Falls Church, Va.
Mount Vernon, Va.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Murrell’s Inlet, S.C.
Pawley’s Island, S.C.
NEAR WILSON, N.C. — Driving down Interstate 95 south of Washington D.C. and especially Richmond, Va. isn’t the most scenic ride.* The land is generally flat, the road barely curves, every interchange looks the same and there are no sizable towns. I was not relishing the North Carolina portion of our drive to the South Carolina’s Grand Strand.
I was pleasantly surprised upon entering North Carolina from Virginia that there were plentiful wildflowers on the sides of I-95 and in the median. I had never noticed them before, so I don’t know if they are new or just weren’t blooming when I had passed. Those many clusters of flowers, often different colors than the previous patch, broke up the monotony of the drive. In addition to being pretty those wildflowers may have helped me and other drivers from getting to bored and the problems that come with it while driving a car.
I do not know how extensive the wildflower program is on North Carolina highways since we only strayed from I-95 once. The photograph above is actually from that occasion, when we got off on I-795, a new spur route of I-95 signed along US 264 and old US 117, to eat at Parker’s Restaurant. My dad took that photo from the passenger seat.
*It isn’t the most scenic highway north of D.C. either, but has more landmarks, cities every 100 miles or so, major river crossings and even hills.
Signs: Shields Up!
“Where are you taking yours too?”
WILSON, N.C. — That’s a brief conversation I had with someone as my family paid for lunch and several pounds of take-out at Parker’s Barbecue. The restaurant has a cult following up and down the I-95 corridor; I’ve already blogged about it previously, but figured it was worth another mention. The authentic pulled pork with a vinegary, but not too hot pepper sauce, is a fine example of the Eastern Carolina style barbecue. I surprised a co-worker with some and without any visible branding, she immediately knew what was in the containers I brought in one day. She was thrilled by the surprise.
Others at the table tried the fried chicken which was okay, but I stuck with the pulled pork plate with boiled potatoes, spicy and orange. I need to figure out which ones they use or at least an approximation.
I’m finished up the last of my pulled pork (it freezes very well) yesterday for lunch. Now, I’ll have to go without pulled pork for a while, because nothing will come close.
Parker’s is located on US 301, EXIT 43A off of I-795/US 264 and about 7 miles from I-95. The decor isn’t the only thing out of the past — it is cash only.
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PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. — When I saw the sign claiming that Sam’s Corner was world famous for its hot dogs, I figured it was worth investigating. Now, I had not heard of it, but I figured I would have to see if it was worth while.
My dad and I went there after a day on the beach and in the ocean. I was pretty hungry, so I ordered a foot long with chili, mustard and onions. I also learned that the $1 Bud drafts started just a few minutes earlier than the 4-7 p.m. start time. The verdict — that was a tasty dog. The chili might be called “hot dog sauce” by some, had a nice balance of minced meat and tomato paste. The spices were evident but not overwhelming. The dog was agreeable and the roll was slightly toasted. All in all, a tasty combination — similar to the Vienna Inn chili dog, but not cooked in beer. I went back before we left.
I’ll be curious to know if Myrtle Beach regular, The Maryland Bureau Chief Emeritus, has ever stopped by.
Sam’s Corner has three locations on the Grand Strand: Myrtle Beach, Surfside and Pawley’s Island.