Tuesday, April 08, 2014

US Hwy 70: Into The Foothills

West of Statesville, US70 is primarily a two-lane country road. It's obviously the poor relation of I-40 — which runs parallel only a mile away — but it's in good shape overall. With an average speed limit of 45mph and routine stops at crossroads and towns, it offers only half the speed of the interstate but is at least twice as pretty, entertaining and fun to drive.

Passing through numerous small towns there is quite a bit of light manufacturing, much of it looking to be related to furniture and finishing. In places, there is some evidence of much older or extinct factories for textiles, bricks, etc. Like just about every other rural area I've driven through in this country, the towns pretty much all show signs of age, wear and financial struggle. A few appear to be giving tourism a go, but not many and not entirely successfully.

Approaching Asheville, US70 joins I-40 for the long slog up and over the eastern continental divide. From there, the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains come well into view and beckon.

I plan to stay in the area just for tonight and tomorrow, but will be back for a longer visit after a little detour that I will explain soon… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the middle photo and loving the juxtaposition of what has to be a century old brick textile mill with modern solar panels on the roof. WCIII