US 70, Day 9: Williamston, NC - Maryville, TN


Silly me, I thought the interstates would be faster than the old US highway. I started back from Williamston along US 64, which is a freeway to just outside Raleigh. Once in Raleigh, I got on the beltway and took it around to the "TO I-40" freeway (does this have a name or number of any sort?). I'll be taking I-40 all the way back to Arizona, but only past Knoxville after the holiday.

Traffic was heavy, but I expected that for a pre-holiday day. It moved pretty smoothly, until coming to a dead stop at Greensboro. It was pretty well cleaned up by the time I got to it, but an accident had caused a 10 mile backup, which took nearly an hour to get through. Once I was through that, there was another huge backup for a construction zone where I-40 goes from 4 lanes to 2 at Winston-Salem. Then there was another accident near Morganton. This one wasn't even on my side of the freeway -- it was just rubbernecker slowing. Then there's another construction zone where I-40 goes to one lane near Asheville. Whew. Needless to say, I didn't average anywhere near 55mph, much less the max posted speed of 70. I believe the last construction zone was where an overpass had been destroyed by a tanker truck crashing into it, but there was a lot of other work going on as well.

FINALLY I got into some free-flowing traffic. West of Asheville, you can see where a huge rockslide had closed I-40 for several months a few years ago. There's a gigantic retaining structure to catch falling rocks.

Back in Tennessee, I took US 411 through Sevierville to Maryville, which is where I'll stay the weekend with friends. No more trip reports until I'm back on the road again on Tuesday. I did take my car to the Knoxville Saturn dealership to get my oil changed and regular maintenance done on Saturday.

I drove 470 miles today, for a total of 3651.

Next day: 9/5
Previous day: 8/31
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