So I asked him: “Tom Wolfe?” Junior replied. “He was a odd boy. Had him a Scottish wool suit. It was July.”
And the story itself? “Us country boys don't understand that kind of writing,” Junior replied. “But they tell us it was pretty good.”
IF YOU GO
The Fryemont Inn (Bryson City; fryemontinn.com; from $95). An Appalachian-style inn that dates back to 1923. The floors are uneven, and as it’s surrounded by forest, you feel as though you’re in a tree house. The dining room is beautiful, and you’re mere moments from some of the best driving roads in the world.
Where to go
Piedmont Distilleries (203 East Murphy St., Madison; piedmontdistillers.com). Located in a former train station, the distiller sells such products as Midnight Moon, Junior Johnson’s now-legal moonshine. (Unlike the old days, this time he pays taxes.)
The Tail of the Dragon ( tailofthedragon.com). An 11-mile stretch of road with 318 curves. Set your GPS to the town of Tapoco, N.C., and you’ll be in the right place. The road runs from North Carolina into Tennessee and draws millions of performance-minded drivers from around the world. Bring a sports car and driving skill.
For die-hard drivers
The Richard Petty Driving Experience ( drivepetty.com). You’ll do three laps of a NASCAR track at up to 274 kilometres an hour with an expert driver at the wheel. You won’t forget it, and you’ll come away with huge respect for the professionals who do this for a living. Available at several NASCAR tracks, including Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame (Charlotte; nascarhall.com ). This is a new facility that documents the long, colourful history of stock car racing’s rise from dirt-field competitions to its current, billion-dollar reality. There are hundreds of exhibits, including cars that were once driven by such legends as Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty (a.k.a. The King). Upstairs, there’s a moonshine still that was assembled for the Hall of Fame by Junior Johnson himself. You can drive a stock car simulator, or try changing wheels in the pit crew simulator.