Skip to main content

Cross Country Roadtrip - Days 6 & 7 - Midland, TX to Raleigh, NC

From Midland it was pretty much all Interstate home.  Day 1 took us from Midland to Tuscaloosa, AL.  Day 2 Tuscaloosa to Wilmington where I picked up my vehicle and headed home.

Day 1 Route: I-20, I-30, US 80, I-20, US 82 to Tuscaloosa, AL
Day 2 Route: US 82, I-20, I-459, I-20, I-95, NC 130, US 74 to Wilmington and US 117 and I-40 home.

The entire flickr set (51 photos) is here.

I slept most of the way from Midland to Ft. Worth, but I woke up just in time to catch these button copy signs on I-30 near Arlington.

IMG_5849

IMG_5850

The GPS had told us to use I-30 and US 80 through Dallas vs. I-20 to the South, and we were making excellent time on the trip until this at I-35E.

Dallas Traffic at I-30 & I-35E

However, sitting in traffic allowed me to get this photo of a rather unique guide sign.

IMG_5862

The middle sign actually lights up.  The white bulbs from bottom to top and the traffic island lights up in blue.  Here's the reason for the 15-20 minute back up.

IMG_5866

I am still trying to figure out how that pick up truck got turned around like that.

From there the drive east was pretty much uneventful.  Around 5 pm we pulled into the Mississippi Welcome Center off of I-20 in Vicksburg.  The welcome center has a great vantage point of the two Mississippi River crossings (I-20 and the old US 80 bridges).

IMG_5880

The bridge on the left carries I-20 and US 80 over the Mississippi.  It opened in 1973.  The bridge on the left is the 'Old Vicksburg Bridge'.  It opened in 1930 and carried rail and vehicle traffic.  The bridge has been closed to vehicles since 1998.  About 12 trains a day still cross the bridge.

IMG_5889

Unfortunately, the Raleigh I am looking for is still a good 750 plus miles away.

Day 2 - Mornings aren't easy for photos when you are driving east. With the sun shining directly at us, it really wasn't until Atlanta that I could attempt a decent photo.  I was hoping to get a few skyline Atlanta shots from I-20, but that wasn't possible.  So head east about 150 or so miles and into South Carolina.  Interstate 520 has recently been opened to connect to I-20 near North Augusta and here's what the signs look like on I-20 East as you approach the interchange.

IMG_5903

The last stop of this week long journey was South of the Border.  After years of driving down I-95 on our family vacation to Cherry Grove Beach, you'd think I would have stopped at least once at this true Roadside America attraction.  Nope, not once at all.  Even with all those catchy billboards - "You've never sausage a place."  We never stopped.  As a kid, I would count the signs on I-95 South in North Carolina.  I think I counted over 50 once - I forget.  But finally after 33 years - I stopped at South of the Border.

South of the Border

The key landmark of South of the Border is the sombrero observation tower.  Promotional materials for the tower tell how you can ride a glass elevator to the top - but it seems like the elevator is always "under repair".

Pedro is one Hot Tamale! - South of the Border, SC

Pedro sure is one 'Hot Tamale'!  South of the Border has just recently celebrated its 60th birthday.  What Alan Schafer started as a beer stand in 1950 is now one of the more famous stops along Interstate 95.  Unfortunately, we really didn't explore more of South of the Border - stop at the various shops and novelty stores, etc. That will have to wait for another time - maybe on the US 301 in North Carolina roadtrip I'd like to do.

From there it was onto Wilmington and home to Raleigh and the end of a week long journey.  This trip reminding me of how fortunate we are to live in a country with so many different characteristics not just geographically and physically - but in the people as well.   To be able to start a trip in the lush green of the east coast - travel through the flat plains of Oklahoma and Texas - and the desert landscape of New Mexico and Arizona - is an experience I won't forget.

I hope you enjoyed the series of blog entries on this trip - and I look forward to sharing more - large or small - in the years to come.

Comments

John Spafford said…
I stopped at "South of the Border" a few years ago. If you didn't see the whole thing, you didn't really miss much. I'm glad I went though, just to say I've been.

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…