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Author Topic: New York City to Nashville  (Read 2375 times)

Duke87

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New York City to Nashville
« on: April 02, 2014, 12:42:59 AM »

Following the lead of others, might as well report my trip...

On Thursday 3/27, I took the subway home from work as I always do, and then chilled at home for a few hours waiting for rush hour to pass. At about 8:30 PM, I left Queens and an hour later I was at my parents' house in Stamford, CT. The point of this detour was to trade cars with my father for the weekend, since his 2011 Sentra had a lot fewer miles on it (21,000) than my 2009 Focus (89,000), and thus is better suited to taking on a road trip that clocked in at over 2800 additional miles and took me more than a full day's drive from home.

On Friday 3/28, I left my parents' house just after 6 AM and for the first leg of the trip my goal was just to get some distance covered. I took the Merritt/Hutch to I-287 into NJ to I-80 all the way into Ohio. This entire time I only stopped once, to get gas in Blakeslee, PA. At about 12:30 PM I was getting gas and grabbing food at a Sheetz near Youngstown. Having blown clear of Pennsylvania by lunchtime, now it was time to start meandering and sightseeing a bit.

Off I-80 I went down OH 11 for a few exits, and then used US 224 to get over to US 62, which I then followed into Canton. This exit (right near the pro-football hall of fame) was as far south as I previously had I-77 in Ohio, so it worked out nicely to hop on and head south from there. I took I-77 to US 50/Corridor D in Parkersburg, WV, and in doing so clinched the entirety of it.

From there I headed west along US 50, back into Ohio (total time spent in WV: 18 minutes), and followed OH 32 (the "Appalachian Highway") all the way west from there. This is a not terribly interesting road, but it is wide open and can be comfortably driven at 75 despite being only posted at 60. 130 miles later, I arrived at I-275 and headed clockwise around Cincinnati.

Next I drove I-71 to Louisville, thus clinching it for me. Louisville seems like a fun place that I'd like to explore some time, but alas this trip did not allot time for such. I had originally been planning on stopping for the night somewhere around here, but since it was only about 8:15 eastern time, I decided to press on down I-65. I stopped another 80 miles down the road near Munfordsville, KY, at a hotel which I noted was located on US Federal Route 31W.

On Saturday, 3/29, I shoved some free cereal in my face courtesy Super 8, and at about 8 AM central time I was on the road again, heading south on I-65 in a steady morning rain. The original plan was to take KY 101 to US 31E to US 231 to Lebanon, but I realized at this point that I was not due in Lebanon until 11 AM and the fact that I had driven further than planned the previous day gave me a full extra 90 minutes to kill. So after taking the KY 101 exit, I headed east on US 68. After missing a turn in the middle of Glasgow, KY and having to loop back around, I found my way onto KY 63, which I drove into Monroe county - a new county which I wasn't planning to clinch on this trip. From there I took KY 870 to KY 1366 to KY 100 to KY 980 back to US 231, and resumed my originally intended course. I showed up at Demo's Restaurant basically right at 11 AM on the dot. Perhaps motivated by the rain, the group for the meet was already inside.

The Nashville meet produced plenty of fun. We saw some construction, and a nice new bridge, where I may have outdone myself in doing goofy stuff in meet photos. We then worked our way past downtown and drove the new section of TN 840. The GPS navigation in my father's car did not recognize the new road as existing and produced some amusing results when we asked it for directions at this point. "Please proceed to the nearest road". After a little back road detour we took a secondary photo near a grand arch on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Unfortunately, since we did this, I missed clinching I-40 between exits 188 and 192 that day, an omission which would later prove costly. After the meet, we went and walked around downtown Nashville and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. Yay, being semi-normal tourists! I then dropped a few passengers off back in Lebanon before proceeding to my hotel for the night.

On Sunday, 3/30, I had originally intended to just start driving straight home. But since I had missed that bit of I-40 on the meet tour, I wasn't about to let that stand - so I went and drove half an hour west on I-40 to grab it, and then drove back into Nashville on US 70 to do something different. This detour cost me a bit over an hour. After that, Jason invited a few of us to join him and his wife for breakfast, and I decided to not be anti-social and accepted the offer. So we ate at the Cracker Barrel in Lebanon. This, incidentally, was my first time ever at a Cracker Barrel. It's a nice place, I'll have to keep them in mind in the future. Unfortunately, this social meal cost me another 70-80 minutes, and of course I lost another hour unavoidably by crossing from Central back to Eastern time. This meant that by the time I actually started heading for home, it was already about noon eastern time. Not good.

