Skip to main content

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.-

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…