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Charlie Baum Origins: Beaucatcher's Farewell (Bob Zentz) (7) RE: Origins: Beaucatcher's Farewell 03 Oct 12

Beaucatcher Tunnel is on the East side of Asheville (built 1929), and carries US 70/US 74 under and through Beaucatcher Mountain.

Bob Zentz tells the story of being caught in a traffic jam in the tunnel--a two-lane bottleneck at the entrance to the city in the middle of what is otherwise a 4-lane road. While he was in the tunnel, the tune came to him. Shortly after he wrote the tune, the state of North Carolina began construction of I-240, not without considerable controversy, which passes through Beaucatcher Mountain via a giant road-cut 800 feet wide and several hundred feet deep--the mountain was removed in the path of the highway. The new road doesn't have the bottleneck of a narrow tunnel--it has no tunnel at all. The road cut is just a little to the north of the tunnel, but the tunnel is still intact, and you can drive through it today if you choose to use the old historic road rather than the interstate expressway.

He writes in the notes to his Folk Legacy album "Beaucatcher Farewell" that we shouldn't go tearing down mountains until we've gotten all the songs out of them.

--Charlie Baum

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