Statesville: Fourth Creek Brewing

Fourth Creek Brewing Company is a local establishment in the heart of downtown Statesville, North Carolina and just a few minutes off of Highway 64. This brewery crafts local beer in house and provides a comfortable taproom environment that is great for a casual night out with friends. They offer samples of their products at the bar, which is great for someone wanting to learn more about craft beer. A multitude of board games and toys for friends to enjoy a game night, a first date idea that needs an activity to cut the awkward silence, or an activity so you can bring kids along. 


Jack, Erica, and I drove to Statesville to visit various Highway 64 foothills towns and our final stop for the day were downtown Statesville. We decided to stop in Fourth Creek Brewing Co. because it was open late and we could hang out and learn more from locals by talking and experiencing the environment for ourselves. When we walked in, we were struck by the North Carolina pride displayed in the flags and the fun names of the drinks available. For example, their Hard Selzer was appropriately named Holy Water while their signature IPA was named Friends In Low Places. Jack decided on a dark stout named, Weekend @ Garrett’s, Erica chose a lighter triple IPA named Dank Mofo, and I chose a cider from another local establishment Clay Ciderworks called Chai-Jacked. While we all sipped our differently colored drinks we decided to play a few games of Jenga while a Wednesday tradition of Trivia Night was starting up. 


What we loved about Statesville and Fourth Creek Brewing was the nice mix of a small city and mountain community. We saw a mix of people, from families with young children to friends relaxing a long day of work, enjoying locally sourced beer in one place. If you are ever in Statesville or driving on Highway 64, take a responsible pitstop at Fourth Creek Brewing Co. and then walk around downtown. You will enjoy great family-owned establishments and a really pleasant community.


Written by: Abby Fuller

A Taste of Hendersonville: The Rhythm and Brews Festival

The winding road seemed to be jutting around every hill in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. Erica, with her fresh Connecticut license plate, grabbed the wheel and whipped through the roads like a champ and jack lay asleep in the back seat. We had been on the road for almost 3.5 hours and Hendersonville was only a few minutes away after we cleared through the woods and started seeing more signs of civilization. 


We were traveling to Hendersonville of this random Thursday to visit the Rhythm and Blues Festival, a locally thrown event that was highlighting local artists, chefs, and brewers. We found this event and thought it would be a perfect snapshot of the town and a perfect opportunity to engage with local vendors and ask questions about production and climate resiliency. We arrived in the downtown area around 5 and the festival wouldn’t start for another 30 minutes, which gave us time to explore downtown and drive around the small city just several miles south of Ashville. 


Our initial interpretation of the area and the locals was surprisingly similar to the more outdoorsy and rustic vibe that Ashville is typically credited with. There seemed to be a shift in this area that felt different than the people we ran into just a few miles east on Highway 64, who seemed more classically North Carolinian. These Hendersonville festival people in attendance wore hiking boots, colorful flannels, beanies, and were covered in Carhart. Although our sample was likely skewed towards people willing to go to a local festival, Hendersonville residents seemed to be revealing a shift from the Foothills and into the mountains. 


While we were waiting for the festival to begin, we found colorful bear statues that seemed to be a mark of Hendersonville and was a great way to support and showcase local artists. We also found an art show happening where women displaying their handmade crafts and paintings. But after walking around downtown, we entered the festival and started talking to vendors. We talked with a lady selling handmade juice and she talked with us for a while about this season and her crop yield. She did make a few comments about the earliness of the apple festival and claimed that it was due to the “weirdness” of the season, which implied changing farming and crop production that can point to climate change. We tasted some of her jams and chatted with her more about her process in creating these processes and at the end of the conversation we all bought some juice for the 3.5 hours drive that was awaiting us after the festival. 


We then decided to give the band, who had been playing this whole time a closer listen. The opener was Kenny George Band and there were dressed in almost costume like North Carolinian and Appalachia attire, with overalls with no t-shirt underneath and multiple banjos and straw hats. Their music was very Americana and folk-like and the audience seemed to be enjoying it, even if there were more people sitting on the grass than actually dancing by the stage. Due to the long drive ahead, we had to leave after the first song of the headliner, The Colby Dietz Band, who played more southern rock. 

