Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia

Atlanta, GA – Newport News, VA
Daily Mileage: …
Total Mileage: …
Total Number of States Traveled: 35
Continental States Not Traveled: New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida.
Of these, the only states I haven’t been to yet: New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, West Virginia.

Heading up the Georgia coast’s I-95 was pretty easy going. The weather was still cooperating (as it had the entire trip, minus Washington State – which didn’t come as any big surprise) and I was making good time. My last trek on I-95 in the south was in 1991 with my college debate team as we trekked from Charleston, SC down to Tallahassee, FL to Florida State University. Debate Team trips featured the use of one of our college’s large 15x passenger vans with South Carolina state government plates which I felt gave me the option of driving as fast as I wanted. Luckily, I never got a ticket – but on my last trip as a senior while returning to Charleston I let a junior drive (to get experience) as I promptly fell asleep. Later I awoke to discover the junior had followed my lead in putting the peddle to the metal only to be pulled over by a South Carolina State Trooper who wasn’t much impressed with our government plates. But I digress….

I passed through Darian (remembering that that was the location where parts of the movie Glory were filmed) and the exit to Hinesville (home to Fort Stewart and the 3rd Infantry Division… some of whom are back in Iraq) and then into Savannah. I’ve only been into Savannah once before – and that was only to the airport. It was in the fall of 1989 – Hurricane Hugo had come ashore at Charleston and really did some damage. After I’d retreated to a classmates inland house in Spartanburg, SC, I flew back to California while Charleston began the process of piecing itself back together. After two weeks, school was to reopen, but the Charleston International Airport was not. I had to fly into Savannah and then make my way to Charleston. And on this trip I saw my very first road side stand selling boiled peanuts. To this day, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to boil a peanut.

Crossing into South Carolina, I passed the turn off for Hilton Head and Beaufort. Continuing northward, I started to see the signs for South of The Border.

Why this place is still in existence, I have no idea. The raw offensiveness of the billboards leave me in amazement… it’s just so tacky.

Into North Carolina and through Fayetteville, I stopped for dinner in Smithfield at the local Cracker Barrel (I got the chicken dumplings). As I passed through Rocky Mount, dusk set in.

This leg remained uneventful, crossing into Virginia, heading east on US 58 at the town of Emporia, through Franklin and Suffolk. I took I-664 over the James River into Newport News when I remembered that I failed to write down the name and address of the hotel I was staying at. I generally remember the location (I-64 and Jefferson Avenue in Newport News), so after a few U-turns, I stumbled upon it – completing my journey and arriving at my new “home”.