Skip to main content

The twists and turns of NC 80

This past weekend, I headed down to Gastonia to visit friends and partake in the annual fantasy football draft we have. I headed down on Saturday and then went on a drive into the NC mountains.

The trip (from Gastonia, NC) - US 321, I-40, US 70, NC 114, I-40, US 221, US 70, NC 80, NC 226A, NC 197/TN Secondary 395, I-26, US 74, I-85.

A few notes on the way down. Clearing and grading has begun on what will be the I-74/US 311 freeway interchange with I-85 near High Point. A long way from finished but nice to see things moving along there.

My friend Steven went along for the NC 80 ride and our first stop was an abandoned truss bridge he located off of Hardin Road. The surprise was that a number of sections of the bridge have collapsed. It appears that this bridge has sat abandoned since the 1960s.


This is definitely a site I would recommend exploring with at least one other person with you.

There wasn't much of anything eventful on US 321 or US 70 or NC 114 (except for trying to figure out what the exact point of that designation is...conclusion: there isn't)

Got back on I-40 to Marion where we took 221 to get to highway 70 west to NC 80.

NC 80 is a great twisty drive from Lake Tahoma up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Since I was driving, I didn't get any photos showing what the drive was like. However, we did stop at a small Baptist church in one of the turns.

Below - an example of how curvy NC 80 can be.

It never fails in the number of trips Steven and I have made over the years into the mountains that it rains. Either, we run into a mountain shower (like this day) or come through right after a thunderstorm (2003 & this day), it never fails. The ride up NC 80 to the pass was off and on showers. However, it gave a great backdrop to where the Parkway crosses NC 80. We're at about 3350' above sea level at this point.

Below - looking back down NC 80 towards Lake Tahoma.

I just thought these clouds were awesome.

Now down, the mountain wasn't as bad as going up. Not long after, we came across Still Fork Creek which provided these great views.


The next stop was the small village of Micaville. There's not much to Micaville - this general store (which our NC mountains are full of...each unique to oneself) - a church - post office - and a few other homes.

Now north of Micaville. NC 80 gets even more twisty. It was a treat to drive. Fortunately, the sun had come out from this point and in the small community of Kona, I spotted this church off a side road.

When I am out in the mountains or in the Eastern part of the state along the farms, I always wonder who all and how many go to these tiny churches, and what are their services like.

From there, we wound our way to the end of NC 80 then along NC 226A - NC 226, and 197 into Tennessee. We took a few secondary roads into Erwin, stopped got a bite to eat at Sonic and then headed down I-26 towards Asheville and eventually back towards Charlotte. As you head East (actually south) on I-26 before the NC/TN line there is a scenic viewpoint on the Tennessee side. Steven, who isn't a fan of the Interstates, commented "now this is one gorgeous highway."



When you have views like above, it's not hard to feel that way.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I've always enjoyed I-26 in Tennessee, even since it was US 23 only.

And there are some very picturesque churches all over the mountains -- not only NC but Virginia, WV, Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

Nice pics, Adam!
John Spafford said…
Two summers ago, I made a detour just to drive on I-26 although I drove it north (west) up the mountain from Asheville to TN. It is a great drive. Last month, I got to drive I-26 north from the junction of US-74 up to Asheville. There were an awful lot of trucks on that section as opposed to north of Asheville.

Popular posts from this blog

US Route 62 and US Route 180 in the Guadalupe Mountains

US Route 62/US Route 180 between El Paso, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico passes through the Guadalupe Mountains.  The Guadalupe Mountains comprise the highest peaks of Texas which are largely protected as part Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  The automotive highway through the Guadalupe Mountains was constructed in the late 1920s as part of Texas State Road 54.  US Route 62 was extended from Carlsbad through the Guadalupe Mountains to El Paso during 1932.  US Route 62 was joined in the Guadalupe Mountains by US Route 180 in 1943.  The Guadalupe Mountains comprise a portion of the 130 mile "No Services" zone on US Route 62/US Route 180 between El Paso-Carlsbad. Part 1; the history of US Route 62 and US Route 180 in the Guadalupe Mountains The Guadalupe Mountains lie within the states of Texas and New Mexico.  The Guadalupe Mountains essentially is a southern extension of the larger Rocky Mountains.  The Guadalupe Mountains is the highest range in Texas with the peak elevati

Former California State Route 215

  California State Route 215 was a short-lived state highway which existed in the Los Angeles Metropolitain area after the 1964 State Highway Renumbering.  California State Route 215 was aligned from US Route 60 at 5th Street in Pomona north to US Route 66 near Claremont via Garey Avenue.  California State Route 215 came to be after California State Route 71 was bisected in Pomona due to relinquishment of a portion of Garey Avenue due to the opening of a portion of the Corona Freeway (now Chino Valley Freeway) during 1958.  California State Route 215 was deleted by the Legislature during 1965. The history of California State Route 215 The initial segment of what was to become California State Route 215 was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.  The First State Highway Bond Act defined what would become  Legislative Route Number 19  (LRN 19) as running from Claremont to Riverside.  The segment of LRN 19 between Claremont and Pomona would in

Paper Highways; unbuilt California State Route 100 in Santa Cruz

This edition of Paper Highways examines the unbuilt California State Route 100 in Santa Cruz. The History of Unbuilt California State Route 100 The route that became CA 100 was added to the State Inventory in 1959 as part of the Freeway & Expressway System as Legislative Route 287 .  According to CAhighways.org the initial definition of LRN 287 had it begin at LRN 5 (CA 17) and was defined over the below alignment to LRN 56 (CA 1) through downtown Santa Cruz. -  Ocean Street -  2nd Street -  Chestnut Street For context the above alignment would required tearing down a large part of the densely populated Santa Cruz.  A modern Google imagine immediately reveals how crazy an alignment following Ocean Street, 2nd Street, and Chestnut Street would have been. LRN 287 first appears on the 1960 Division of Highways State Map . In 1961 the definition of LRN 287 was generalized to; from LRN 5 via the beach area in Santa Cruz to LRN 56 west of the San Lorenzo River.