After taking a solid lap around the festival, we decided to get sustenance, aka dinner. Jack and I used our drink coupons to get a local IPA from a vendor in a booth near the music and all three of us decided on a woodfire oven pizza from a vendor that brought their own portable oven to the festival. After a short line and a quick wait, we each took our personal pizzas and sipped our drinks while listening to music and taking in the mountains that were all around us. 


Hendersonville was the furthest point west in our journey through the foothills region on Highway 64 and this town gave us a new perspective on North Carolinian culture and the intersection of farming and mountain life vs. city life. Although Ashville always gets the credit for being the fun, hip city in North Carolina, I would recommend taking a trip south and visiting the beautiful and unique town of Hendersonville. 

Written by: Abby Fuller

Goat Lady Dairy

Goat Lady Dairy is a crown jewel for artisanal cheese making, proudly living in the back roads of North Carolina’s Randolph County where it has survived for the last 200 years. The burgeoning community surrounding it, English settlers who landed only two miles from the current goat farms, established families whose kinfolk prosper to the present day. Names like the Bradd’s, the Brooks, the Linberg’s, and the Routh’s whose bloodlines have been sowed into these very lands, never blow too far from home and keep proud traditions in the family.

On the sequestered roads stretching across the wide open plains, past the many horse and cow farms hugging Liberty Street, Ginnie Tate must have felt the same homey calmness that I did when she first arrived.  When she came to the abandoned tobacco farm atop of the sloping greens, she saw opportunity few others did and bought the thing for cheap, converting it into a family run goat cheese dairy. Her two pet Nubian goats she kept close earned her the nickname, by some questioning neighbors, “the Goat Lady.”  The goats matured enough to produce milk and she used the excess to turn into cheese. Her brother Steve and other family jumped on board to start one of NC’s first licensed goat cheese dairies. The Tate’s were only able to keep it running for so long, however. It wasn’t until one of their dish washers, a hard working 18 year old practically raised on the farm, matured into her own, rising above the rest to oversee all operations, catalyzed Goat Lady Dairies meteoric rise.  Carrie Routh has made it her life’s mission to preserve the traditions passed down to her from Steven Tate, a man who valued her so much, “He is exactly the kind of person you’d be happy to work for; calm, considerate, and always right there to do the job with you.” Carrie was asked by Steve to take his place in running the farm, and inherited the run-down outhouses, 40 acres of land, and a little blue house Steve and Ginnie lived in. She received grants to expand the farm’s operations, few banks wanted to get involved in because of the protected lands that back up into the property.  The newly renovated structure, built of logs found on the land, and compostable materials, was hand put together by Carrie’s husband Bobby, a skilled contractor. Custom made cleaning and aging equipment, several newly installed rinding chambers, and enormous acid vats, along with Carrie and Bobby’s business savvy, streamlined their production to turn them into a national cheese treasure. The dream of spreading passion-infused food products went beyond local neighbors to big retailers such as Wegmans, Harris Teeters, and Whole Foods, as well as many restaurants and farmers markets.  

Their goat and milk cheeses have collected many awards along the years, each with their own expressive and vibrant flavors. Every cheese: Providence, Lindale, Sandy Creek, Snow Camp, Fig & Honey, Smokey Mountain Round, and the many assortments of fresh chèvre each stand on their own as powerful, complex, and mouth watering bites that inspire gourmet dishes of many kinds. Each cheese is cared for throughout the entire process.  Each one is kept in their particular rinding and molding chamber at set temperatures and humidity levels and are not ready for packaging until the’ve aged at least one year. Carrie and Bobby put as much care into their cheese making as they do in taking care of their workers including the land they’ve built on. Their relationship to the land is almost personal and so much respect and gratitude is felt in Carrie’s words on their responsibility as farmers, “… we have to respect the earth. Me and my husband try to be stewards of the land, taking care of our animals and try to make environmentally friendly decisions wherever possible.”  Carrie worries about the impact humans are having on the earth who feels there should be something urgently done about it. When asked about how it might affect their business, Carrie wasn’t concerned as their facilities have lasted many hurricanes, and believes they’ve built something that will last many years beyond them.

