I'm interested. As for the ticks, I found that it really did depend on where I was. I never made it to Brown Hollow, but Nebo Ridge had a lot when I was there in late June. Conversely, I didn't have as much of an issue with ticks in the Deam.
I've been to other parts in the area (MMSF, Yellowwood, Brown County SP) and I didn't have much of a problem with ticks there, either.