Thursday, July 30, 2009

Highlights Of Our Trip Back To The Outer Banks.

When Mr. Hawthorne and I travel from the Outer Banks to our respective birthplaces and families, we take the same route each time. After making the trip back and forth, Danville to Outer Banks, Outer Banks to Danville, (since the early 80's) both solo and duo, so many times, and my experimenting with different routes and their merits and demerits, I finally figured out the best route, both time-wise and mileage-wise and scenic-wise. From Danville, Va., I take 86S to the first intersection in Hillsborough, NC. And sadly, I take a left at the light, on 70E, and don't even go into Hillsborough. Hillsborough is a lovely, quaint, historical town, and one of these days, we will stop there so I can take photographs. One of the places I wanted to go to this Monday on our way back home, was Montrose Gardens, in Hillsborough. I called on the way and naturally they are closed on Mondays. My friend, Marion, recently sent me this gardener's blog, GardensGardens, and there's a post about Montrose. That will have to tide me over until I actually get there myself. One of these days, I'll go to Montrose Gardens. Just like I'll perfect my Parmesan Frica Cups. And my Corn Fritters. And golly, wasn't there another one on Rosie's list? Seems like I had another thing to perfect on my list. Edited to add: Yes. There was another one. See this post. It was minted tomato slices. Minted tomato slices. Certainly sounds simple enough. My problem was I followed the directions against my better judgment. My mind went somewhere else since I was doing about 7 different things at the time, and I ended up burning the crap out of them. Hey. It happens. Back to Hwy 86S. I've been traveling 86S, from Danville to Chapel Hill, since the late '60's. I loved Chapel Hill and Franklin Street. The Rathskeller. The bookstore that is no more on Franklin. The record store on that side street. I loved the campus of UNC-CH. Chapel Hill is a beautiful place to me. I was very proud and thankful when Daughter Hawthorne went to college at Chapel Hill. That was supposed to be me. Back on topic. Route 86S. We're driving along and I told Mr. Hawthorne I wanted to take a left turn sometime in the near future so's I could photograph a certain building I anticipate every single time on my trips between Danville and Chapel Hill. I spot the turn ahead and tell Mr. Hawthorne in plenty of time. He easily braked and turned left. Unbeknownst to me, but knownst to Mr. Hawthorne, there was an 18-wheeler on our ass. Mr. Hawthorne pulled the truck over to the side of the road and stopped, directly in front of what I wanted to shoot. Mr. H: (Rather frenzied and actually breaking out into a sweat.) Can you just get out and take the damn picture? Rosie: (Opening the door.) Hmmm? What's that smell? Mr. H: (Rather peevishly.) You mean the burning rubber? Rosie: (Quite innocently.) Oh. Is that what that is? What happened? There's some trucker out there who probably has my license plate etched into his brain and, no doubt, some fecal material in the seat of his carefully appointed cab. Hey, TRucker: Don't you be text messaging whilst driving right on my ass. When we pulled back out onto 86 there were about 100 feet of black skid marks zig-zagging across the road, a near jackknife. So, now, on to the place which for 40 years
I've wanted to stop at and shoot pictures and for which, apparently, I had just risked life and limb.
Warren's Store in Prospect Hill, NC. Warren's Store was built in 1858. The post office at Prospect Hill was established in 1823 and on the adjoining lot of the current post office is the building that housed it for more than 100 years - Warren's Store. The old store building still has a corner set aside by Mrs. Geneva Warren that contains the Prospect Hill Postal Museum with all sorts of post office memorabilia - letter scales, records, call letter boxes, receipts, and ancient postal manuals. Also on display is a copy of the pardon given to Franklin Link Warren, postmaster from 1842-1865. The pardon was for having operated the Prospect Hill Post Office under the Confederacy during the Civil War. You GO! Franklin!!
Is this not worth the wait?
Look at this gas tank. And check out the picture in the link from 1940. This tank is the same one as in the old photograph. The tank on the left has been changed. I don't know why I didn't take a close up of the left side gas tank. Oh well, maybe it was because Mr. Hawthorne was constantly telling me to hurry up. On my to do list for next time. Now, another place we wanted to stop at is the blueberry farm on 86. We stopped at the farm last year on September 15 for the first time. I searched for blueberry on my blog and found a blueberry recipe and the Sept. 15 visit to the blueberry farm. Just scroll down on the above link.
A road sign for the blueberry pickin's.
Upon our arrival, we were cheerfully greeted by these friendly signs.
I love admonitions and extraneous punctuation, especially when accompanied by a smiley face.
A welcome and instructions to sign in with name, rank, and serial number. I actually looked around for surveillance cameras.
Ahhh. Trust.
These are the blueberry "bushes." They're 7-8 feet tall.
Ripe blueberries with plenty of green ones. Remember, last year, we picked in mid-September. The blueberries we picked were $2.00 a pound. Usually, they're $4.99 at Food Lion. We tromped through the bushes, sweating like pigs, for about 30 minutes in 93 degree heat to get 5 pounds of blueberries. We were quite proud of ourselves.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne going to slip his $10 bill for a little less than 5 pounds of blueberries. In the tool box. Honor system. This is the south, you know. Next, I wanted to stop at the Citgo station at the Hillsborough light, at the turn off to 70 E. I've stopped here before and wanted to get the sign in the bathroom.
I think this is very admirable. Outside the door, there's a light that will go on, indicating that someone has pushed this button. This is a very clean bathroom and rivals the restrooms at the Outer Banks Welcome Center on Roanoke Island. Now, for the piece de resistance. MOBILE MEXICAN FOOD!
I'd seen this truck on Saturday when we drove to Danville and Mr. Hawthorne would not stop for me to take a picture. Thankfully, it was in the same place Monday when we drove back - at the Citgo station in Hillsborough. And Rosie is curious, as you can well imagine. The name of a business should plainly state what it's about. Sometimes, however, the name is just too much information. I find the name of this particular business, Mobile Mexican Food, somewhat ambiguous. Is the vehicle mobile? (It hasn't moved for 3 days.) Or is the Mexican food mobile? (It will move in 3 minutes.) I didn't care to find out.
Ahh ...
The irony.
After sweating in 93-degree heat for 30 minutes to pick five pounds of blueberries, for $2.00/pound, we stopped at Food Lion in Nags Head, where we found them for $1.88/pound. Such is the life of Rosie.


