May 18, 2023 - The NC Trip

When I took this trip, it was the biggest one I have been on, going in almost a perfect loop. This is my first documented road trip to leave Virginia.

The Trip - Part One

Around 8 AM, I left my house and headed towards Charlottesville. At 8:36 AM, I took the first picture of the day, on US 250’s Charlottesville Bypass. I stopped at the Pantops Wawa for an hour, and headed off for North Carolina. I took I-64 east from US 250's DDI to VA-288 west of Short Pump.

My first picture of the day.

Merging onto I-64 from US 250.

I-64's exit for VA-208 is one mile away.

I headed south of VA-288, entering Powhatan County and Chesterfield County for the first time since 2021. I turned south on I-95 after I clinched VA-288. On I-95, I entered the cities of Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Emporia for the first time ever, as well as the Virginia Counties of Prince George, Sussex, and Greensville for the first time. It was 11:27 AM when I reached the exit for VA-40, and 11:43 AM when I entered the City of Emporia, and the interchange with US 58.

South at the North end of VA-288.

I-95 has an interchange with I-85's northern end.

Through trucks are prohibited through the City of Emporia.

At 11:52 AM, I entered North Carolina, this was my first time entering the state since November 2020, and my first time leaving Virginia since June 2021. I exited I-95 for the Welcome Center, and stayed there until about 12:15 PM. There was quite some construction from US 158 to I-295/US 13, and traffic was jammed for a few minutes near Alternate US 264.

Welcome to North Carolina!

US 158 provides access to Roanoke Rapids,

The US 264 interchange.

At 1:49 PM, I had reached I-40. At 2:08 PM, I had reached the "Fayetteville: Next 7 Exits" sign, and reached I-295, which is an incomplete loop of Fayetteville, serving Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg). At 2:17 PM, I took Exit 49 onto NC-53 and NC-210, and headed to the local Cracker Barrel, and ate there for 2 hours.

An interesting sign for Business US 70.

Approaching the I-40 interchange.

Exiting I-95 for NC-53 and NC-210.

The Trip - Part Two

At 4:10 PM, I left the restaurant, and continued west on NC-53 and NC-210. I had reached US 421 at 5:20 PM, and used that route towards Greensboro. At 6:07 PM, I left US 421 for I-85. I got to US 29 at 6:19 PM, and used that towards Danville. At 6:45 PM, I took Exit 167 onto West NC-700, and went to the Visitor Center, and left at 7:02 PM. 2 minutes later, I entered Virginia again. My new North Carolina counties are Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Harnett, Cumberland, Lee, Chatham, and Randolph.

North of Downtown Fayetteville.

Approaching I-85.

Virginia is for lovers!

At 7:24 PM, I reached the short, temporary 2 lane alignment of US 29 in Tightsqueeze. I took the exit onto VA-40 from US 29's Gretna Bypass, and stopped at the Dairy Queen for dinner. I left the restaurant at 8:22 PM, and returned on the trip back. I quickly regretted the choice to stop, since it was getting dark, and the photos were getting blurrier and worse. I still kept taking them, despite lots of bad pictures. At 8:47, I reached VA-24, and got a non-blurry picture of a sign (probably because it was a red light), which is a top 3 photo for the night portion of the trip.

Temporary 2 laned US 29.

West on VA-40 approaching a Dairy Queen.

US 29 intersects VA-24.

I was approaching Lynchburg, its expressways, and US 460 at 8:51 PM, I got another good photo of a US 460 sign, 2 miles from the exit. At 9:02 PM, it was completely dark as US 29 split north from US 460. Just about every single photo after that was bad. At 9:31 PM, I stopped at a McDonald's in Lovingston, for a bathroom break. I split from US 29, and got onto VA-6 at 9:58 PM. I took my final picture of the trip at 10:08 PM, and then gave up due to the awfulness of the pictures.

US 460 is the main connection between Roanoke and Lynchburg.

US 29 splits from US 460.

The final photo of the trip, before I gave up.


I had gained many new counties in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as 921 new road pictures to look at and use. The trip is the main reason I created the VA-288 post here, since I clinched it, as well as I-785. I would go on another road trip 3 days later, on May 21, to Orange, Virginia.

The 921 photos was the most I've taken in a road trip until August 25, 2023, when I took 1,388 pictures.

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