One tends to think of rest areas as big, bustling palaces of fast food, trinkets from China, and ranks of self-flushing toilets. We also think of rest areas as being on interstates. They are, of course, but it must be remembered that there have always been rest areas of sorts, even on the smaller pre-interstate highways. Some were (or are) just filling stations with restrooms. Some were (or are) simply a wide place in the road with perhaps a picnic table or a small shelter. As a hopeless roadie, I have always been fond of the smaller roadside stops, but they are disappearing as rapidly as $3 gasoline and $40 motel rooms.
My dear friend Pat from Connecticut sent me a link to an NPR item about rest areas. A photographer named Lizzy Oppenheimer has made it her goal to photograph every rest area in America. She is very interested in their various architectures and histories, particularly of those which are abandoned. She started in 2009, and is looking for assistance from anyone who has interesting stories to tell about roadside rests. Check out a few of her photos here: Photographing Every Rest Stop In America : The Picture Show : NPR
I'll be heading back to Afton Station tomorrow, and will return with lots of interesting tales. . .I hope.