Alps' Roads Special - Richmond Road Meet

Richmond Road Meet, October 13, 2012

I gave myself a nice long day to get down to Richmond. Before the sun even rose, I was nearing Washington, via I-287, US 206, I-95 through Pennsylvania and Delaware to Maryland, and braving morning I-495 Beltway traffic to get to US 29. I followed MD 384 and the signal progression on 16th St. into downtown, then swung right back out on K St. to the Key Bridge and US 29 into Virginia. I then turned west on US 50 for a clinch in Virginia and headed south on US 17 for more mileage on that route, including spending time on the Business route in Marshall with VA 55 and the Business route in Warrenton. I also followed Business US 15/Business US 29 to Business US 211 in Culpeper and continued south on Business US 17 back to regular US 17 once more. The last business route I took was through Fredericksburg with Business US 1 and VA 2. I left the 17 corridor at US 301 and started exploring back roads, using Prince George SR 631 to get up to VA 3 for the start of VA 206. I U-turned at the Navy facility in Dahlgren and took VA 218 south to VA 205, which I clinched in a bundle with Westmoreland SR 631 and 638, VA 205Y (a short spur in Colonial Beach), VA 204, VA 347 (a short park road), and VA 214. I continued east on VA 3 to the next bundle, clinching VA 202, VA 203, and Westmoreland SR 600, and made my way to the east end of US 360, one of the longest dangling ends on the US Highway system (40 miles from Tappahannock and US 17). I returned west on 360 to VA 200 and VA 222, took VA 3 across the Rappahannock River for some bridge photos, and headed west on 3 to VA 354 and VA 201. After a U-turn, that brought me back to VA 3 once more (see how it's the backbone of the peninsula?), to Warsaw, where I explored Business VA 3 and finally headed west to Richmond on US 360 and Pole Green Rd. to I-295. For reference, my hotel was just off I-95 at Exit 83, giving me the opportunity to clinch tiny VA 73.

In the morning, we met at The Halligan Bar and Grill in Glen Allen, and then headed out after lunch along US 250 west to Gayton Rd. to see the new suburban arterial. We came back down to 250 on VA 271 and then drove the new, equally suburban John Rolfe Pkwy., which takes an unusual turn at Pump Rd. Lauderdale Rd. brought us out to VA 6, which we took west to VA 288 and south to US 360. Several miles west on 360 was an old outline shield assembly, our first stop. We came back east the several miles to Old Hundred Rd. and turned north to get to the beginning of VA 76, the tolled Powhite Parkway. The tour circled around for the RMA shield on VA 150 (Chippenham Pkwy.) SB and finished off VA 76 - well, almost, because we turned off just shy of the last half-mile to clinch the VA 146 connector instead (heading toward downtown instead of around it). That's okay, the last half-mile is accessible from McCloy St. without going through a toll. Hear that, meet organizers? All is forgiven. All is good. We headed east on VA 195, exited to US 60 EB, and parked to walk around downtown Richmond. We looked at several old signs and found ourselves by a fountain for the meet photo:

From left to right: Oscar Voss, Billy Riddle, Carl Tessier, Elric Naslund (glasses), H.B. Elkins, Will Weaver, me (glasses), Chris Curley, Mike Tantillo, Scott Davis, Doug Kerr (floating head), Jason Ilyes, Mike Pruett, Michael Ian Elmore, Laura Bianca (female). Sir Not Appearing In This Photo: Shawn De Cesari.

After leaving the parking garage, we continued on cobblestone Cary St./US 60, and entered I-95 from 14th St. Exit 78 from the 95/I-64 concurrency took us out on Hermitage Rd., from where we headed around Hermitage and Robin Hood Rds. to VA 161 to see some overpass construction, and up to VA 197 for some old signs (especially to the west between I-95 and I-195). After a brief stop at US 33/US 250 for a couple more signs, we returned back to The Halligan via the Hamilton St. entrance to I-195 and west on I-64. Several of us chose to end the night at Keagan's Irish Pub in Short Pump, which had the following (possibly legitimate) Irish sign:

The next morning, I left town to begin a one-week excursion that would take me down US 1 all the way to Florida, clinching the route in its entirety (a lifelong dream), and then finishing off the few miles of I-95 I had left in the state, another lifelong dream. Considering I had all but 200 miles of I-95 done in my childhood and next to none of US 1, it was an amusing twist that I got 1 done first. Other features included I-73 in North Carolina, I-126 and SC 277 in Columbia, I-295 around Jacksonville and the downtown bridges on US 1, Alternate US 1, FL 228, and FL 13. I saw the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine on FL A1A on the way down, and then came back through Savannah and Charleston. In Savannah, there was US 17, Truman Parkway and its stub along GA Spur 204, Veterans Parkway, and I-516. In Charleston there was SC 642 construction, SC 30, I-526 and its Business route, SC 703, and, once again, US 17 on the Ravenel Bridge. I got US 13 clinched for its entire length with mileage in North Carolina and Virginia, and poked extensively around Norfolk, with the entire Interstate system covered, among other assorted routes. I came back home via a friend in DC, and that was that. It was an exhausting week, but at least it got off to a good start.

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