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Raleigh Roadgeek Meeting Trip
May 31, 2008
Virginia-Tennessee-North Carolina

These photos are from my trip to the 2008 Carolinas Roadgeek Meeting, held Saturday, May 31 in Garner, N.C., near Raleigh. The trip covered four states but there are photos from only three of the states, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. To view the full-sized photos, click on one of the thumbnails on this page. You will then be presented with navigation controls to view the images on individual Web pages as a slide show.

Early in the morning -- about 6:20 a.m. -- it's hard to get photos that aren't affected by motion blur. I had to cull a bunch of the ones I took, but I have duplicates taken from previous trips to the area. I kept a few, though, such as this one showing the signage at the ramp from south US 23 at Norton to Alt. US 58 east. This interchange could really benefit from better signage; perhaps overhead guide signage. A control city of Abingdon or Bristol wouldn't hurt, either, along with "To US 19" and "To I-81" signage.

It's blurry, but this is the first mileage sign on Alt. 58 after leaving Norton heading east.

VA 63 at St. Paul.

Advance signage for the intersection of VA 270 in St. Paul.

This used to be a US 270 error sign before it was replaced.

Increasing daylight resulted in a decrease in the motion blur on this mileage sign.

Oops -- when it's not even 7 a.m. yet and youre in shadows, and driving 55 mph, blur is unavoidable.

I finally remembered that I could program my camera to a blur-proof shutter speed, resulting in dark but clear photos.

Alt. US 58 joins US 19 for the ride to Abingdon.

Most of the signs in the Abingdon area have been replaced, including this one that used to be an older type. There are still a few around the US 11-US 19 intersection, however.

This set of signs used to be cutouts up until a few years ago.

Ditto for this set.

And ditto for these. Even though VA 75 goes straight through this intersection, left turns are now prohibited. The old signage with cutouts had VA 75 going in both directions.

Oops. That should be a US 58 sign instead of a VA 75 sign.

The "JCT" sign above the I-81 sign has been replaced but the other signage here has been around for awhile.

State name I-81 sign. This intersection marks the end of Alt. 58.

Small numbers on this US 58 sign.

Old-style US shields and small numbers on this exit sign.

Both directions of US 11 are part of "The Crooked Road."

Split of US 11 and US 58. The two routes used to run concurrently from here south to Bristol, but US 58 is routed on I-81 now.

Truck warning for US 58. And with good reason, too; US 58 is very crooked in the Mt. Rogers area from Damascus to Mouth of Wilson.

Destinations at VA 91 and US 58 in Damascus.

Heading south on VA 91 away from US 58 and toward the Tennessee line. Mountain City's in Tennessee; Boone is in North Carolina.

The first TN 91 sign.

TN 418 signage in downtown Mountain City.

TN 91 turns and TN 418 continues straight.

These signs, from the perspective of northbound TN 91, are mounted right to the brick wall.

Approaching US 421 on TN 418.

Tennessee's arrow marker with directions indicated; very handy, I like this arrangement.

Over on the other side of the four-lane, there's another sign with Trade as the destination, signed on a brown background.

Destinations for the split of TN 67 from US 421 near the NC state line.

TN 67 leaves US 421. The two routes have an unsigned duplex.

Typo!!!! "Vilas," which is where US 421 and US 321 intersect, only has one "l."

Entering North Carolina on US 421.

The speed limit sign indicates that 55 is a statewide standard.

Mileage to Boone and Wilkesboro.

Destinations at the intersection of US 421 and US 321 just a few miles inside North Carolina.

US 321 joins US 421. In this area of North Carolina, the square US shield signs are still very commonly used (which, to me, is a good thing; I dislike the wide US shields used by many states -- including most places in North Carolina -- for three-digit US routes).

Truck warning for south NC 194.

Intersection of NC 194 and US 321-421.

Wrong-way triplex of US 321 and US 421 south, and NC 194 north. This road runs basically east-west at this point.

Advance signage for the truck bypass of Boone.