Carrie’s father, a historian buff, was suspicious of the old log house at the bottom of the hill who actually dated it to about 1780.  Later, Carrie dove into her family ancestry, discovering that one of her great Routh relatives, was a Methodist priest right next to the farm dating back to around that same time the log house was built.  Carrie has reason to believe this priest built the little blue house, who always felt a deep sense of belonging when she first stepped foot in it all those years ago. Something brought Carrie back to the lands her ancestors were raised on, coming full circle to recover what is rightfully hers.  What used to be the humble abode of the Tate’s, and the many families before her, built by the hands of her ancient bloodline, has returned today as the quiet home of Carrie and Bobby, the little blue house at the bottom of the hill.

Written by: Zachary Stern

The Power of Abundance

“We have everything we need, right here at home.”

No one could have said it better. The Piedmont region of North Carolina is home to Abundance North Carolina, an organization whose mission is plain and simple: “Bring people together to exchange ideas and build strong communities resilient in the face of challenge.”

I went into my phone interview with Executive Director of Abundance, Tami Schwerin, with only a brief knowledge of Abundance. I wanted to have a grasp on the foundation’s mission but also be able to learn about it through her perspective.

You might think a simple mission comes with a simple solution, but Abundance’s solution is well, quite abundant. Year round, they are working on various projects ranging from annual events such as the Pepper Festival, to one-off events such as their Renewable Energy and Local Food Summer Camp in 2013. Through working with their local community, they were able to educate more people on the importance of locally sourced food, where it comes from, and even how to grow their own. From there, it bloomed.

Diving deeper into our conversation, I wanted to ask Tami more about sustainability as a whole being that it was one of the driving forces in the organization. She discussed how in 2012 a farmer came to Abundance to inquire if it was possible to discuss sea levels rising and ways in which local farmers could prepare for the ways climate change was affecting their farms. This developed into the now annual Climate Change conference where farmers and interested minds can attend to discuss plans on facing the environmental challenges that drastic weather change brings. 

When asking her about what sustainability means, she said “It’s not sustainable if its only sustainable for a certain demographic” which I think sheds light on something we often forget. Sustainability is meant to encompass more than just facing environmental change, while that is a very important component. Tami discusses how she believes “diversity is the key to strength”. 

Tami went through what every single parent dreads, losing their kid. Following the death of her son, she realized that death is something we all deal with alone and that grieving is a very personal process, but why did it have to be that way? The Death Faire was developed to provide a space for the local community to be able to openly discuss death and grievance. This is why their events, such as the Death Faire and Pecha Kucha (a storytelling event where the community gathers to discuss sustainable topics), are important because it reminds us that in order to be sustainable, we must be open to discussing all challenging topics such as death, race, social justice, and how we treat the environment.

 Abundance is here to remind us that there should always be an open space to talk about the things that scare us because without that, change will never come. 

If you’d like to checkout their website it is listed below. Scroll to the bottom to find their new video “Spirit of Abundance” featuring the wonderful Tami Schwerin!

Written by: Hayden McConnell

Snapshot: Franklin, NC

Deep in the mountains of North Carolina is the town of Franklin. When walking down Franklin’s main street, there’s a memorial or sign for every period of history: a sign talking about the town’s role in the French and Indian War, a history trail on women in the region, an homage to the Scots-Irish who settled in the area, and a Civil War Memorial, among others. Along with a strong cultural legacy, the town’s streets are lined with small businesses that serve as the social glue of the community. Franklin serves as a small hamlet to its citizens and one of the most luxurious and touristy stops for those brave enough to hike the Appalachian Trail. Franklin is a town of a bygone era, one of community and heritage with a bright future in Appalachian Trail tourism. 

Written by: Angela Myers

Lake Lure: Your Perfect Next Getaway

Have you ever wanted to visit the same scenic town that Johnny performed that iconic lift with Baby in Dirty Dancing? Or do you just want to spend a peaceful long weekend in the foothills region of North Carolina? Then plan your next vacation with the family, a bachelorette weekend, or couples getaway in Lake Lure. This town borders around a large lake and offers boating and kayaking opportunities, as well as shopping and leisure. Across from the historic Lake Lure Inn, is a white sand beach, perfect for a friendly volleyball game or beautiful pictures with the whole family. If you cannot make it for the yearly Dirt Dancing Festival, hosted in early September, fans of the movie can book the cabins used in the films, walk down the meaningful steps that Baby and Johnny began their love story, or just experience the breathtaking view that will make you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. 

