nytimes.com/2022/06/11/business/open-road-gas-prices.html
Inflation was inescapable everywhere we stopped to eat. Gas prices have risen nearly every day since our trip began on May 12. According to AAA’s tracker, the national average hit $5 a gallon on Saturday. We had no choice but to adapt to the high prices, and in retrospect I think that was for the best.

Instead of hitting museums and cool restaurants and the big cities of the Southeast, we leaned into the road itself. Taking these less-worn roads meant traveling more slowly than we had planned. But it also meant we got to see rare slices of America. We decided to stick to the business routes — designed to take you through downtowns.

If you stay under 50 miles per hour, AAA says, you get better gas mileage. The photos I took don’t show a lot of people, because we didn't see many. If you’re driving a small car, AAA recommends that you keep the speed to under 50 mph.

As we drove through small, medium and large cities in nearly all the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, few people seemed to be traveling. At one hotel in Alcoa, Tenn., south of Knoxville and on the edge of an industrial park, people set up a grill, a dartboard and chairs in the parking lot.
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