Skip to main content

Another weekend..another roadtrip...

This past weekend I went down to Charlotte to visit with friends. It was a good trip with a number of photos.

The full set of trip photos on flickr is here.

On the way down Saturday, I followed this route:

I-540, I-40, NC 86, US 70 (which I followed onto Business 85 to its end south of Lexington), I-85, I-485, NC 27.

This is US 70 West between Hillsborough and Efland. Over 50 years ago, US 70 West would follow the connector road to a two lane super two freeway. This would eventually become a four lane I-85, followed by I-40 tagging along, and then widened to the nearly 35 mile eight lane I-40/85 freeway we drive on today. A rather humble start don't ya think.

The next picture is on US 70 West in Burlington. It needs no further description. (Yes, we can be sophomoric.)

I followed US 70 to Greensboro. The button copy overheads at where US 70 West meets US 29 that I found in 2000 are no more.

The design is similar but the old lighting is also gone.

If you ever want to get an idea of what 1950s era freeways and express highways in North Carolina were like or how they were built, take a drive on Business I-85 from Lexington to Greensboro. This route contains one of the earliest freeway bypasses (US 29/70 of Lexington) ever built in the state, and was signed as Temporary I-85 for over two decades. Over the years, some improvements to antiquated grade separated interchanges have been made, but you can still find a few goodies. A great example is the cloverleaf that uses surface streets as ramps for US 311 near High Point.

So has Future I-485 in Western Mecklenburg County graduated to a regular full-fledged Interstate?

If you click to blow the image up. You'll see that the word 'FUTURE' has been covered up with green tape (or in roadgeeking terms 'greened out') . I was last on this stretch of I-485 in December, and it was still 'Future'. So sometime in the last four months it has changed. Does that mean we'll actually see I-485 opened up to I-77 sometime soon? (Ha ha ha, I made a funny :-p)

On Sunday before heading back to Raleigh. I explored a little bit of Belmont, NC and took a quick dip into SC to gain some more mileage in both states.

Route: NC 273, NC 279, SC 274, SC 557, SC 55, SC 5, SC/NC18, US 74, NC 7)

New miles for SC 55, SC 5, SC 18, and NC 18.

Our first stop was the town of Belmont. This former mill town along with Mount Holly to the north is quickly being rejuvenated as a bedroom community to Charlotte.


Sadly, the Belmont Drug Company Store...and their great ice cream floats...is no longer with us.


The Belmont General Store has some great Marigolds for sale.

After walking around Belmont for a bit, we headed to South Carolina. And knowing that you may not have had enough of the new SC highway shields. Here's one more from Bethany, SC.

Once back in North Carolina, we stopped at Bridges Barbecue Lodge. Now for some time, Steven has told me that I needed to stop and try their barbecue. So on this trip, we at least stopped to get a few photos of the exterior.


Well the owner came out and kindly said, "When ya'll are done come on in. We don't open for another 15 minutes but come on it and we'll show you around." Can't beat that. We had a brief tour, they slow cook the pork over wood coals for a delicious taste and smell. And their sauce is awesome. (Especially since it is the Western North Carolina sauce...not the Eastern NC vinegar based crap we have here in Raleigh. This is only my personal opinion the rest of the bloggers here may and most likely do think other wise.)


After that we headed back to Gastonia, where I headed back to Raleigh via Burlington and Graham. Picked up new mileage on NC 61 and clinched NC 100 while I was at it.

Downtown Graham is a splendid downtown square. Kristy and I caught some old advertisement signs in town on our way to the mountains the weekend prior. This trip, I walked around town and took a good number of photos.

NC 87 has a traffic circle around the Alamance County Courthouse. This is one of five I know of in North Carolina. The others: NC 27 Lincolnton, US 15/501/Business US 64 - Pittsboro, NC 22/24/27 - Carthage, and Business US 701 - Whiteville. If you know of any others in the state, leave a comment.

Here are a handful of other shots from Downtown Graham.




So overall, I picked up a bit of new mileage on NC 18, 51, 61, and clinched NC 100. In SC I gained mileage on SC 55, 5, and 18. A fun trip, but after three consecutive weekends of trips in and around the state, I think it's time I do some updating.

Comments

Jason said…
yes, eastern north carolina sauce is vastly superior to western NC sauce. Vinegar is a natural tenderizer, whereas the sticky molasses and ketchup based "crap" in the other half of the state just hides the wonderful flavors of hickory and pork.

Ironically, I'm from Charlotte, and I can't stand any BBQ that is to be found west of RDU. Lexington style sucks too.

Sorry. I read your comment and had to put in my two cents.

Gotta love the CUM PARK PLAZA complete with first taste and shoe show. Not to mention, one can see how they're doing it in New York City. Knock it all out in one spot...roflmao.

Great set of pictures!
Fredrick said…
Another set of roundabouts for you: off US421 expressway at the Shallowford Road/Concord Church Road interchange (signs at this exit say "Lewisville"). Having driven a fair amount in St. Maarten and Anguilla, BWI, I am a huge fan of the roundabout, since you rarely have to stop moving if you time things right in entrance and exit. Simple beauty and very, very few accidents.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  This year and in 2016 I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from that time period and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.


This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were largely locat…

Caliente-Bodfish Road/Kern County Road 483

Back in 2016 I took Caliente-Bodfish Road south towards California State Route 58 while leaving the Sierra Nevada Range after looking for the town site of Old Kernville.






Caliente-Bodfish Road is also known as Kern County Road 483 which I believe is an internal designation for mountainous roadways within the Sierra Nevada Range.  Caliente-Bodfish Road begins at Kern Canyon Road (Old California State Route 178) at the southern extent of Bodfish and climbs over the southern most extent of the Sierra Nevada Range approximately 35 miles to Bena Road near Caliente.  Caliente-Bodfish Road is a full two-lane road despite traversing some narrow terrain in the Sierras.  The high point on Caliente-Bodfish Road appeared to be near 4,000 feet above sea-level and I would estimate that there grades as high as 10% in places.

South of Bodfish Caliente-Bodfish Road ascends quickly above the community on a series of switchbacks.  There is no official overlook but there is a hell of a view of Bodfish an…