Written by: Abby Fuller

Simplicity and Tourism in Highlands, NC

The internet paints Highlands as a town known more for its iconic waterfalls than its community.  Driving on the winding roads of Highway 64 to Highlands, I was expecting a shambly town with a couple shops on main street. The ride there was full of leaves on the verge of changing, unexpected turns, and waterfalls I couldn’t fully take in as the driver.

As we approached Highlands, the road straightened. The gorges, waterfalls, and endless forests on either side of the ro

ad evaporated, replaced by a sign welcoming us to the Highlands and a man-made lake surrounded by vacation homes. The blue waters and the lake houses took my breath away. The last thing I was expecting to find in the North Carolina mountains was a vacationing community similar to the small vacioning towns on the shores of the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin. 

The housing community disappeared, replaced by a quiet mainstreet lined with artisanal shops and small diners with outdoor seating. The streets were lined with parking spots, enough to support a mirage of tourists, yet at 8am on a Saturday, the majority were empty. I easily found a parking spot and parked the car. 

My group explored the sleeping downtown. Each shop was designed to create a cohesive wooden, yet elegant feel. Stores advertised artisanal chocolate and pottery in intricate cursive on their windows. A layer of fog settled over the town, highlighting the ornate churches founded in the 1800s and the way the ivy sprung up on the brick buildings, such as the Old Edward’s Inn. This was the type of town one found in Hallmark movies, as unbelievable as it was cosy.

As the day unfolded, the little town came to life. Around 10am, some of the parking spots began to fill with vintage cars. Remembering how my dad used to take me to car shows growing up, I walked up to the men standing near the cars and asked, “Is there a car show here today?”

“No.” The man looked over at the row of polished cars from the 20th century. “We just come here every Saturday to show off our cars and socialize. It’s called Butts on the Benches.”

Butts on the Benches is an event started by a community of older men who retired to the Highlands back in 2012. The originator, Allan, died in 2016 and the bench in front of the cars was donated in his honor, a plaque signifying his creation of the group.

Butts on the Benches served as a time of community, laughter, and relaxation for these men. They talked of their passion for cars and their community. Yet, despite their love for the Highlands, not a single one was a native. They all came from Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, or another Southern city after retirement. Most weren’t even from North Carolina.

Later in the day, we found ourselves at the Highlands Antique Shop. Two buildings full of antiques that Stephanie loved exploring. The shop contained China plates with a history older than mine and tattered, well-read books and all proceeds support local charities.

Yet, it wasn’t the objects that intrigued me, but the history of Highlands. Highlands was a bustling yet tranquil center of commerce, a town designed for both tourists and retirees looking for a mindful, nature-centered lifestyle.

I talked to the lady who worked at the shop, Ann, on why she decided to move to the Highlands. She told me she had been climbing the corporate ladder in Atlanta, along with her husband. One day, they got tired of the fast pace life of Atlanta, decided to retire, and settled into the Highlands, where she volunteered to run the antique shop. While she mentioned that tourism had increased in the last ten years, this year having the highest traffic of year-round visitors, she loved Highlands because it might not have been where she lived the longest, but it felt like home. The relaxed, easy way of life had brought Ann peace. 

At the end of our conversation, she warned me against living in Atlanta or getting caught up in status, money, or prestige. “Living in Highlands has taught me what’s important in life and I’m glad more young people like yourself are touring the town. I hope you walk away knowing what’s important–simple living, community, and giving back.” 

While Highlands might not be a sprawling metropolis or even a classic Southern small town, it serves as an important reminder in a world obsessed with speed and technology.

 Amongst daily life, it’s important to remember what matters most–community and simplicity. Highlands serves not only as a place of retirement for people from all over the United States, but a reminder that home isn’t where you’ve lived the longest. Home is where you’ve found happiness and gained a greater appreciation for the small charms of life. 

Highlands has redefined home and what’s important for people from all over the nation. The town’s citizens hope everyone who steps into the Highlands are impacted by this lesson, even people like our travel team who stop by just for a day. 

Written by: Angela Myers

The Leaf Festival

Contrary to its misleading name, the Leaf Festival in Cashiers, North Carolina is in no way related to leaves. Regardless, this festival was an amazing experience that I enjoyed so much more that I thought I would. This event turned out to be an extravagant artisanal fair, that featured local artists, as well as people from all over the country.

