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The Old Road is a section of abandoned road that connects Tempest to an old coal-mining quarry up in the mountains. It has many twists and turns, and since the closure of the quarry has been used as a racetrack by the local racing community.

It had a pothole that can be used strategically by racers familiar with the route,[1] but it was fixed, along with many other problems, by some of its more avid racers.[2]

A Brief History of "The Old Road"[]

The town of Tempest was founded in the waning years of the 19th century as a mining community at the base of a coal rich series of mountainous inclines known as "the Knausaw". While many referred to the Knausaw hills as the "Knausaw Mountains" their elevations never technically qualified them as such.

The original old road was a series of paths along the crests of the inclines up to the center of the hills where the riches coal deposits lay. These paths were originally intended to be traversed by mules, and little consideration was given to making them appropriate for higher speed traffic. As such, the paths tended to meander and follow the contours of the hills with little regard to their eventual motor traffic.

After the advent of mechanized mining, the town grew, and the hills were converted to strip mines. The "Old Road" had to be made accessible to motor traffic, and was paved. Still, traffic was slow, and to cut costs, the Wallace Mining Company simply paved over the old mule paths rather than create a newer more direct route to the summit.

Several more modifications to the road were made over the years, but most were not noteworthy. As the road was not designed to handle traffic other than that traveling from Tempest to the Wallace mine, the road was largely privately maintained and operated.

By the 1960's the mine had become unprofitable, and Wallace closed it to move to greener pastures. In the mid 60's, the local youth discovered that the flat strip mined expanses at the center of Knausaw lent them selves to drag racing outside of the traditional jurisdiction of the town law's reach. It was not long before several of these youths discovered that the drive along the old road between the town and the mine was a more interesting racing challenge than that afforded by the Wallace mines themselves. The roads were used for this type of nail biting racing until they fell into disrepair in the late 70's and became essentially "un-racable".

In the late 80's, Wallace sold their interest in the Knausaw to a burgeoning development company known as Ester & Crown that planned to turn the peak of one of the hills into a luxury retreat. During the preliminary stages of preparation, the Old Road was extensively repaved and strengthened to afford access to the machinery necessary to flatten the crests of the hills. Guardrails were also added.

After several years of legal battles, Ester & Crown's plans were dashed by environmental impact studies, and the Knausaw was left with a freshly paved road to nowhere.

It wasn't long before the local youth once again re-discovered the road their parents had raced on in the 60's, and before long the road had become a fixture of youth culture once again.

Over the years, so as to not lose the road again, many of it's most avid racers took it upon themselves to make their own repairs, mending guard rails and filling potholes, which, while not perfect, kept the road from becoming un-drivable. Such is the state of the Old Road as it stands today...[2]


  1. June 9, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Old Road on the Wayback Machine