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Author Topic: Road trips: clinching VA 6 and VA 26 (not on the same day)  (Read 52 times)

Takumi

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Road trips: clinching VA 6 and VA 26 (not on the same day)
« on: June 29, 2020, 11:51:05 PM »

Hi all, it’s been a minute. I’m starting to get back into the roads hobby a little bit, and earlier this month I went on a couple of clinching trips. No photos, unfortunately.

Trip 1 was to Afton Mountain, west of Charlottesville, and focused on the amazing VA 6. I joined the route at its eastern junction with US 522 at Maidens, and headed west. Everything west of VA 45 in western Goochland County was new routing for me, except the US 15 concurrency. Between Goochland and Scottsville the route is nice and winding, fun but not the outright manic twisting of its western reaches. Just lots of nice off-camber curves and undulation. The descent to Scottsville serves as a preview for what the road will deliver later. (Scottsville itself seems like a cool little town. I’ll have to check it out sometime.) West of Scottsville, the terrain becomes a bit more challenging, and as the road winds through southwestern Albemarle into Nelson County it passes by some smaller mountains. It joins up with US 29 for a few miles. This concurrency is 4 lanes, and makes pretty decent work out of some relatively challenging terrain. 6’s western split with 29 sees it head due north for a few miles, through some gaps or cuts between mountains (it was raining so it was a bit hard to tell), until it meets VA 151. The two routes continue north, and while rolling, the road is interestingly gentle for the area. (This is a marked contrast to 151 south of their split, which has provided a couple of breweries on the road to name beers after it.) Near the base of Afton Mountain, 6 and 151 split up. 151 heads northeast into Albemarle while 6 heads up the mountain in a fun ascent that would be home in Initial D. It ends at US 250 partially up the mountain. I then took 250 up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit. On my return trip I followed 250 back down the mountain, detoured through Crozet to clinch VA 240, and for some reason decided to go through Charlottesville before getting onto I-64 home.

Second trip was to Appomattox, to clinch VA 26 and, originally, VA 131. Living in an area where the Appomattox River flows, you tend to think its namesake isn’t that far away, but in reality it’s a good hour and a half drive; it’s actually due south of Afton. I left from a restaurant on US 360 and headed out through Amelia to VA 307, bypassing Burkeville. The west end of VA 307 at 460 has some construction going on. Traffic on 307 is pretty heavy for a 2-lane road, but given the bypass functionality of it it’s no surprise. 460 between 307 and Appomattox is unremarkable, although the elevation differences of the carriageways west of Pamplin are pretty interesting, and there are numerous old alignments that have long since become secondary routing. I had planned to go into Appomattox to clinch the in-town VA 131 as well as the longer VA 26, but it started raining, hard, just as I reached the outskirts and I missed the exit. I therefore approached VA 26 from its direct exit with the bypass. The road is fairly scenic. When you ascend hills on it, you see mountains off to the west. It’s primarily 55 MPH, though there’s a brief 45 section through Oakville, the only place of note on the road. It reminds me a lot of VA 6. There are some nice curves and hills. It ends at US 60 next to the James River at Bent Creek, at the base of a mountain. I then turned east to begin the return trip. 60 in Appomattox County is a fun, curvy road, but not long after it crosses into Buckingham it becomes mind-numbing. There are a couple of four-lane sections, one beginning east of Buckingham Courthouse through Sprouse’s Corner, and then one over its concurrency with VA 45. Otherwise it’s pretty dull all the way to US 522, though the intersection with VA 24 at Mount Rush is a bit odd. Anyway, I plan to do some more short trips like these in the near future.
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