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Old 08-14-2010, 12:01 AM   #1
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North Carolina routing help

I'm going from Lexington, NC, to Boone, NC. The Google map is taking me north to Winston-Salem, then to US 421 to Boone. My GPS takes me west of Winston but through all sorts of back-country roads before getting me over to 421. Looking at the roadmap, logic tells me I should take US 64 to Mocksville, get on Hwy 601 and then onto 421. That looks like the best route to me, but I'd like to get some other opinions from folks who know the area. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:23 AM   #2
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My rule of thumb is that if I compare the route on a paper map from what the GPS or routing software says and the map shows a little thin red line for a road....be afraid, be very very affraid.....
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:03 AM   #3
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I looked at a map and think you will be better taking 64/ 601. NC has pretty good roads, even back ones I have taken, but the closer you get to the mountains, the worse they get.

421 is a great road all the way to Boone. We were through there a couple of weeks ago returning from a trip from Asheville via the BRP and got off on 421 to head east.

I agree with Jeeper. Compare the GPS routing with a real map. Sometimes those things take you down dirt roads. We have a few back roads around here that VDOT has placed signs recommending tractor trailers avoid them and to ignore the GPS directions they are getting.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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Thanks so much. Good advice from both of you. As far as red lines on the map go, US 64, which we travel a lot to get to I-40, seems to be about the same thickness as 601, if that can be relied upon. US 64 is a good two-lane road, and I hope 601 will be the same. I'll only need it for about 15 or 20 miles. Maybe we'll hear from someone who has actually driven the stretch between Mocksville and US 421.

Kim, we probably camp in the Asheville area more than anywhere else, usually going up US 64 and hitting I-40 at Mocksville. We love it up there. Usually stay at Mama Gertie's Hideaway in Swannanoa, so we're right between Black Mountain and Asheville. Great, quiet campground up on the side of a mountain but less than a half mile from I-40. We love the great restaurants and bohemian atmosphere in Asheville. Parts of it remind me of Chapel Hill in the 60's. Lots of great local beers, too.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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I suspect 601 will be equal to 64 since both are US highways and neither are into the mountains yet. You should do fine on it.

We found a great German restaurant in Black Mountain while we were there. They had excellent German beers too. I bought a few to bring back. They even gave me a few swing top empties for me to use in my home brewing hobby. It was called Berlin Kindl and is right off 40 in Black Mountain.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #6
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Cool. I will look for that next time. Another good place in BM is the Veranda, which has great homemade soups and sandwiches and an outdoor balcony where you can bring your dog while you eat.
Four Paws Kingdom Campground in Rutherfordton is run by a German couple, and the guy is a chef. A couple of times a year they put on an Oktoberfest meal that is fabulous. We camp there five or six times a year. You might want to check them out sometime.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:06 PM   #7
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64-601 is probably your best route to get to 421 from Lexington. 421 is also the easiest climb into the mountains. But beware...the road south through Blowing Rock (321) is still winding and steep in places.

I have property near Spruce Pine/Little Switzerland area and travel there regularly from the Charlotte area. I've been to Avery County a lot too before I bought my property. The Blue Ridge Parkway is slow, but fairly level all the way to Little Switzerland if you intend to go toward Asheville. The famous Viaduct is on this stretch and also Grandfather Mountain as an attraction, though you wouldn't want to pull a trailer up there!

You can get off the BRP at US226 and a mile north is a Walmart seemingly in the middle of nowhere. From there you can go down to US19E at Spruce Pine and it is a really good road all the way to Mars Hill, where you hit I-26 into Asheville. (19E is being converted to 4-lanes and a lot is done but there is still some construction going on--but I usually have no problems when I go to Asheville from Spruce Pine.)

There is also a very nice private campground (Bear Den) right off the BRP just before you get to US226. If you venture that far and want to return to I-40, US226 South is quite winding and steep, but it's a major truck route so very wide with passing lanes and several places to stop and cool your brakes and the steep part is only about 3 miles. Don't confuse this with US221 out of Linville Falls, which I wouldn't recommend descending with a trailer. The only good descents between Boone (421) and Asheville (I-40) are US226 and possibly NC181 through Jonas Ridge to Morganton. I've done all of these at one time or another, up and down.

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Old 08-18-2010, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willis View Post
64-601 is probably your best route to get to 421 from Lexington. 421 is also the easiest climb into the mountains. But beware...the road south through Blowing Rock (321) is still winding and steep in places.

I have property near Spruce Pine/Little Switzerland area and travel there regularly from the Charlotte area. I've been to Avery County a lot too before I bought my property. The Blue Ridge Parkway is slow, but fairly level all the way to Little Switzerland if you intend to go toward Asheville. The famous Viaduct is on this stretch and also Grandfather Mountain as an attraction, though you wouldn't want to pull a trailer up there!

You can get off the BRP at US226 and a mile north is a Walmart seemingly in the middle of nowhere. From there you can go down to US19E at Spruce Pine and it is a really good road all the way to Mars Hill, where you hit I-26 into Asheville. (19E is being converted to 4-lanes and a lot is done but there is still some construction going on--but I usually have no problems when I go to Asheville from Spruce Pine.)

There is also a very nice private campground (Bear Den) right off the BRP just before you get to US226. If you venture that far and want to return to I-40, US226 South is quite winding and steep, but it's a major truck route so very wide with passing lanes and several places to stop and cool your brakes and the steep part is only about 3 miles. Don't confuse this with US221 out of Linville Falls, which I wouldn't recommend descending with a trailer. The only good descents between Boone (421) and Asheville (I-40) are US226 and possibly NC181 through Jonas Ridge to Morganton. I've done all of these at one time or another, up and down.

Thanks, Willis. Great advice, which I am sure will come in handy, if not on this trip, then at some other time. I used to live in Marion, not far from Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland, but I had forgotten what some of the roads were like in that area.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mjones12 View Post
I used to live in Marion, not far from Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland, but I had forgotten what some of the roads were like in that area.
If it's been awhile since you lived in Marion you would be amazed at the changes. US221 is 4-lanes now all the way from I-40 (bypassing downtown Marion) until well past the 226 turnoff toward Little Switzerland. There is also now a major shopping center including Walmart and Lowes where the new 4-lane 226 crosses US70, which used to be in the middle of nowhere!

Also, Tom Johnson's RV is a really good dealer and service center for Forest River and they also have a campground just 3 miles east of Marion on US70. You probably already know that Tom Johnson's has a Concord location by the Speedway too. The one in Marion is their main location.
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