Blog Entry #15 June 8-9, 2017: Blowing Rock, NC to Cary, NC; NC Transportation Museum

At Jean’s suggestion, we decided to extend our stay in Blowing Rock, NC through June 8th rather than immediately making the run to our home in Cary, NC some 5 hours away. This worked out nicely, providing me an opportunity to catch up on correspondence and both of us time to decompress before completing our trek. We had a casual lunch and subsequent dinner in town before retiring for our final night on the road.

The morning of June 9th we repacked to Jeep for the final time on this trek and headed off from Blowing Rock, NC toward home in Cary, NC. We decided to take a southeasterly route; going southerly down off the mountain on a four lane road. We then sought out lesser traveled roads as we proceeded in a more easterly direction. There being no particular urgency to arrive home, wherever available we selected backroads options. It was early afternoon and time for our traditional picnic stop when we came upon a multi-track railroad crossing that seemed familiar to me. When Jean confirmed that we were near Spencer, NC, I suggested we have our lunch at the nearby North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

I am familiar with the North Carolina Transportation Museum because the majority of our Antique Automobile Club of America NC Region’s Fall Regional Meets have been held at the Museum since I joined the organization a decade ago.

Our final peanut butter and honey sandwich lunch of the trek worked out very well. Not only did the restored railroad buildings provide an interesting backdrop for our lunch at the shaded picnic shelter, but also in contrast to most of our experiences in open public spaces, the adjacent restrooms were nicely updated and immaculacy maintained.

June 9, 2017: Traditional Picnic Lunch at the NC Transportation Museum

I sneaked a peak in to immense 1905 Backshops building where locomotives were routinely maintained and rebuilt during the steam era. The Museum had completed the major task of replacing the many large windows in the building, and poured a new concrete floor in the huge building. I was particularly interested in learning of the fate of the Piedmont Airlines DC-3 passenger airliner that the Museum had previously acquired for eventual display. You may recall from the June 5th entry in this journal that I took several flights on Lake Central Airlines’ DC-3’s while traveling to interviews in 1967, my senior year at Ohio Northern University (Lake Central Airlines was subsequently purchased by Piedmont Airlines). It would be great to have the opportunity to walk the isles of an airliner where the flight attendants assigned seating based on ones weight to balance the aircraft and where they religiously offered chewing gum for clearing ones ears on this unpressurized aircraft that traditionally flew at below 6,000 feet in altitude. Anyway, the wings of the Museum’s DC-3 currently reside in one bay of the Backshops building while the main body rests a few hundred feet away in another area of the building. I hope that they get around to assembling and displaying their DC-3 while I am still able to attend the Fall Meets.

We arrived safely home to Cary, NC mid-afternoon on June 9th after a relatively uneventful drive from Spencer, NC.

June 9, 2017: Crossing below the dam on High Rock Lake, NC

June 9, 2017: Chatham County courthouse, Pittsboro, NC


Total Distance Traveled : 2,050 Miles
Fuel Consumed : 102.6 Gallons
Fuel Mileage : 20 MPG
Total Days Traveled : 17 Days

Thanks for your interest in our trek.

Blog Entry #14 June 7, 2017: Cumberland Gap, VA – Blowing Rock, NC – Grandfather Mountain, NC
Blog Entry #30 October 3, 2013 - Monument Valley and Four Corners (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah)