21 miles and not caring about scenery
Even the worst road is better than a mall on Black Friday.
This short stretch of U.S. 78 was about as pretty as it got on this ride.
It’s probably the least scenic route in my repertoire. Alton is rutted and cracked, pocked and pitted, patched poorly where it’s patched at all. It passes a trailer park, plumbing supply businesses, the produce distribution warehouse, and an aircraft parts warehouse guarded by dogs behind a fence topped with barbed wire. Plus the turnoff to the landfill.
It’s marginally better when you get to Ruffner, particularly after the cement plant and the junkyard where the north side of the road borders a nature preserve. Don’t get me wrong; there are absolutely beautiful roads outside Birmingham, down valleys and over ridges, past horse farms and lakes. But getting to them involves passing an outlet mall and a Bass Pro Shop.
And on Black Friday, with drivers focused only on getting to the next deal, it’s not worth the aggravation. Even with industrial scenery, Blacktop Friday beats Black Friday every time.