The first segment of the drive home was straightforward: I-40 east, I-75 north. All interstate, but except for the 40/75 overlap it was all new mileage for me. I had planned on taking I-75 to I-64 east, but in order to save a bit of time (although probably not much), I took a little shortcut and used KY 627 to cut between I-75 and I-64. From there I drove on I-64 all the way to Charleston, and made a second minor time-saving plan modification by staying on I-64 through Charleston rather than taking US 60 through town.

I then took US 60 heading east out of Charleston as planned, but here is where the disappointments started... This section of US 60 looks like it must be drop dead gorgeous, but due to the delays that morning, the sun was already well on its way down and this drive happened with increasingly fading light, the second half of it in complete darkness. So not much was seen.

To make matters worse, I was hoping to check out the New River Gorge Bridge on US 19 on this trip. But, alas, it was about 9 PM when I got to it, and rural West Virginia is not like New York City where there is always enough light to see anything at any hour - nope, out there it's pitch black at night, and you can't see shit. Cursing myself for allowing this to happen, I did all I could do and just kept driving. I proceeded down US 19 to Beckley and resumed heading east on I-64. I stopped for the night in Lewisburg, WV.

On Monday, 3/31, I woke up and at about 8:30 AM resumed heading east on I-64. I hadn't explicitly planned on this, but I realized then that in doing so, I had now clinched all interstate mileage in West Virginia, so there's something that's not a bad way to start the day. I followed I-64 all the way to Richmond, where I then deviated down I-195 and VA 195 for a clinch of those routes. VA 195 is decently cool as urban freeways go. From there I quickly took I-95 back to I-64 and then started heading east on US 360. I took this as far as US 17, which I then took north to US 301, which I in turn followed north into Maryland. This was my first time driving the Harry W. Nice Bridge... and having seen it I can now see why they want to replace it.

Since I already had US 301 from not too far north of here, I turned left on MD 225 and headed over to Indian Head. I then went briefly south on MD 210 and U-turned before the navy base gate so as to not miss that piece of it before following it north. MD 210 is a nice wide arterial but jeez, Maryland, can you time the signals a little better? Hitting every red light is not how a road like this should be. I followed MD 210 north to the DC line and then U-turned again to head back to the DC beltway. At this point it was about 3 PM and DC rush hour traffic was beginning to set in. This slowed my progress counterclockwise around I-495 a bit, but not by too much.

The next step was to take US 29 south into Silver Spring (which was as far north as I had it previously), and then take MD 97 back to the beltway. This was the piece of my journey that rush hour made the most painful, but it got me some button copy, so it wasn't in vain. A quick jog back over on the beltway and I headed north on US 29 all the way to its end, clinching it in Maryland. From there I took I-70 to I-695 to I-795, which I then drove in its entirety. This was the one piece of interstate in Maryland that I was missing, so now that was two states finished in one day!

From there I continued north on back roads: MD 140 to MD 91 to MD 30 to MD 86 which becomes PA 516 to PA 216 to I-83. I then took I-83 north to Harrisburg, with a brief jump off in York to grab the last little segment of I-83BL that I was missing. In Harrisburg, I took PA 581 to I-81 - this was the last new segment of road for me on this trip. From there, it was just boogie on home: I-81 to I-78 to I-287 to the Hutch/Merritt Back to Stamford. I arrived at my parents' place a bit after 10 PM. I quickly gave my father his car keys back and then took my car home to Queens from there.


All in all, 'twas a fun trip - the furthest from home by a significant margin that I've ever attended a road meet, and it got me a nice chunk of new counties (68 of them, bringing my total to 757) and new miles clinched.

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hbelkins

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Re: New York City to Nashville
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 10:51:54 AM »

Off I-80 I went down OH 11 for a few exits, and then used US 224 to get over to US 62, which I then followed into Canton. This exit (right near the pro-football hall of fame) was as far south as I previously had I-77 in Ohio, so it worked out nicely to hop on and head south from there. I took I-77 to US 50/Corridor D in Parkersburg, WV, and in doing so clinched the entirety of it.

So you had previously driven US 50 (Corridor D) between Clarksburg and Parkersburg?

