NORTH CAROLINA trip
Nov. 6-8 2015
PART 3





Another from the "keek! ruin!" school of BGS's. This is on I-74 near Mount Airy, NC. I-74 merges with I-77 but peters out at the Virginia line. And why is Wytheville, VA, the control city?




Welcome to Virginia. It's just a few smiles from home. But watch out! Because if its users aren't big, you'll slip, trip, and fall!




How does I-77 plan to get through these mountains?




I-77 enters Wythe County, VA - "a certified business location", as if that's supposed to be something positive. You can see I-77 going over the New River about a mile up ahead.




Crossing the New River, with the old shot tower at center right.




Power lines form a clearing in the mountains for miles up ahead.




I-77 again.




I-77 again and again.




How does I-77 plan to get through the mountains? With a little gumption, that's how! This is the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, which opened in 1972 after 5 years of hard work.




The Big Walker Mountain Tunnel is 4,229 feet long.




The sign says "Leaving Jefferson National Forest", and it's old, and that's why it's on this website.




I-77 continues.




Anything with the Geico Gecko on it is hilarious ever since the Geico Gecko fan got put in the toilet at Ploptoberfest, but corporate sponsorship of rest areas is about the stupidest idea I've heard of since all the other ideas Corporate America has foisted upon us. But Virginia does it.




I-77 has more mountains to cross. Can you fathom that?




By the time we get to the East River Mountain Tunnel, I-77 picks up US 52. I suggested perhaps following US 52 home, but the Old Guard refused to be so innovative. The tunnel opened in 1974 and is over a mile long.




We cross into West Virginia while we're inside the tunnel.




The official welcome into the state that now defies its own reason for being.




This is pib-o-rific, isn't it? Near Princeton, WV, a big rail bridge went over I-77.




I-77 becomes the West Virginia Turnpike. This photo is near Camp Creek, WV.




Much further on the turnpike, after we pick up I-64.

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