Friday, March 15, 2013

A Different Mecklenburg Saga, Part 1: Virginia to Greensboro

Since it opened, my friend Eric (not Elric) and I wanted to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. On March 9, we finally went. We left at 6:30 AM on a trip that took about 4 hours, taking I-85 all the way from Petersburg to Charlotte. I'm familiar with the stretch north of Greensboro, because my dad used to live there when I was a teenager. Since I've covered most of I-85 in Virginia in previous entries, I didn't take any pictures in Virginia. Well, except one, descending to Lake Gaston over the Roanoke River.

The first exit in North Carolina is just south of the border, for US 1 & 401. The second exit is the oddly-named Oine Road.

There are a lot of little things that VDOT and NCDOT do differently. The median, for one, and signage standards are slightly different.

The Left Exit tab normally has the Left in yellow, but not in this instance. US 1 follows I-85 from Petersburg to here, where it splits towards Raleigh.

Parham Road is the name of a major road in the Richmond area, but this one looks to be less important.

Not just Henderson, but downtown Henderson, is accessed via NC 39.

I-85 briefly picks up US 158 in Henderson. US 158 is the longest single-state US route in the country, and the only one over AASHTO's unenforced 300 mile minimum.

Most county line signs in North Carolina just have the entering county. This is a rare exception that has both. This is common in Virginia.

Cook Out is a North Carolina-based fast food restaurant. They're everywhere down there.

US 15 follows I-85 for awhile until Durham.

Going under a bridge that carries a secondary route. It's hard to tell from this distance, but only the road's number is posted on a small green sign.

This seemed to be a regional thing instead of the normal "Authorized Vehicles Only" sign that was present in other parts of the state as well as Virginia.

US 15 joins I-85.

Approaching US 70 near Durham.

This Durham police officer was left lane blocking.

Nice median here.

US 15 and 501 begin their long journey together at this exit. They stay together throughout most of the state.

Between Durham and Hillsborough now. Check out the guard rail.

NC 86 is one of a few routes we'll cross in this entry that continue their number in Virginia. In this case, NC 86 goes north to Danville, where it becomes VA 86.

I-85 and I-40 prepare to join forces between Hillsborough and Greensboro.

I-85's exit numbers are the ones displayed. Efland looks like "Elfland" if you're dyslexic.

Interesting that the smaller Burlington was used as the control city instead of Greensboro. Alamance County influence perhaps?

Mebane is pronounced "MEH-buhn", according to people from there..

I always thought Haw River was a hilarious name.

NC 87 is the second-longest state highway in North Carolina. It goes from the southeast corner of the state all the way up to Ridgeway, Virginia, where it ends at US 220.

NC 49 is the middle part of a three-state route with Virginia and South Carolina.


Approaching the Greensboro Urban Loop. The last time I was down this way, it wasn't open yet, but was under construction.

I'll have to revisit Greensboro on another trip. Join me on the Urban Loop in part 2, where the word of the day is greenout.

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