charged particles interacting with the magnetic field in the Earth's upper atmosphere.



Page 38. " a waterfall dropping off a high shelf of rock and falling eighty feet "
Linville Falls, North Carolina, USA
Public DomainLinville Falls, North Carolina, USA - Credit: Ken Thomas, 2007

The dramatic waterfall – providing a rare moment of relief – may have been based on the Linville Falls in North Carolina, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


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Page 40. " A rich southern wood that once held mayapple and pipsissewa. Ginseng. "

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Pipsissewa (chimaphila umbellata)
GNU Free Documentation LicensePipsissewa (chimaphila umbellata) - Credit: Walter Siegmund, 2010
Ginseng (panax quinquefolius)
Public DomainGinseng (panax quinquefolius)

Page 40. " Morels, it's morels. "
Black Morel (morchella elata)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBlack Morel (morchella elata) - Credit: Danny Glick

Morels are edible mushrooms, with a honeycomb-like upper section. Black morels thrive in areas scorched by forest fires.

Morel Recipes