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

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …