America’s hometown fill-up

My dad was a mechanic. Everybody knew him, and most everybody brought him their vehicles for tune-ups, oil changes and major repairs. His shop was also a filling station, gas station, whatever it was you called them.

Old Russellville Pike

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Hometown

Before there was US11E, Russellville had a Main Street. It’s a block north of the highway, which ate up a street once called Chestnut. My family’s stores were down there, the old library/community meeting space, homes, and past the hill that rises up to the north with the other streets of the town (somebody please […]

Back in the day

Between 8th and 9th Avenues North, between North Ocean Boulevard and the King’s Highway, there sits a big old empty lot, different from other empty lots only because of the zipline installed in its western end. A smaller, completely empty lot sits across the street between North Ocean Boulevard and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is now made of boards, although for the entire time I knew it, the walk was dirty concrete except for a section in the Pavilion’s courtyard. Didn’t matter to me. I was a hip, cool kid at the age of 3 and even later, when I was a gawky teenager who knew little beyond what I’d learned in books and that the beach was a great vacation spot.

‘Lying in our County of Green on Fall Creek’

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Hometown

Fall Creek cuts under the railroad and flows across the edge of a flat bottomed field until it disappears under a road I’ve known by more names than I can remember. Now it’s called Warrensburg Road, but I never knew it by that name as a kid running over the bubbling, hot tar surface, trying to avoid stepping on snakes stuck in the asphalt and squished flat by the daily passage of cars and trucks on their way to and from the highway.

On top of old Smoky

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series US441

Not covered with snow on this New Year’s Day, but still quite beautiful. I finally got my chance to retrace US441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was winter, and it was a holiday – but traffic was relatively light, and boy was it a great ride.

Historic Old US441

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series US441

The very first post on this website was called “Edge of the Gorge,” and it included a trip on the northernmost section of old US441 in Georgia, from near the North Carolina state line down to Tallulah Falls. This time, I picked up 441 south of the gorge and wandered on down until 441 left my route to pass through Homer and Commerce and Athens and points beyond.

Skyland Drive

I’d been wanting to do this one for a long time. Old US 23 in North Carolina. Of course, there’s lots more of the old highway yet to do, but this particular stretch – Skyland Drive – was just sitting there waiting, and for the longest time, blocked by a “road closed for construction sign.” This winter, that sign was gone. And so, I turned off the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway and headed up.

Old US78

Sometimes I find old roads quite by accident. Just today, in fact, on a return trip from a dental appointment, driving west on US78. There it was, a hard right turn and the street sign said — “Old Highway 78.”

A question of progress

Eufaula, Alabama, a quaint town once known as a major inland port on the Chattahoochee River. It’s known for North Eufaula Avenue, a quintessential southern boulevard if there ever was one. And it’s the only section of US 431 between Insterstate 85 and Dothan, Alabama, that isn’t a four-lane highway.

Gem of the day

At 391 feet, it’s Georgia’s longest wooden bridge, and its 253-foot covered span over the creek is the longest unsupported wooden span in the state. After some repairs in the 1980s, the 170-year-old bridge is still in use, another superlative for the state — its oldest wooden bridge still carrying regular traffic.