Marion Walsh said...

Hey Rosie, Montrose will schedule visits for 6 or so - well worth it, because they are not getting any younger.

Mr. P said...

So how do you get from Hillsborough to the Outer Banks?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mr. P.,
You turn off 86S, left, at the first intersection in Hillsborough onto 70E.
Go for 15 or so miles and turn right on 98. Stay on 98 (2 lanes) until 96 crosses. Take a right. Then about 12 miles, take a left onto 64E.

You can stay on 98 until you meet 64. If you do, there's a nice market on the left that sells expensive candles and jams and honeys and stuff like that.

Mr. P said...

Thank you Rosie. Did they ever get US 64 upgraded to 4 lanes all the way to Roanoke Island?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

And not 4 lanes all the way yet.

Mr. P said...

We took that trip about 15 years ago. There was a lot of construction going on putting in the 4 lane highway. We need to come back to the Outer Banks some day.

Anonymous said...

Much faster if you take 70 to 540 to 64.

Kathy said...

I believe the bookstore was Scribner's?

The record store on Henderson was the Record Bar - I bought a Herman's Hermits album there.

The Rat is one of my favorite places in the world. Last time I was there, I stole a menu & bought a t-shirt.

dle1004 said...

I just love the "honor system" there is a man in my sisters town in Western NC that uses that for his veggies from his garden. It would not work here in South Florida!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Anonymous.
Maybe I'll try out 540 next time.