When we first walked in, we were worried because the event looked smaller than what we had imagined and planned for. It was a lively setting with a lot of conversation and live music. The vendors were very excited to share not only their products, but also their stories and how they got there. Once we moved from the main area, we discovered a path that was filled with more vendors. This path seemed to go on forever, and the amount of people we met, as well as the experiences we gained were priceless.

I met this amazing older lady selling beaded jewelry. I got to talk to her, and I found out that she started doing this when she retired around three or so years ago. She also had some glass beads in her collection that she made herself. This blew my mind, because as she explained how she did it, and walked me through it, all I could think was “this is so hard.” In order to make the glass beads, she had to heat up the glass, blow it out herself, and manipulate it to take the form she wanted it to take. But she loves what she does. Her booth was next to her husband’s tree booth. They live on a Christmas tree farm, so it’s getting to be that time of the year where she takes a break from the jewelry and helps around the farm. This entire exchange made my day, and she was so excited. I even learned about her children and grandchildren and how long they have lived right there up the road in Glenville, NC.

As we continued walking down the rustic and natural path, we kept meeting more amazing artists. We met an artist that makes portraits both by hand and with a computer software that allows you to make bigger scale portraits. We stopped and spoke to this family that helped their sister in her art, as she carves designs into egg shells. Yes, egg shells. She uses a dental like drill that allows her a certain amount of precision, where she can make beautiful designs out of these eggs. We spoke with her sister, who walked us through the process and it was mind-blowing. It is also worth mentioning that she started this business when she was just sixteen years old, which we found mindblowing. It was also very wholesome, how her entire family is so invested and helping out in it all, it says so much about them.

Once we kept on moving, talking to more people, we finally made it to the end of the path were we found a wide-open green field of grass. Parents were playing with their children, and people even brought out their animals with them. You could tell, this was a very people oriented and family oriented event. We also found this amazing brick oven pizza company, that had an oven in a cart. Their pizza was very tasty, and it was very pleasing to eat while enjoying the beautiful day.   

It was a beautiful event, that took place on an even more beautiful day. I would love to go back in the future and see how many of the same vendors are still around, see the difference, as for some of them this was their first or second show. There were so many layers to this event, and I am glad we got to experience it.

Written by: Myrta Santana-Santini 

Motor Co. Grill

We arrived at Franklin right around dinnertime, settled into our hostel for the next two nights and immediately asked, where are we going to eat? I had done some research on places to eat in the area, but we decided to ask our host, and see what was popular around town. Our host provided us with a map of the town, that contained every place that mattered. He asked us what we wanted to eat, and me being me, I said I wanted burgers. He said that the best place to have burgers in town was this place called, Motor Company Grill. The menu online said that they had over 30 different types of burgers. I was sold. 

As we entered the place, we quickly noticed they had a 50’s style diner vibe happening. The place had black and white checkered floors paired with red walls, that had portraits and pictures of famous celebrities in black and white. The atmosphere was welcoming and it felt like a good place for friends and family, or even a first date.

We were greeted at the door, and taken to a booth, where we saw the glorious menu. They had options for everybody, you could replace the meat patty for a turkey or veggie patty if needed, which cannot be said for every burger joint. The staff was very attentive, and when we asked for what they would recommend they quickly told us their own, as well as other popular options.

I started browsing through the menu, considering what I wanted to have, and mind you, I was very hungry. That is when I landed on the “The King.” This burger had two fresh seasoned beef patties, paired with cheddar, swiss, bacon, grilled Onions and mushrooms. Normally, in these places the patties are not too big so I felt confident in ordering the two patties, but this burger lived up to its name. This was indeed the king of burgers. It was huge, the patties were cooked to perfection and you could taste everything on it.

Once we finished eating, we were all fully satisfied. But we were not done. Our hostel had this arrangement with several businesses around Franklin, that if you wore a rubber band you could get certain deals at the establishments. And at Motor Co.,we got free sundaes. These sundaes were classic vanilla ice cream with fudge, and they were delicious.

It was hands down the best meal we had all weekend. The environment was so nice and welcoming, the food was amazing and the service as well. Anybody who visits Franklin, North Carolina needs to visit this place and live, as well as eat, this experience for themselves.

