Sometimes when you travel, you step out of the ordinary. Away from the highways, sometimes away from the pavement, you find places where time has seemingly passed by.
Todd, North Carolina is one of those places. A railroad line once terminated there, there were mills and shops, a growing community. Lumber fueled everything, and when the trees were all cut, the trains stopped running.
Today, there is the Todd General Store, a church, and a canoe/kayak rental shop in one of the old train buildings. The tracks are gone, a paved road now follows the old rail bed. An old caboose and a diesel locomotive sit on a tiny piece of track, faded and rusting.
We rode our bicycles for several miles along the river and stopped in the general store. A mix of old hardware and new tourist memorabilia, antiques upstairs. They sell some basic groceries and serve food from behind the old meat counter. An eclectic collection of unmatched tables and chairs fill the center of the room clustered around an old wood stove. Every Friday night they have a dinner special and live bluegrass music.
Six o’clock, baked chicken and homemade mashed potatoes, homemade soups and cake. The food was good and plentiful. By seven almost every seat was taken. Two guitars, a banjo, a bass, a mandolin, and a fiddle. They played for two hours. Old Hank Williams tunes, gospel hymns, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and Tom Dooley, all played for twenty-five people sitting in an old store.
You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person.