Here you can see the wide shields in the foreground and the square ones in the background.

Destinations for where the truck route joins NC 105. NC 105 is also the truck route for US 221 around Grandfather Mountain.

NC 105 approaches US 221 and US 321.

More wrong-way goodness, although the photo has some blur to it.

END!!!! of NC 105 and also the end of the US 421 truck bypass.

Destinations where US 221 splits from US 421 east of Boone.

This is descending from the Blue Ridge Parkway on US 421 heading toward Wilkesboro.

Very old overhead signage.

This portion of US 421 is named for "BP," the longtime NASCAR driver and announcer who died last year.

The first of two truck escape ramps on southbound 421.

Trucks have a speed limit of 30 on this mountain crossing.

The second of two truck ramps.

US 421 is also marked as an alternate for oversized US 321 traffic.

Approaching NC 16 in the Wilkesboro area.

These next several signs are found along US 421 southbound between Wilkesboro and Winston-Salem.

Ronda is the hometown of Junior Johnson, NASCAR legend driver and owner.

The covered sign is for an I-77 detour.

A pretty patch of wildflowers in an exit gore area. North Carolina and Virginia have lots of these.

Another pretty patch of flowers.

This sounds like a quiet place. Note the little fire hydrant marker at the right.

Here, US 421 joins Business I-40 (the old route of I-40) through downtown Winston-Salem. I-40 bypasses downtown to the south.

The overhead signage is for the ramp from US 421. The ground-mounted sign is for traffic already on I-40 eastbound.

Now on I-40 east toward Greensboro.

Look at this photo and you can see surface signage for US 311 in the background.

Here's the surface US 311 sign.

Ground-mounted US 311 signage.

At this point, business I-40 has merged into I-40 eastbound.

After only about five miles, a new iteration of business I-40 begins. It follows the old route of 40 through Greensboro. The new route, opened earlier this year, merges with new I-85 south of Greensboro. Note the inclusion of I-73.

New signposts are being erected for new exit signage to reflect exit numbers on what is now Business I-40.

Welcome to Death Valley, the phrase given to the location where I-85 (now business 85) and I-40 (now business 40 and for years in the 1960s and 70s, the eastern national terminus of I-40) came together.

Six different routes, three different directions.

Looks like some detour signage has been covered up and is ready for use.

These next several photos are of the I-40/I-85 combined route heading toward Durham.

This sign at the Alamance County rest area was interesting. No panhandlers or solicitors were present during this stop.

A Sheetz!!!! This far south!!!!

I-40 and I-85 split.

The next several photos are on eastbound I-40 between I-85 and the Raleigh area.

There are several state-name shields and other older-vintage shields along this portion of I-40.

This is an older-vintage shield.

Another state-name shield.

Several of the signs on this portion of I-40, like this one, are older and are showing their age.

Yet another state name!

Something has either been taken off these supports, or something is going up on them.

The next few photos are from the common section of I-40 and I-440.

Note the different color green background for the "Garner" notation.

Back flying solo on I-40, the infamous Jones Sausage Road. A little research indicates that the road is named for the family that once had a sausage plant on this road, and it's now the location of a Slim Jim plant. Snap into one, Oh Yeah!!!! (Randy Savage used to live in Kentucky and his late wife Liz was from Frankfort. Betcha didn't know that!!!)

There is a greenout plate over the word "Business" above east US 70. Once the US 70 Clayton Bypass, the subject of the Raleigh meet, is opened, east US 70 will become Business 70 and the greenout can be removed.

The exit sign for the new US 70 east alignment remains covered up, as do many of the signs pointing to it. It's ready for traffic and will open in June 2008, only a few days after our meet.

There's a greenout over "East" on this sign that you can see if you look carefully.

That would be a "East US 70" sign under a cloaking device here.

Covered-up sign for the new US 70 exit amid a pretty field of wildflowers.

A look at the new exit.

The exit to the meet location.

At the end of the ramp.

