This is another of those essential guides, but perhaps it also gives a taste of this most picturesque and often overlooked region of the USA to the armchair traveller. Backroads of North Carolina introduces the reader to the road less travelled and that road takes you from sea to mountain, from quiet glades to raging waterfalls.
I guess there is a reason why North Carolina remains virtually unexplored by overseas visitors. It’s all about location. It’s neither New York nor Florida, which are the two East Coast destinations favoured by travellers, but this is an undiscovered gem of a state. If you have a love of unspoilt countryside with charming interludes of wooden homes and towering lighthouses then this is the state for you.
The author, Kevin Adams, chose a photographer for this book. He chose a man that knew exactly the best shot to complement the text, a chap who understood the author’s message and was always around when needed. Kevin took the pictures himself! He has a style that makes scenes of rushing water almost mystical, and his views of sunsets over the ocean are enchanting.
Backroads of North Carolina offers the tourist nearly 30 scenic drives. The itineraries vary from the short half-day meander of about 15 miles to the longer trip of 180 miles that you might consider for that long-awaited weekend away. Kevin divides the region into 5 sections with numerous routes for each area so it’s easy to plan your holiday to include those spots of special interest.
Route 14, for example, takes us to Cherokee Country. The name sounds romantic but tinged with tragedy. I am sure many will know of the now-infamous Trail of Tears when in the 1830s the US government rounded up and force-marched most of the tribe to Oklahoma. The town of Cherokee boasts many gift shops selling authentic Cherokee souvenirs made by authentic Cherokees in Asia from authentic Cherokee plastic. There is the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Oconaluftee Indian Village if you want to learn more about the real original inhabitants. Route 14 covers 35 miles and would be an ideal first trip to give some historic perspective to your visit.
Backroads of North Carolina will entice you away from shopping malls and fast food vendors. This volume is penned by a man who takes evident pride in his home state and he is happy for you to share.
Backroads of North Carolina
Author and photographer: Kevin Adams
Published by: Voyageur Press
Price: £13.99, $21.99 US
Travel book review by Chrissie Walker © 2018