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Louisville seems like a fun place that I'd like to explore some time

Not really. I know I rag on Louisville a lot, but I don't think there is really anything noteworthy roadwise there. Signage in downtown on Main and Market streets (the US 31E/31W/60 route) is very poor. I may try to do a meet centering on the bridge construction in June, but I am totally underwhelmed with Louisville from a roads perspective. I am in the middle of downtown Louisville one or two times a year for work stuff and I haven't ever seen anything that would make me go "wow, I'd like to have a meet here and bring my friends to see it!" The bridge construction might be an exception.

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So after taking the KY 101 exit, I headed east on US 68. After missing a turn in the middle of Glasgow, KY and having to loop back around, I found my way onto KY 63, which I drove into Monroe county - a new county which I wasn't planning to clinch on this trip. From there I took KY 870 to KY 1366 to KY 100 to KY 980 back to US 231, and resumed my originally intended course.

There used to be quite a bit of Sine Salad in downtown Glasgow, because 31E, 68, 80 and 90 all run through the middle of downtown (now business 31E and 68) and I always thought the intersections were well-signed around the square downtown.

I hope the signage for 870 and 1366 is better than it was many, many years ago. My dad and I took a day trip across much of KY 100 back in the early 1990s, and we used that shortcut to get over to KY 100 instead of staying on KY 63/KY 100, which is a bit of an indirect route. There was no signage indicating the turn to KY 1366 but I had studied maps (this was long before the era of GPS devices or smartphones) and correctly guessed where to make the turn.
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froggie

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Re: New York City to Nashville
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 02:52:33 PM »

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Not really. I know I rag on Louisville a lot, but I don't think there is really anything noteworthy roadwise there.

To be fair, there's more to cities than just roads…
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Duke87

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Re: New York City to Nashville
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 08:36:55 PM »

So you had previously driven US 50 (Corridor D) between Clarksburg and Parkersburg?

Yes. On the way to your Pikeville meet last fall. I actually drove US 50 to Parkersburg all the way from Winchester, VA on that trip. The part of that drive east of Clarksburg is a doozie!

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I hope the signage for 870 and 1366 is better than it was many, many years ago.

Both seemed to be well signed.

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There used to be quite a bit of Sine Salad in downtown Glasgow, because 31E, 68, 80 and 90 all run through the middle of downtown (now business 31E and 68) and I always thought the intersections were well-signed around the square downtown.

They are, but since this part of my trip was kind of added on the fly at the last minute, I wasn't sure exactly where I was going. So my navigation here was kind of messy. :spin:

Based on my Rand McNally I was expecting US 68 and KY 63 to directly intersect. After driving the bypass around town and seeing the other end of BUS68, I realized this must not be the case and drove back west into town, figuring I would find KY 63 at the center of town. I then missed the right turn onto Main St because I pulled into the left turn lane at that intersection, since it seemed to make geometric sense that I would have to go left on KY 90 to find KY 63. I then had a last minute change of instinct which said I should go straight, so I did. In this moment of confusion I completely missed that BUS68 turned right at that intersection, but I soon realized that I was no longer on a state highway and would have to make a right turn to correct course. In the meantime I unknowingly blew right by KY 63 which was only three blocks away (of course it was not signed from the local street), and made my corrective right turn on KY 249, at the end of the street.

I then turned left on BUS31E figuring KY 63 must be further ahead still, before realizing that now I was heading out of town and wait this can't be right! Glasgow is a smaller town than I thought it was, and it has three separate state highways heading southeast out of town in closer proximity to each other than I would have ever deemed reasonable (but hey, this is Kentucky :pan:). So at this point, I pulled over and consulted the maps app on my phone. And then realizing my mistake, I made a U-turn, and made a right off of BUS31E onto KY 63. At this point I yelled "Ha! Found you, you sneaky bastard!" out loud, but of course no one heard me. :P

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Not really. I know I rag on Louisville a lot, but I don't think there is really anything noteworthy roadwise there.

To be fair, there's more to cities than just roads…

Indeed. I like the idea of exploring any large city simply to see what the city is like. This is why I was so insistent that our after meet event be in downtown Nashville rather than off in the suburbs which we had already been driving around all afternoon.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 08:52:36 PM by Duke87 »
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hbelkins

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Re: New York City to Nashville
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 02:23:55 PM »

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Not really. I know I rag on Louisville a lot, but I don't think there is really anything noteworthy roadwise there.

To be fair, there's more to cities than just roads…

While true, in my case familiarity may breed contempt. I guess if I was going to recommend something in Louisville, it might be Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger) or Churchill Downs, but I'm kinda "meh" about those things so they don't really hold a lot of interest for me.
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