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《平如美棠》饶平如

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「女のいない男たち」村上春樹
「職業は武装解除」瀬谷ルミ子

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"Notes on Democracy" Arundhati Roy

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「コンビニ人間」村田沙耶香
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「色彩を持たない多崎つくると彼の巡礼の年」村上春樹
《裸命》陈冠中
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"Oracle Bones" Peter Hessler
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「カンガルー日和」村上春樹
「こころ」夏目漱石
「火の鳥9」 手塚治虫
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"Inside the Kingdom" Robert Lacey
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《倾城之恋 》张爱玲
《茉莉香片》张爱玲
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「深夜特急」(2)沢木耕太郎
「1973年のピンボール」 村上春樹
"One Foot In Eden" Ron Rash
「双子の星」宮沢賢治

The Road to North Carolina

July 3, 2012

Atlanta, GA to Montreat, NC (via Tallulah Gorge and Asheville)

North Carolina

We set out for Montreat, NC to attend a family reunion on the Fourth of July. Atlanta was hot. I bought a cup of lemonade for 25 cents from three kids at a lemonade stall in Toco Hills and headed northeast on I-85. The traffic crawled and we kept the AC on high. Instead of keeping on to Jefferson we turned onto I-985 between tall trees and drove north into the national forest. We stopped at Tallulah Gorge. Big green trees lined the South Carolina side over Tugaloo Dam on the other side of the basin that snaked between the mountains below our hilltop. Dead trees sat over rock outcroppings and the sunlight shone gold on the water pooled at the dam. An older couple stopped near us and stood by the railcar that used to carry workers down the incline into the gorge.

We crossed the state line near Franklin, North Carolina and passed through former Cherokee country on a four-lane highway with little traffic. We climbed northeast toward Asheville into lush green slopes. We passed a beautiful prep school on a hill of manicured grass where children ran up the slope overlooking a field of crops and mountains trailing with mist.

Near dark we arrived in Asheville. Near the French Broad River we came into West Asheville, which looks like East Atlanta. Graffiti, leaflets, stickers and street art adorned dive bars, a record shop, and a gas station on two street corners. A lounge was spilling people onto the street. Across the road was the squat, nondescript bar “The Admiral,” which serves local and seasonal specialities. Most small plates cost about $12, and large plates about $23. We ate three small plates: local flounder with first of the season tomatoes, sweetbreads on mashed potatoes, and pork belly with carrots. Sweetbreads, I learned, is not bread at all, but the pancreas of a lamb, and delicious. The fish and pork and even carrots were outstanding.

We arrived in Montreat around midnight.

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The car for the old incline railway.

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The mountain road in southern North Carolina.

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In the Smoky Mountains.

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In the Smoky Mountains, en route to Asheville.

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The overlook at Tallulah Gorge, GA over Tugaloo Dam. The opposite shore is South Carolina.

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Kieran Maynard

Kieran Maynard

Writer, translator, researcher, traveler specializing in Japanese and Chinese literature.

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