Skip to main content

Just a good old fashioned roadgeeking trip

2020 as we all know has been a year unlike any other.   A number of planned trips for my family and for work have obviously been shelved.   So what can cure that itch to get out and explore.  For me, it was a simple four and a half hour loop north of my home.  

This was for me a good old fashioned roadgeek trip - an explore trip on some roads I hadn't checked out before.  In addition to checking out a few towns along some roads I have been on.  No expectations but the hope of discovering some new things and learn about them.

Route: Local Roads to NC 3 , NC 801, US 601, US 64, NC 901, NC 115, local roads home.

Part of the goal for the trip was to hopefully get additional towns and communities for the Carolina Crossroads project.  Fortunately, the trip didn't disappoint.  For the entire set on flickr - head here.


Bear Poplar was one of the more interesting community names.  Just down the road from here was a nice surprise.  The Mount Ulla community barn quilt is posted on the side of a local feed and garden shop caught my eye and I learned that it is currently the largest - at 500 square feet - community barn quilt in the United States.


Further North on NC 801, I crossed US 70 and took the old US 70 alignment to check out the towns of Barber and Cleveland.  Barber is nothing more than a rail junction that is still active to this day as you can tell from the Norfolk Southern train that was going by when I got there.


The temporary stop allowed me to check out the junction and a train that was stationed there.


I continued North on NC 801 to the Town of Cooleemee where the remains of a former textile mill caught my eye.  The town once had a small downtown but it was torn down when the ownership of the mill changed hands in the early 1960s.  A mural has a glimpse of what the old Cooleemee Town Square looked like.



Further North along NC 801 - the community of Farmington is a small crossroads that packed a number of unique road items and history.


The Boone Trail Highway marker was a pleasant surprise.  Most of these monuments / trail markers are found within small cities and towns in North Carolina.  Finding this one at a rural crossroads was quite a surprise.



There are also an interesting set of signs for Interstate 40 at this crossroads.  An orange 'Alternate' and an 'Incident' banner directs traffic to/from I-40.  These signs are in place due to construction projects on I-40 nearby and are used to help detour traffic off the Interstate and back onto it at another interchange.  


Farmington is a historic community as it was settled by other North Carolinians that left Currituck County in the 1830s after a series of devastating hurricanes.  For a while, the community was known as Little Currituck but the name was changed to Farmington when a post office was established.


Keeping up with the Gribblenation tradition of finding something absurd on roadtrips.  I encountered this three horse led buggy on NC 115.


Just south of Statesville on US 21/NC 115 is this homemade button copy sign for a local VFW.   Chris Curley tells me there is another one located at the other end of the local road as well.

My final stops were at the Town of Troutman and Mooresville.  Troutman is a smaller town that is located on the northern fringes of Lake Norman.  It has a small downtown that sits at what is pretty much a fork on the old highway.




Mooresville is a larger town - and is home to the corporate headquarters of Lowe's Home Improvement.  Downtown Mooresville is quite nice and is home to the NASCAR Walk of Fame.  



But what caught my eye the most in Mooresville was the numerous ghost sign painted billboards in town that are either fading or have been restored.  Below is just a sample of them.






Overall this was a great trip.  I ended up clinching NC 801 and 901 in the process.  But to me this trip was a great example of how you can roadgeek, discover new things, and enjoy a good old fashioned roadtrip without traveling very far at all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

Douglas Memorial Bridge; the ruins of US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway over the Klamath River

Near the village of Klamath in southern Del Norte County, California sits the ruins of Douglas Memorial Bridge which once carried US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway over the Klamath River.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge was a arch concrete span which once crossed the Klamath River.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge was noted for it's unique grizzly bear statues which still adorn the remains of the structure.  Completed in 1926 the Douglas Memorial Bridge was the original alignment of US Route 101 ("US 101") and stood until it was destroyed by the Christmas Floods of 1964.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge is named in honor of G.H. Douglas who was a Assemblyman of the First District of California.  Below the Douglas Memorial Bridge can be seen during it's prime (courtesy bridgehunter ).  Part 1; the history of the Douglas Memorial Bridge The history of what would become US 101/Redwood Highway begins with the approval of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act .  The First Stat

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