Skip to main content

2017 Southeast Trip Part 8; Congaree National Park and the Carolinas

After leaving Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway my next destination was in South Carolina at Congaree National Park.


But I had to get to South Carolina first. After leading the Blue Ridge Parkway I continued eastward following US 74 to I-40.






I-40 is pretty in North Carolina but just as haggard as I remember it with slow speed limits and heavy traffic.

 
I was stopping quickly in Asheville to have lunch with friends.  I pulled off of I-40 to make a phone call at a gas station (since I didn't remember exactly where I was going) and spotted a US 74-A shield which I thought looked fairly unique.





My destination for lunch was south on I-26.





The Blue Ridge Parkway crosses over I-26 in Asheville.  My lunch destination was on NC 146.





I-26 is heavily traveled between Asheville and Columbia.  I missed the state line signage but stopped on SC 14 to get gas before continuing on my way.  I always dug the modern design of the South Carolina State Highway shields, they have a clean but unique look.






Mercifully I pulled of I-26 after 160 miles of heavy traffic onto I-77 north.






After a couple miles on I-77 I pulled off of the freeway onto SC 48.





SC 48 is a 29 mile state highway running from US 21/76/176/321 in downtown Columbia east to US 601.  SC 48 more or less follows the Congaree River along the north bank and apparently was signed all the way back in 1930.  There was a nice mixture of new and older South Carolina highway shields.






Most of SC 48 is on Bluff Road.  The access road to Congaree National Park is on Old Bluff Road which I'm fairly certain is the original SC 48 alignment.









Congaree National Park is the largest tract of old growth bottom land hardwood forest left in the eastern United States.  Essentially Congaree National Park is a swamp along the north banks of the Congaree River.  Congaree National Park was established in 2003 out of the previous Congaree National Monument which was established in 1976.  There is actually fairly extensive boardwalk trails through the trees and swap lands.  I made my way almost all the way to the Congaree River and ran most of it since my leg was starting to feel better after the Water Rock Knob.












Leaving Congaree National Park I rejoined SC 48 and took it east to US 601.  I crossed the Congaree River on US 601 and took SC 267 south.






SC 267 is only 23 miles long and ends at US 15.  I'm not sure when the route was created but there was some nice views and decent shields along the highway.






After completing SC 267 I took US 15 to I-95.  From I-95 I headed south to US 78 in St. George where I stayed the night. 













Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interstate 5; the West Side Freeway

The past four years I've frequently driven the entirety of Interstate 5 in San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley.  I-5 from Wheeler Ridge north to a segment near of Woodland is known as the "West Side Freeway."


The West Side Freeway segment of I-5 refers to an approximately 330 mile portion of the highway from the split with CA 99 at Wheeler Ridge north to the convergence with I-505 near Woodland.







Part 1; the history of the West Side Freeway and the split of I-5W/I-5E

In the 1947 Interstate plan I-5 was to be routed up US 99 where it would have split into I-5W and I-5E in Modesto.  I-5W was to planned to use the following current state highways: 

-  Modern CA 132 west to I-580.
-  Modern I-580 west to I-80.
-  Modern I-80 east to I-505.
-  Modern I-505 to I-5.

As the second Interstate System was being drafted the path of I-5 was shifted to the western part of San Joaquin Valley which was planned as Legislative Route 238.  I-5W was planned to split from I-5 at the p…

Old Stage Road; the "real" El Camino Real and predecessor route to US Route 101 on the San Juan Grade

This past month I stopped in San Juan Bautista to hike the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail on the closed Old Stage Road.  Old Stage Road as part of the Spanish El Camino Real to cross the Gabilan Range between San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley.



Part 1; the history of El Camino Real and Old Stage Road

The Gabilan Range between what is now San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley was first explored during the second Juan Bautista De Anza Expedition of Las Californias.  While the De Anza expedition likely crossed very close to the present alignment of Old Stage Route their exact path isn't clear.  Juan Bautista De Anza noted the following in his journal while passing near present day San Juan Bautista on March 24, 1776:

"In the valley we saw many antelopes and white grey geese.  In the same valley we found an arroyo...and then came to a village in which I counted about twenty tule huts.  But the only two people we saw were two Indians who came out to the road and presented us with thr…

Abandoned Interstate 95 - Newburyport, Massachusetts

What is now a popular recreational trail in the northeastern Massachusetts city of Newburyport was once a northbound alignment of Interstate 95, and before that, part of a relocated US 1. A trip down this 1.1 mile long abandoned section of highway shows a road that was left mostly intact, complete with the original pavement, curb cuts and pavement markings. But there is a story about how this highway became a trail...

Originally conceived to be part of a relocated US 1, the stretch of road that is now the abandoned section of I-95 in Newburyport was part of a highway that was constructed between 1951 and 1954 from modern day US 1 in Danvers, Massachusetts and ended just south of the state border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire in Salisbury, Massachusetts. The highway was originally constructed with three 12-foot wide lanes in each direction, although the rightmost lane eventually became a hard shoulder for the road. The highway was not Relocated US 1 for long, as it became I…