October/November 2021 Vacation Day 14 · · PAGE 47.
November 8, 2021: Monday continues as
we arrived at this intersection where we came into Manteo to now take a RIGHT
TURN and continue our
westbound travel at 4:37 PM.
There is no doubt about the name of the bridge ahead or the body of water
that it crosses to get to the mainland on the other side.
The Virginia Dare bridge is 4.5 miles long to reach the other side of the
At the East end of the Virginia Dare Bridge, US 64 turned RIGHT and went
through the town of Manteo where we had lunch. US 64 also went around the
north side of the airport and crossed a bridge at the north end of Croatan
Sound. It may have been shorter to go that way, but I wanted to see the
longer bridge on the US 64 By-Pass route. The intersection here is where
the two routes meet on the other side to go west as US 64.
About 1.6 miles to the west of the US 64 intersection seen above, there is
this intersection seen below where US 264 begins by turning LEFT and also goes west on a somewhat
parallel route from 14 to 32 miles south of the real US 64. US 64 goes all
the way to Northeast Arizona where it ends at US 160 a few miles southwest of
the Four Corners. US 264 ends in the state capitol of Raleigh, North
64 is a more direct route going west from here.
It is only 11.5 miles after US 64 and US 264 go their separate ways to
another bridge across Alligator River with its swinging bridge that is part of
the Intracoastal Waterway. The lighted gates to stop traffic are seen here
along with this traffic light as the common indicator.
When the lighted gates come down, there are additional STEEL gates that
swing out from the side of the bridge to absolutely block any traffic that could
crash through the wooden gates.
Here is another view of the steel gate seen in the image above. This
image below is looking back toward the East to show the wear pattern of the
wheel near the end of the steel gate where it has been used many times.
There are also flashing warning lights on the top of the white steel gates.
At the heart of the bridge is the steel section that pivots at the center
of the movable section of the bridge opening two waterways for boats to get
through the bridge.
This SWING bridge is a smaller version of the one we saw in Virginia earlier
today when we crossed the York River
on page 44.
The first road sign at the WEST end of the bridge is this BEAR warning
sign for the next 15 miles on US 64. The length of the bridge is 2.65
miles. The black and white light house marks a harbor used for
boaters and a ferry operated by the North Carolina Department Of Transportation.
This wider view north of the Alligator River Bridge shows more about the
marina here on the West Shore of the river. Fuel is here for highway
traffic and docks here for river traffic. There is also a FERRY service
from here going to a couple of inhabited islands in Albemarle Sound. The system of ferries
are part of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The DOT long
range plans for this area are found in this online
Here is the aerial view of the Alligator River Marina that shows the ferry
dock with a paved road up to the slip.
For several miles after passing the Alligator Lake Marina, US 64 has a
drainage canal on the south side of the roadway that is usually wet. Going
further west reveals the canal is still there to handle the heavy rains when
tropical storms come this way. This section of the highway is similar to
many roads in Central Florida between Melbourne and Saint Cloud, Florida.
This Seafood Market on the East side of Columbia, North Carolina is where
US 64 becomes FOUR LANES as it enters the town. At the right side of this
image is large metal shrimp by one entrance to this business.
This is the main intersection in the town of Columbia, North Carolina. You can use
Google Earth to explore anything along this route we used today. Turn right
and go 2 blocks to the old US 64 route through the original business
district. US 64 going west is straight ahead. There is a winery on
the right side of the road just before the bridge ahead.
Now that you have seen the sign with the name of the river, a scuppernong is a
member of the family of grapes that grows wild in the southeastern states from
Virginia to Florida. A high-school friend of mine has a vineyard in South
Georgia and produces very nice wine. She showed me how they make it in a modern
facility. This is the last place that is very close to the Albemarle
Sound. We reached this bridge at 5:14 PM.
This intersection of NC 32 with US 64 is near downtown Plymouth, North
Carolina. I called on the CATV system operator when I worked as the
regional engineer in my first job after I got out of the US Army. He had a
lot of equipment from the company I worked for in those days. Getting over
here from Smyrna, Georgia took most of a day trip one way. Travel one day
and work on the next day was typical for me at that time. We passed
through here at 5:43 PM on this day, November 8, 2021. Sunset was at 5:06
PM, so it is getting dark about now. All these Google Earth images are
acquired in daytime conditions. We are about 66 miles west from where we
got on US 64 near Manteo, NC.
US 17 is where we get back on a more southerly route again as we arrive
here at 6:04 PM and darkness is taking hold.
About 1.5 miles south at the next exit, US 64 continues West with 514
miles to reach the Tennessee state line. We are getting off at this exit
and going south on US 17 to our motel about 92 miles south in Jacksonville, NC.
Here is the southbound route after passing New Bern, NC. This is the
route from my GPS map that will take us to our motel tonight near Camp Lejeune,
NC. We passed this junction at 7:16 PM and it was night time.
While preparing this page and using Google Earth, I discovered there was a
new route for US 17 that was not in my GPS 296 map. I also noticed the new
route is not on the Google Earth images as they have not driven the entire route
down to Jacksonville, NC. Blue computer generated lines appear on the maps
where Google Earth has driven their camera vehicles.
Here is our destination tonight at the RED ROOF INN near Camp Lejeune
Marine Base at Jacksonville, North Carolina. We arrived here at 8:12 PM.
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