In Green Bank Put it Away

In Green Bank Put it Away July 21, 2015

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Mountain Turnpike twists through dense oak, hickory and spruce trees and keeps winding, like a slithering snake, through the mountains that separate Virginia and West Virginia. But on a clear day, looking south from the Monongahela National Forest, what looks like a giant white Lego structure emerges from this sea of green.

And that’s about when it starts. Your cell phone drops reception. Your radio spins, unable to pull up any stations. You can shake your phone all you want, but it won’t help. If you’re a city slicker accustomed to continuous connectivity, you might start to panic.

Keep driving and hook onto the Potomac Highlands Trail toward that magnificent structure. You eventually reach Green Bank, population 143, best known as The Quietest Town in America. Where cell phones and wireless devices are banned, their use potentially prosecutable by law.

Technology is constantly changing how we live and communicate. But in Green Bank, it is the presence of some of the most sophisticated technology on Earth that preserves this rural enclave, a throwback town to yesteryear.


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