Long ago in early American times, hardy souls from the original colonies decided to “move west” across the Appalachian Mountains. Many walked or road horseback, but most toughed it out riding with all their possessions and family members in rough-wheeled wagons drawn by horses or oxen. Given there were few trails other than those used by Native Americans, and that the mostly north-to-south mountain range (the oldest in the United States) is essentially a series of steep ridges parallel to each other for mile after mile, travelers sought out “gaps” in the ridge lines, where passage over the high elevations was a bit easier. One of the most famous was Tuggle’s Gap. Today this restaurant marks a spot where thousands of early American settlers passed by on their trek west. Every time I pass through Tuggle’s Gap, there are cars parked in front of the restaurant, so this route across the Blue Ridge is as popular as it ever was.

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