Unable to access items in /public

Can't get to stylesheets, images stored in public. If I do something
like

<url>/images/myImage.png

where the rails path is

<root>/public/images/myImage.png

Rails says it cannot find the route. I don't want it to go through
controllers, it should just go through normal means. To get around it,
I used

ActionController::Base.asset_host = "http://www.<anotherhost>.com"

and that seemed to work fine.But, everything is stored somewhere else,
not desirable.

It seems like the route engine is taking over when I don't want it to.
As a result, I cannot get stylesheets or images.