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South Central Virginia Trip

Took a nice drive into South Central Virginia to get a few missing counties and found a few surprises.

Route: US Bike 1, US 158 Business (Oxford), US 158, US 158 Business (Henderson), NC 39, VA SR 719, VA SR 825, secondary NC Route, US 15, US 58/VA 49, US 15/VA 49, VA 49, VA 47, US 460 Business (Pamplin City), US 460, VA 122 Business (Bedford), VA 43, US 29 Business (Altavista), VA SR 668, VA SR 640, VA 40, VA SR 603, US 501, I-85, US 70, NC 98, NC 50.

Accomplishments: Clinched Appomattox and Bedford Independent City. Completed US 501 in NC, Clinched NC 39, along with adding new mileage for VA 49, VA 47, US 460, VA 43, and US 501 in VA.

Notes:

I've mentioned before that I would enjoy biking or in this case driving the various bike routes in North Carolina. The thought is that many of these routes follow secondary roads and there may be a lot of good finds along there. In Southern Vance County, that idea was justified. The tiny crossroads of Grissom has example of location signage that I had not seen before within the state. Green on white.

My first glance was that this was another old black on white location sign. (like the one I found recently for Rogers Store.)

Later along US 158 Business approaching Henderson, I came across this piece of roadside history.



I was amazed at the excellent condition of this former service center. It looks like this place probably had a little bit of everything: gas station, food counter, and service garage. I was amazed at the excellent condition of the wood shingles and the condition of the paint. (Possibly redone in recent years.) I would guess that the term 'Midway' means between Oxford and Henderson. Also, this alignment has been bypassed for at least 50 years. First by a two lane bypass of US 158 to the north, and later by I-85.

I was surprised at the amount of traffic on NC 39 north of Henderson. However, the traffic died down considerably on NC 39 north of Townsville. From Townsville to the Virginia Line a lot of NC 39 looked like the photo below.


The Clarksville Bypass is complete, and surprisingly US 15 remains routed through town. US 58 and VA 49 are routed on the new freeway south of the town. I was kinda surprised to see the end of the bypass controlled by a flashing signal (too difficult to get a shot), and I can foresee a number of accidents there.

Just north of the bypass on US 15/VA 49 North I came across what I call a Uni-Guide. It is the traditional Virginia destination guide found on highways after major intersections. The difference is that the shields and the guide sign are all one one sign. An interesting combination indeed.


VA 47 meets VA 40 in Charlotte Court House which was a charming small town. I walked around there a good 20-30 minutes taking some pictures.



VA 47 was a rural drive that mixed hollows with rolling farmland. Here is a pair of my favorite shots from the highway.


VA 43 starts as a pleasant rolling route south of Bedford to a curvy narrow highway in Southern Bedford County to Altavista.

All in all an enjoyable drive. 47 photos taken with two definite features out of it. Small towns of Virginia Series will cover Charlotte Court House and The Midway Service Center will find a home on Carolina Lost.-

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