Aug. 25-27 2021

This has to be a side road off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not only does it have an unusual speed limit, but the sign commits the faux pas of using the Helvetica or Arial font.

The parkway again, and a deer is visible at right.

The Blue Ridge Parkway goes under VA 89.

The parkway enters North Carolina!

This has to be NC 18.

This appears to be a brand new bridge on NC 18. A state document from 2019 talks about how this span was in the works to replace what was described as a 70-year-old bridge. This new bridge was expected to be complete by July 2021. It crosses the Little River - as in the Little River Band. Have you heard about the lonesome loser? Have you???

NC 18 in Sparta, as somebody tows an entire barn through town.

US 21/221 guides us back to Virginia!

US 21/221 crosses the New River, as 2021 was full of New River appearances.

A view of the New River with VA 700 paralleling it.

US 21/221 blasts through the mountains.

US 58 in Independence, Va.

US 58 at VA 93. VA 93 crosses the New River at left.

Up ahead, US 58 picks up VA 16 in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

This has to be US 58 somewhere near Mount Rogers and its accompanying national recreation area.

Probably US 58 yet again.

Possibly US 58 through Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

The 1970s Dr Pepper logo lives! This is US 58/VA 91 near Damascus. It was about 10 more miles before we stopped for lunch in Abingdon. The waitress there kept going up to customers at their tables and talking about the Bible. Also, she was chewin' bubble gum! She didn't bubble. But she was chewin' bubble gum!

I-81 heading into Bristol! Google says I-81 also has US 58 here.

I-81 creeps up on I-381. Bristol, Tenn., and Bristol, Va., are adjacent, forming what looks like a single city. Together, the cities have about 45,000 peeps. This is part of the Tri-Cities area - made up of Johnson City and Kingsport, Tenn., and the two Bristols. Bristol, Tenn., is the hometown of singer Tennessee Ernie Ford.

I-381 is a spur from I-81 into Bristol. When I say I-381 is one of the shortest Interstates, I mean it. Mean it like a dictionary! The freeway is only 1.7 miles and has no exits between each end. It opened in 1961.

I-381 feeds directly into VA 381 (Commonwealth Avenue), which also has US 11E/19/421 here. Google Street View shows this is signed as US 11E/19/421 south but also Truck US 11/19 north. In other words, buy a road atlas.

Commonwealth Avenue becomes Volunteer Parkway at State Street, which marks the state line. The sign here has "TN" and "VA" inside circles to show which state each side of the street is on. State Street west of here is also part of TN 1 even as it runs along the Virginia line. TN 1 runs over 500 miles to Memphis.

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