Skip to main content

Vacation Daytrip - Southwestern Virginia

This is my vacation week, and this year it's staying here in North Carolina but with plenty of side trips out and about.

Sunday, Kristy and I went to Hanging Rock State Park. And I'll post those photos later..for now head to flickr.

Tuesday, I headed into Southwestern Virginia...I have never really had the chance to explore it, so why not!

Route: I-540, I-40, US 52, I-74, I-77, I-81, US 58/421, US 23, VA 83, US 460, US 19, VA 61, US 52, VA 98, US 52, I-77, I-74, US 52, I-40, I-540.

The entire flickr set (58 photos in all) is here.


The new guide signs are up on I-77 North as you approach I-81. The signs are in Clearview. Now, there are quite a few in the hobby that despise this font. I really don't see the big deal about it, and when I take my glasses off. I can read the Clearview better than the Highway Gothic Font.

It also appears that Virginia is doing a sign rehab along the I-77/81 multiplex. At a few interchanges, construction crews were preparing for the installation of new signs.

Speaking of which, on a sad note, the US 11/52 cutouts along the southbound I-77 service road have been replaced by an I-77 and I-81 shield.

I really liked the two lane portion of US 58/421 from Bristol to Lake City. A great scenic drive, and not that much traffic either. Here are a couple of views.




West of Gate City, there is a Virginia Wayside/Scenic View that gives the vista of the Copper Creek Rail Trestle.


I was finishing up my photos of the trestle when the Norfolk Southern decided to appear.

Further up US 23...just prior to Norton and Wise....is a scenic view from Benge's Gap.


At Pound, I left US 23 to head East on VA 83. Pound is a small Appalachian town in the heart of Coal Country.


There's not much to Pound, but one thing is for certain - and it is for all of these small mountain towns - they are certainly proud of their local high school.

The next stop was the town of Clintwood, the County Seat of Dickenson County. There is more of a downtown there and it does not appear as downtrodden. By the way, Clintwood is home of the Green Wave.





East of Clintwood, VA 83 is a nice drive, but the color was hampered by an explosion in the growth of kudzu that really made it difficult to take any good fall photos.

VA 61 runs through the outskirts of Tazewell, but there are still a handful of cutouts left along or near VA 61. Here's two shots of them.


VA 61 from Tazewell to I-77 is a very nice drive, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Near the Tazewell/Bland County border sat the Chestnut Grove Christian Church. It allowed for a great fall backdrop.





Finally, the last photo can be filed in the "Is this State Highway really necessary?" department. VA 98 in Bland. It runs from VA 42/US 52 to just beyond the Bland County Courthouse. It then becomes SecondaryRoute 605, where it dead end's about a mile and a half later. But nonetheless, here's a photo.

Comments

Anonymous said…
One of my most favorite parts of the world. Very scenic and also interesting from a roadgeek's perspective.

At Pound you should have driven the five miles on further north to Pound Gap and the US 23 crossing into Kentucky. At the time it was the most expensive highway project ever in the state and the massive road cut exposes some fascinating geology on Pine Mountain.

Glad you enjoyed the trip! (When you were at Pound, you were only about an hour and a half from my office.)
Long and Foster said…
Great photos! Looks like a great trip. I haven't been that far into Southwest Virginia but have been as far down as Blacksburg. After seeing all of this I may have to venture further on my next trip.

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 1 over Old Pedro Mountain Road

California State Route 1 in western San Mateo County traverses the Montara Mountain spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 1 passes through Montara Mountain via the Tom Lantos Tunnels and the highway is traditionally associated with Devils Slide.  Although Devils Slide carries an infamous legacy due it being prone landslides it pales in comparison to the alignment California State Route 1 carried prior to November 1937 over Old Pedro Mountain Road.   Old Pedro Mountain Road opened to traffic in 1915 and is considered one of the first major asphalted highways in California.  Old Pedro Mountain Road clambers over a grade from Montara towards Pacifica via the 922 foot high Saddle Pass.  Pictured above an overlook of Old Pedro Mountain Road facing southward towards Montara as it appears today.  Pictured below it the same view during June 1937 when it was part of the original alignment of California State Route 1.  Today Old Pedro Mountain sits abandoned a

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo

Originally US Route 101 upon descending Cuesta Pass southbound entered the City of San Luis Obispo via Monterey Street.  From Monterey Street US Route 101 utilized Santa Rosa Street and Higuera Street southbound through downtown San Luis Obispo.  Upon departing downtown San Luis Obispo US Route 101 would have stayed on Higuera Street southward towards Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande.  Notably; beginning in 1934 US Route 101 picked up California State Route 1 at the intersection of Monterey Street/Santa Rosa Street where the two would multiplex to Pismo Beach.  Pictured below is the 1 935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County depicting the original alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in the City of San Luis Obispo.   Part 1; the history of US Route 1 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo lies at the bottom of the Cuesta Pass (also known as the Cuesta Grade) which has made it favored corridor of travel for centuries.  Cuesta Pass

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n