Introduction  »  The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress  (44 Slides)     [Page 3 of 8] :: Jump To  
Water plants, Sams Gap, Madison County, NC, 1996

For us as a community, the impacts of sprawl and growth that are 
most easy to relate to, are air quality and water quality. Air and water 
are where we lose first, and that’s where the costs are going to be 
highest -- to try to buy clean air and clean water is going to be the 
most expensive endeavor that we’ve ever encountered. We are defined 
by those parts of the earth that we haven’t changed. We’re defined by 
wildness, whether it’s through our religion, or our economies, or just 
our basic spiritual identity. That’s always been the defining element, 
and if we lose wild areas, we lose ourselves.      --Taylor Barnhill
Howard and Lucille Babbitt picking apples from their orchard for the last time, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, NC, 1995 

The Babbitts left Orlando, Florida, in the early 1970s when the orange grove that had been in Howard’s family for three generations was swallowed by development surrounding Disneyworld. They moved to Sprinkle Creek, planted apples and raised their children. The I-26 construction has forced them to move again. 

Mrs. Babbitt once said to me, “I don’t think it was God’s will that it be done, but I think God has an important part in having the people accept it and deal with it. When change comes progress comes, and this road coming, I don’t think it was God’s will for it to be, but as long as it did happen, he gives the people that are affected the stamina and the strength to deal with it. Now that’s God’s will. It makes us a stronger person.”       ---Rob Amberg
Herbalist Lisa Ganora who sometimes goes by the name White Wolf searching for plants to rescue,  Little Creek,Madison County, NC, 1997
Appalachian Quilt Shop, U.S. 23 North, Little Creek, Madison County, NC, 1995
Homemade sign over the Little Ivy Church Cemetery during grave removal, Mars Hill, Madison County, NC, 1996
Headstones and footstones from the Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, NC, 1996
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All photographs are copyright Rob Amberg.