Before there was a lottery, and people had to grab cash the old-fashioned way, Bonnie & Clyde knew about Dearborn, Missouri. Dearborn is popular now because of America’s latest Powerball winner.
But until recently, when the equivalent of one half ton of gold fell out of the sky on Dearborn, the little town was quiet, out of the way, along what bank robbers used to call the cat roads.
In his 1981 book, Run the Cat Roads, Kansas Citian L.L Edge describes how bank robbers in the 1930’s made their getaways by zigzagging through a labyrinth of back roads. Cat roads. Today, electronic tracking gadgetry erodes the bandit’s back road advantage. But those old cat roads remain, connected like capillaries, built atop their ancestors, America’s earliest trails and trade routes.
They lead to towns that proudly preserve early ways of life. Cat roads cut across our familiar trails. But too often, a traveler’s knowledge never gets beyond the big green interstate signs.
You didn’t win the lottery. But you can still find treasures by taking the cat roads, and discovering the real America.
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