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Speaking of which, on a sad note, the US 11/52 cutouts along the southbound I-77 service road have been replaced by an I-77 and I-81 shield.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 198 at the bottom of Lake Kaweah

East of Lemon Cove of Tulare County one can find several old alignments of California State Route 198 at the bottom of the Lake Kaweah Reservoir.  In particularly dry years these early alignments of California State Route 198 can be accessed as hiking trails.   Part 1; a brief history of California State Route 198 in the Lake Kaweah Reservoir The current corridor of California State Route 198 ("CA 198") in Lake Kaweah has a lengthy history.  The present corridor around Lake Kaweah first became a popular route of travel for European settlers during the mining boom of Mineral King Valley.   Through the 1860s prospectors arrived in Mineral King Valley by way of the Kaweah River and East Fork Kaweah River.  In 1870 John Lovelace and his family built a stock trail up to what was known as Milk Ranch on the East Fork Kaweah River.  The Lovelace extended their trail all the way up to Mineral King Valley and the prospector camp sites.  In 1871 the stock trail was greatly improved

New River Gorge National River Area To Become A National Park

Great news for those that enjoy National Parks, West Virginia's New River Gorge Region, or West Virginia tourism.  Included within the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Trump last night (December 27th) is the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act.   The act will designate the existing New River National River and over 72,000 acres of land within it as a National Park and Preserve. The New River Gorge Bridge will continue to be the centerpiece of the new New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. (Adam Prince, 2007) The river and surrounding land, which was added to the National Park System in 1978, will be our 63rd National Park.   The designation preserves over 7,000 acres as a National Park.  This area will not allow any hunting.  The remaining 65,000 acres of the existing park will be designated as a preserve allowing hunting and fishing. The main attractions to the New River Gorge - whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountain bikin

The Great PA 48 Clearance Sale

It's not often that any department of transportation sells land it purchased.  They are usually in the business of acquiring land for right-of-way.  But in 1982, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation did exactly that.  Offering to buyers land it purchased just 15 years earlier for the never-built Route 48 Expressway. Background: The sale was a result of the 1970s cash crunch the PennDOT experienced.  Many projects were cut back, shelved, or eliminated.  The 'New 48', or the North-South Parkway, which was touted for nearly 20 years as a connection from the industrial Mon Valley to the Turnpike and Monroeville was one of the casualties. In the mid-late 1960s, movement to construct the new highway began with targeting a two-mile stretch of highway from the Route 48 intersection at Lincoln Way in White Oak to US 30 in North Versailles.  The plan was then to continue the highway northwards to Monroeville.  Extension south across the Youghiogheny River and to PA 51 would