Skip to main content

North Carolina Backroads Trip

Joe Babyak came up from Wilmington on Saturday, and we took a trip along some of the former US Highway alignments in the area.

For the entire flickr set (149 photos) go here.

We focused on old alignments of US 1 and US 421. US 1 from Apex to Sanford and US 421 from Sanford to Julian (between Liberty and Greensboro). We headed back along what some call the Old Football Road which is known as Greensboro/Chapel Hill Road.

With the Raleigh Beltline finally seeing an upgrade in signage, I got hold of two shots of soon to be replaced signs on Western Blvd.

Believe it or not. These signs are over top of even older overheads. (Be interesting to read those.)

Camera flash through the windshield makes this appear to be button copy. This is an older overhead than the signs in the first photo.



Our first stop was Apex. I spent a bit more time in Apex than this spring on the Bike 5 Trip to Wilmington. We walked around taking photos for a good 30-45 minutes. Apex has an intimate and very popular Main St./Downtown. On Saturday's at the former rail station, there is a farmer's market.




Just south of Apex is the crossroads of New Hill. At the main crossroads, there are three abandoned buildings. A service station, a former general store, and finally a service station with an old ice cream stand and also an old motor court.





Just south of New Hill in the small community of Bonsal. I took a detour - the main reason was to find an appropriate place to turn around and take a photo for the Carolina Crossroads project. However, sometimes a wrong turn can lead to a great discovery.

Just off of Old US 1 at the Wake/Chatham County line there is a rail crossing. Normally, I'd just turn around, but there was some activity going on. So, as a result, we decided to stop. The next thing a steam train whistle blows and appearing around the bend was a steam locomotive of the New Hope Valley Railway.

The New Hope Valley Railway is a six mile excursion train that runs on the first Sunday of every month. On this day, they were running a charter, but the good fortune allowed us to grab some great photos.



After taking a brief ride on what will be the US 421 bypass of Sanford, it was time to head into town along US 1 Business and spend some time walking around there.

Sanford has an amazing old Coca-Cola Building. The building was erected in 1908 and the current exterior design was done in the 1920s.

There is plenty of other great historical buildings within Sanford.




After Sanford, it was over NC 42 and NC 902 to Old US 421 and the small town of Goldston. This former gas station has now become a BBQ Joint known as Rufus' Restaurant.

I could be wrong, but I highly doubt you will be able to get a Coca-Cola here.

Next was the Camelback Bridge over the Deep River in Cumnock. Dave Filpus' recently went there, and his blog entry was part of the reason we made this trip. The bridge was built in 1910 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995. It is now part of a local park called "Deep River Park".





We followed old US 421 back again through Goldston and through Siler City, didn't have time to really stop there or Liberty either. In Julian, we picked up NC 62 until we reached Greensboro/Chapel Hill Road and followed that all the way to NC 54.

If there is a backroad you want to take, try this one. It's worth it. A first stop was the Kimesville Dam. The dam, which accompanied a former mill, was built in 1812. With recent rains, it made for a great waterfall.


At the country road's intersection with NC 49 is a former corner grocery. Complete with an old Orange Crush and Guilford Dairy Ice Cream Signs.




Here's what NC 49 looks like after a soft but drenching rain.

Finally, just west of Eli Whitney is the Spring Friends Meeting House. A church that dates to the 1700s.

I am on vacation all next week. So hopefully, like the fall of 2006, I'll take quite a few daytrips...most likely into Virginia.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.