A Detour I-40 sign is present here. Note the old-style mileage signs at this intersection. Not sure what "drug store" refers to, although the corner did have a sign saying a Walgreen's is coming soon.

The next several photos are scenes fromt he roadgeek meeting tour of the new US 70 bypass.

Visible in this photo are Dave Filpus, Brian Polidoro, Brent White (background in red shirt) and Adam Prince (right, with hat).

This is looking west where the new US 70 alignment will join I-40.

Looking east on US 70 toward an exit sign for NC 42.

Perhaps the most unusual site on the tour. A "Speed Limit 55" sign was left in place right at the spot where the road was bissected and barricaded for the new US 70 alignment.

This will no longer be the end of Business US 70. It will be extended west along the current US 70 route once the new road is opened.

Heading home after the meet.

More blacked-out signs on I-40 west.

This will be the exit from I-40 west to the new US 70 east.

The new overpasses for the US 70 interchange.

The cover's gone from this US 70 sign.

A good view of the greenout.

There should be an I-440 marker on this assembly.

More old signage on the Raleigh beltline.

More old signage on I-40.

Now on NC 147.

A threatening sky.

Now on I-85 south, heading toward I-40 and Greensboro.

Note the tiny NC 86 shield.

Now on the combined I-40 west/I-85 south route, heading west into the setting sun and a very overcast sky.

Approaching the split of the business and regular interstates outside Greensboro.

That should be a Business I-40 sign but it hasn't been changed out yet.

Once again, six routes and three different directions. The sign for I-40 hasn't been changed out yet.

These next few photos are along I-40 Business heading west through Greensboro. Note that the sign hasn't been changed to Business 40 yet.

Approaching where I-40 merges back into the old alignment. Again, notice I-73's posting.

Now back on regular I-40 heading west.

The sky looked really threatening, and the afternoon sun negatively impacted picture taking, but it never rained on me while I was in North Carolina.

The split of "Green" 40 from "Red, White & Blue 40" at Winston-Salem.

On US 52, heading north through Winston-Salem toward Virginia.

On northbound US 52, US 311 is mentioned on the guide signs. On the other side of the road, there is ground-mount signage only.

A neat view of Pilot Mountain looking north on US 52. The peak was shrouded in haze on this day, though.

There is only one of these signs posted along northbound US 52 between Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy. On the southbound side, there are at least three of them.

Interesting that the control city is not Wytheville, it's "TO Wytheville."

US 52's bypass of Mt. Airy is the Andy Griffith Parkway.

The first I-74 marker.

A view of the mountains as I-74 approaches I-77.

I-74 is posted concurrently with I-77 from the interchange of the two routes to the Virginia state line. The next several photos are of I-77 heading north to I-81 at Wytheville.

This sign for VA Secondary 620 is located in North Carolina.

The Virginia welcome sign is located in the exit gore to the welcome center and has been nicely landscaped.

This sign appears funny since the exit tab is wider than the sign itself.

The Blue Ridge Parkway crosses I-77 at the top of the mountain climb at Fancy Gap.

Another VA Secondary 620 exit. Sure, the route numbers repeat for each county, but it seems there are lots of 620's that intersect interstate highways in the Old Dominion.

Another instance of the exit tab being wider than the exit sign itself.

Nice view of the mountains as I-77 approaches I-81. The range in the background is again haze-shrouded.

The infamous US 121 sign error on I-81 south/I-77 north.

The famous route signage in the Wytheville area, where you are going south and north at the same time on four separate routes.

Interesting effects from the low evening sun.

This is the northern terminus of the truncated US 21.

This is the first mention of Knoxville on mileage sign. It's located in the Abingdon area.

Older shield shapes and small numbers make this sign distinctive.

The end of VA 140, which is a short connector between the interstate and US 11-19.

This new signage has been installed at the split of US 11 and US 19 in Abingdon.

Darkness finally sets in, at 8:30 p.m., but you can see that the old signage is still in place for US 11 and US 19 here.

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