Skip to main content

A ride out to Mayberry

On June 5th, Joe Babyak and I took a trip out to Mount Airy, NC.  We went to check out 'Mayberry'.  Little did we know that the trip would be full of 20th century American nostalgia!

The route: I-540, I-40, NC 66, NC 89, US 52 Business, NC/VA 103, VA/NC 8, I-40, I-840, US 70 and local roads home.

For the flickr set from the entire trip, head here.

NC 66 is actually a very nice and surprisingly twisty drive.  There are also a lot of classic rural and roadside finds on the winding route through Forsyth and Stokes Counties.  Here at the intersection of Beux Mountain Road a old country store turned pool hall still has this classic old Gulf sign.

IMG_6604

From there it's a brief drive to Rural Hall and the small town on what was once US 52 has a few treasures of its own.  From an old train station - that can use a little touch up work...

IMG_6610

...to what may be the best find of the trip. 

Pepsi-Cola Ghost Billboard - Rural Hall, NC

This Pepsi-Cola ghost sign may be one of the oldest still viewed within North Carolina.  Sadly, the computer repair shop covers the name of the former "____ Quick Lunch".  And the deck for the apartments on the second floor cover up the rest of the sign.  I wonder if there are any photos of this building in any archives.  The other side of the building also has a similar Pepsi-Cola ghost sign.

Ancient Pepsi-Cola billboard - Rural Hall, NC

After a twisty ride through the Sauratown Mountains, we picked up NC 89 towards Mount Airy.  A couple of miles onto 89, this older shield popped up.

IMG_6618

Now it's only from 1987 - but considering the rate of how NC has replaced signs over the last 10 years, it's 'old'.

We pulled into Mount Airy around 1 pm and quickly found Mayberry.  Main Street in Mount Airy is a walk back to yesteryear, and its easy to spend a few hours here.

IMG_6628

In Mount Airy, the sites and sounds of 'Mayberry' and the 'Andy Griffith Show' are all around.

Mayberry Police Car

IMG_6632

IMG_6634

Over at Carolina Crossroads, I've written more about Mount Airy and how the town has embraced its role as 'Mayberry'.  You can read it here.

To prove that we did in fact enter Virginia, here's a photo from where VA 103 meets VA 8.

IMG_6685

Finally, there's an old country store on Leesville Road in Durham County that I have been wanting to get photos of.  Three years after moving back to North Carolina, I finally captured some photos of it.

Leesville Road Country Grocery

There is a rare - at least to me - Borden's Ice Cream (complete with Elsie the Cow) sign left at this old store.  The sign is rusted out and the light wasn't the best but you can certainly see the classic Elsie Borden logo!

IMG_6692

A trip like this is why I love driving the backroads of rural North Carolina. It is amazing what you can find when you get off the interstate, slow down, and get out and walk around!

Comments

jimgrey said…
You found some great signage on this trip. I especially like the old Gulf sign!

Popular posts from this blog

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 was unknown (at least to…

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 …