Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hilton Head to Chesapeake, VA

Drove mostly the 95 today entertained by the gazillion (okay maybe 200) signs advertising the coming of "South of the Border" a completely silly, tacky, entertaining, and never subtle roadstop see it coming?....south of the north carolina border (in South Carolina). It started life as a beer stand when North Carolina went dry in the 40s. It took on the name South of the Border...because it was...and then gathered the tacky and overdone theme of Pedro, sombreros, and all things Mexico (although what the larger than life gorilla, flamingos, geodesic domed motor hotel, and gators have to do with mexico I'm not sure). You name it, it is at SOB (as it is known to the locals and signed on its water tank). Mostly clean bathrooms, gas, food, mini golf, arcade games, t-shirt shops, and Firework shops (not just one). And if you really are sick of being in the car you can ride the glass elevator to the top of the sombrero tower!

This guy with humungous crotch is something like 87 feet high and is supposedly the highest free standing sign in the US.

When we reached a spot just south of Rocky Mount we ditched the 70 MPH highway and took off in a easterly direction towards the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina and Virginia. DRove through cotton and corn fields, pine forest, and swamp lands. Crossed the Roanoke River...very pretty with rocks and rapids at that point. We drove along the southern and eastern borders of the Great Dismal Swamp (no hikes bug spray). Turns out that one branch of the Intracoastal Waterway runs along the eastern border through of bridges and locks...really quite pretty. There was a large sailboat tied up to the dock at the visitor center from Rhode Island!!!

Found a Joe Crab's for dinner (a sister restaurant to the one in Nashville) pina colada and a basket of coconut shrimp later...I am ready for bed!!!

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