Skip to main content

Cross Country Roadtrip - Day 1 - 04/17/2010

Last Saturday, it was time to set out on the big cross-country roadtrip.  Joe Babyak and I would spend a week driving out to and then exploring New Mexico and Arizona before heading back to North Carolina.

Day 1 took us from Raleigh, NC to Lonoke, AR via I-540; I-40; Business I-40; US 52, I-74, I-77, I-81, and I-40.

Our original plan was to go from Wilmington, NC to Lonoke via I-20, future I-22, and I-40 but last minute plans changed the route the first day.  The trip was straight driving so unfortunately no stops at small towns or things like that but still as always some good photos.

For the entire day one set on flickr (31 photos overall) head here.

One of the prettiest freeway backdrops in North Carolina is approaching Pilot Mountain along US 52 North.

IMG_4909

Pilot Mountain sits 2,421 feet above sea level and US 52 runs amazingly close to it.  I doubt that a new freeway today could run this close to it.  US 52 has direct access to Pilot Mountain State Park, which I have yet to visit!  I need to do that this year.

Just north of Pilot Mountain is an overhead sign that I have been wanting to take a photo of for sometime.  Not because of anything unique or it's age, but because of the damage done to it by birds over the past decade.

IMG_4910

The overhead diagram sign for the US 52/I-74 split near Mount Airy has gradually gotten worse from bird droppings over the past ten or so years.  Since, Joe did most of the driving on the trip, I was able to take a number of sign photos I normally wouldn't take.  This is one of them.  Below, is a closer version of the sign.

IMG_4911

As a result of the last minute route change, I was able to ride on I-81 in Eastern Tennessee for the first time in nearly 20 years (freshman year high school band trip to Gatlinburg/Knoxville - wow I am getting old).  Obviously, I don't recall anything about I-81 from that trip - most of the driving was at night and we stopped for breakfast somewhere off of I-81 - so it was hard for me to compare.  Where I-26 now meets I-40 in the Tri-Cities area, I snapped this shot.

IMG_4942

The detour East I-40 banner is for the official detour route due to the I-40 rockslide.  With I-40 scheduled to re-open this week, the Detour I-40 shield will most likely come down.  I suggest that they keep it up, because they're going to need it again sooner rather than later, and while a detour is not in effect resign it as Alternate I-40 East.  But then again what do I know.

Finally, it's always fun to drive through Nashville - one of my favorite cities.  Though this was driving through town vs. an actual visit.  I did get a few photos of the skyline while we buzzed along on I-40 West.  (Too bad the Predators didn't have a home playoff game that night, I think a stop would have been necessary.)

IMG_4949

IMG_4953

Next will be Day 2 from Lonoke to Albuquerque...though we had overcast skies much of the route...there will a number of stops on that leg.  For now, enjoy!

Comments

Bob Malme said…
I guess we now must include birds among those who don't like the I-74 designation in NC!
Bob Malme said…
Speaking of roads reminding you how time flies, I-74 from I-77 to US 52 completely opened 10 years ago this upcoming June.
Awesome photo of Pilot Mountain! :)
Froggie said…
Maggie didn't go with?

Popular posts from this blog

Check the box: Interstate 495 to 87 conversion administratively approved

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have recently approved North Carolina's application to remove the short-lived Interstate 495 and future I-495 from Raleigh to Rocky Mount.  This administrative move most likely will result in North Carolina signing Interstate 87 and Future I-87 on the entire corridor in the near future.

Approved in 2013, Interstate 495 was first signed in 2014 along US 64 from Interstate 440 in Raleigh to Interstate 540 in Knightdale.  The remaining segment of highway to Rocky Mount was signed as Future Interstate 495.  However, in 2016, North Carolina's congressional legislators were able to get language in the 2015 FAST ACT designating the US 64/US 13/US 17 corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as an Interstate.  In 2016, the FHWA and AASHTO designated this entire corridor (including the existing Interstate and Future 495) as Interstate 87.  (NCDOT had applied for Interstate 89 along this route.)

It is currently unknown when t…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

A quick Illinois and Wisconsin Road Trip

Recently, I was in the Chicago area and was able to explore the area north of Chicago and Wisconsin in my downtime.  I pretty much did a loop that consisted of Interstate 94, Interstate 43, US 12, Illinois Route 120, and Illinois Route 60.  It was my first real time exploring the area.  I ended up gaining an additional five counties on the trip bringing my total to just short of 1100, 1099 to be exact.

For the entire flickr set of photos for this trip, please head here.

Just prior to entering Wisconsin on Interstate 94, you will come across this sign.  Out of nowhere, Interstate 41 appears.  And if you aren't hip to changes on your map, Interstate 41 is a rather recently new interstate that runs from Green Bay to just about a mile inside the Illinois border.  Interstate 41 is an upgraded routing of the US 41 freeway that runs from Milwaukee to Green Bay; however, it was added along Interstate's 894 and 94 South of Milwaukee to where US 41 leaves I-94.  In fact, throughout the…