Written by: Myrta Santana-Santini

Right Place, Right Time: Lake Lure has a lot to Offer

By Claire Gaskill

        Along the winding road of Highway 64 lies Lake Lure. This small town is known for its parks, historic landmarks, and, as denoted by its name, winding lake. Lake Lure is not vast in size, with a population just shy of 2,000 people, but it’s landmarks cannot be missed during a journey down Highway 64. When traveling from the west, you will first stumble upon the grand entrance to Chimney Rock State Park. A quick turn in will lead you through a tree lined climb up to the state park entrance. The road, which is surprisingly wide enough to fit two-way traffic, is a difficult drive. However, the clearing at the top that houses the Chimney Rock entrance is a welcome surprise. The entrance is home to a guardhouse that must be passed through before being admitted into the park. While waiting in line to speak with the park guard, the view is incredible. You can see Chimney Rock and the hike up along with a beautiful blue sky and autumn leaves if you, like us, visit on a clear October morning. Be advised, however, that admission into the park is not without cost. At a rate of $13 per adult and $6 per child, tickets to this unique experience can be purchased both online and at the park entrance gate. This seemingly steep admission cost caught us by surprise. As a result, we turned around and braved the treacherous drive once over to see what else Lake Lure had to offer.

            Suffering from car sickness from the windy drive along Highway 64, the Lake Lure Beach and Water Park was a welcome sight. This park was not only beautiful, but it was free.  A small information building sat just beyond the parking lot as the first stop in the park before venturing beyond to find basketball courts and grassy fields, each leading to Lake Lure. Sitting down a hill, the lake, which is the namesake for the town, can easily be confused for a river. Its narrow and winding path is home to docks and boats, and its shoreline is fairly undeveloped beyond a smattering of houses. The public access to the lake’s beach is free of charge and full of outdoor resources. We were not alone on our early Saturday morning visit: a pick-up game was taking place with children on the basketball court, locals were walking along the lake, and families were enjoying a picnic breakfast on the park picnic tables. That being said, just driving through, there was not much to do at the lake beyond enjoy the much need fresh air to settle sick stomachs. After an enjoyable walk, we once again piled into the car in search of our next destination.

            Lucky for us, the next destination was right across the street. Upon pulling out of the beach parking lot, we were shocked to see what appeared to be a village of tents, especially so early on Saturday morning when the rest of the town appeared to still be sleeping and store fronts were closed. We were eager to park and see what all the excitement was about. To our thrill, we had lined our trip up perfectly with the bi yearly Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival. The festival happens each year for two days during a weekend in October and for three days during Memorial Day weekend. For more information on the fair, read For Lovers of Crafts and Good Times by other student visitors that also experienced the Festival. As fans of soaps and candles, we were beyond impressed by the offerings of this festival.  With rows and rows of vendors as well as a few food trucks, the over 60 artisans presented their homemade creations under white tents.  Their work ranged from fairly expensive pottery to more unique homemade dolls and children’s toys.

We were first attracted to the candles at the Fresh Scent Soy Candles booth. The Spains, an outgoing and friendly husband and wife duo that run the business, educated us on their products, associated benefits, and the creation process. As we smelled all of their unique candle flavors, they were thrilled to share a detailed account of what differentiates their product from candles sourced from stores. Each soy candle is sold in a glass, mason-like jar and priced at $10. We were so impressed by the candles and their maker that we collectively purchased two. After walking around and fully immersing ourselves in all the festival had to offer, our final stop was Bully Bites. Attracted to their tent by their bulldog mascot, this homemade, all natural dog treat vendor was a great end to our visit. After chatting with the baker, we learned that although these dog treats rival their store-bought competitors, they are very different. They are fresh, meaning they either need to be refrigerated or frozen, and contain ingredients that contend with human food. Creating these treats is an effort to make dogs healthier; only wholesome ingredients are used and preservatives are omitted for a high-quality product. Excited by the healthy differences in these dog treats, we bought two unique $10 bags to bring back to our pups. As we paid with our credit cards, we were surprised by the connectivity of such a remote event. Although it took a second to load the Square app due to minimal internet service, it was fairly common to accept credit cards at the festival.

After a successful stop and multiple purchases, we headed back towards the car. Fulfilled by our time in Lake Lure, we were excited to get back on the road.