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New Camera? Let's Roadgeek!

For Christmas, my wife got me a new Canon 90D Camera to upgrade from the Canon Rebel XSi I've had since 2009.   Though I have done two small items with the camera so far, yesterday was really my first chance to try it out on a trip.  It was a local roadgeek loop - I went along NC 150, Old US 52, and NC 8 on a loop to get some crossroads and take in some roads I haven't been on yet.  Fortunately, I got a lot of new surprises on the way.  If you'd like to see the whole Flickr set of 153 photos, head here.

The 1924 Wil-Cox Bridge was a highlight from my trip yesterday.

My first surprise was in Salisbury.  Along South Main Street, there is an Art & Graffiti Park that I found really interesting.  Established in 2018, the Salisbury Graffiti Park encourages local street artists to experiment and try out their ideas but also be able to share their work at the same time.  

The park has 12 large wooden art walls and three boulders that are used to display the art.  Organizers hope that they can also have a six-foot-high concrete wall built included in the future.




I continued North from Salisbury to make a stop at the Wil-Cox Bridge.  The bridge, a concrete open-spandrel arch bridge that has crossed the Yadkin River since 1924.  The bridge is now the centerpiece of Davidson County's Yadkin River Park.  


When the new Interstate 85 bridges over the Yadkin River were built in the early 2010s, the Wil-Cox Bridge was intended to be demolished.  Fortunately, Davidson County viewed the bridge as a community asset and took over ownership of the structure.


Over time, the Yadkin River Park plans developed to include many amenities and features.   The bridge was converted to a two-way bicycle and pedestrian trail with observation benches and interpretive signs.


On the Davidson County side of the bridge, there is now a small parking area, picnic area, connection with a riverwalk to the York Hill River Access site, and several trails to the former site of Fort York.  Fort York was a Confederate installation during the Civil War.  The Wil-Cox Bridge area was where one of the last North Carolina battles of the Civil War on April 12, 1865 - a Confederate victory.

There are future plans for the park and bridge to develop the Fort York site, build a multi-use bike path from the bridge through Rowan County to the North Carolina Transportation Museum, and develop the boat landing as the terminus of the 22-mile Daniel Boone Heritage Canoe Trail.

Just around the corner from Yadkin River Park, on an old alignment of US 29, is the former site of the York Hill Restaraunt.  All that is left of this old Supper Club and Night Club is this gigantic sign.

There is not much known about this old restaurant other than the building burned down sometime in the 1980s.  A clean-up of the site took place in November 2019 as part of REI's #optoutside program.  I also found a photo of an old matchbook advertising their charcoal-broiled steaks.




Next up was a stop at Boone's Cave Park a few miles west of NC 150 in Churchland.  The 100-acre county park was established in 1909 by the Daniel Boone Memorial Association.  It is believed that the Boone family spent their first year in North Carolina in the area around the Yadkin River.  It is also suggested that the Boone family lived in the cave along the Yadkin while cabins were built on higher ground.  




Though no trace of any homestead has been found within the park's grounds, land grants issued in the Boone's family name all around the park have been found.

In addition to the cave, the park has six miles of hiking trails, canoe and kayak launches, camping sites, and a disc golf course.  There is also a Daniel Boone Highway marker within the park grounds.

The next part of the trip (NC 150 to I-40 and Old US 52 to Lexington) was surprisingly uneventful.  I did get a few items for the crossroads project - including this sign for Arcadia I liked.

On NC 8 south of I-85, I found a few interesting items.  One the community of Cotton Grove.  Still trying to think about what "unicorporation" is.  I don't believe it is a word.  Just of all the unincorporated communities, I have found that's a new one.

Speaking of variants on the communities signs - down near High Rock Lake on NC 8 is the community of Healing Springs.  This placename sign is also another variant.

It is also a quiet and scenic spot - an old country store and some nice rural views.



From here, I followed NC 8 to New London to pick up NC 740 and head to Badin.  This bait shop has a nice use of the NC 8 shield in its logo.

The drive to Badin on NC 740 is very pleasant.

Badin is a nice little town along the southern tip of Badin Lake.  Its downtown is small yet charming. The next time my family and I go to Morrow Mountain State Park, we'll stop here for a bite to eat!


Badin Baptist Church

Downtown Badin


After Badin, I headed home, and as a result, clinched NC 740.  I found a nice ghost sign on an old feed mill along NC 24/27 as well.  


This was a fun trip.  It was great to get out and explore.  It's also a reminder that there is so much you can find only an hour or two away from home.

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