On the Road Again

Rocky Mount Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 59 › view all entries
Interstate 40 east of Asheville.

After a wonderful three-night stay in beautiful Asheville, Jag and I hit the road once again.  It had rained during the night, but now the sky is washed-clean blue with fluffy white clouds skudding by.  The prediction is for off-and-on thunderstorms for the next several days.  Oh, well - we have umbrellas.  As it turned out, the day was lovely, the road was dry and the drivers were speeding like mad.

The drive along I-40 is tree-lined and lush.  It is so different from California.  North Carolina is very smart to use convicts to do trash pick-up alongside the highways.  These fellows need to do something to repay the public for their transgressions.  It is, however, disconcerting to see guards alongside the road with rifles slung over their shoulders.  One clever thing I noticed from the highway: an auto repair shop with the clever name of Subarus-R-Us. 

As we were driving Jag noticed scores of crane-equipped trucks with the kind of buckets used by  telephone linemen.  All were traveling west.  We both concluded they were going to Texas to help with electric repairs in Galveston and Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  There has been roof damage at the Johnson Space Center.  I hope it will be fixed by the time we get there on October 9th.  I would be bitterly disappointed if we had to skip the Level 9 Tour.

Poor Roada went through some trauma on today's drive.  In the city of Greensboro the freeway is obviously newly constructed.  Roada does not have the updated information (although the data on her hard drive is for 2009!).  She kept demanding we "go to the highlighted route";  "turn left" at a non-existent street; "recalculating" every time we missed the street that was probably under the freeway, etc.  This went on for at least 5 miles.  She really sounded frantic.  Listen to me: I am anthropormorphizing a damn GPS!

We decided to skip Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, in order to give ourselves a shorter drive tomorrow.  We want to spend the time on the barrier islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks.  We traveled the additional 50 miles to the town of Rocky Mount.  We are staying at a rather dilapidated Howard Johnson Motel.  It is, unlike our last "coupon motel", very clean.  And it costs just under $40 per night.  We went for dinner at a very nice place called the Mayflower Seafood Restaurant.  It is quite large and the food was good.  Service was equally good.  It is part of a chain of restaurants, but it seems much more personal than, say, Applebees.

Filled up the car with gasoline at $3.95.9 per gallon.  That is high, but not compared to the price gouging in Asheville.  None of the stations seemed to be having "out of fuel" problems.  Hmmmm!


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Interstate 40 east of Asheville.
Interstate 40 east of Asheville.
Rocky Mount
photo by: jagnroz