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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 […]

Family vacation

Back before Interstate 40 followed the Pigeon River over the mountains, our annual or sometimes semi-annual trip to the beach started with a trip over a narrow, winding road over Viking Mountain in Greene County. Still known as the Asheville Highway, it is State Route 70 in Tennessee (not to be confused with US70, which crosses the mountains near the French Broad conjoined with US25E) and changes to State Route 208 in North Carolina.

Road to Nowhere

That stretch of US25E through Dutch Bottoms, the one that’s under water most of the time because of Douglas Lake, is one of my favorite old roads. I may have a new favorite — a highway with a similar story. It’s North Carolina State Route 288, and the unpaved track skirted near the bottom of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, following the route of the Tuskasegee River and then the Little Tennessee River from Bryson City to Deals Gap, where it ended at US129.