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North Carolina / NC-80
Just 13 miles in length, NC-80 is not the best known highway in the state. But it is lots of fun and a really worthwhile off route excursion for those riding US-19E or the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's sometimes known as The Devil's Staircase or The Devil's Whip.
Parkway riders should look for the NC-80 exit about Mile Post 342. The best part of this quick run is to go south from the parkway, get an ice cream cone or burger at the intersection of US-70 and then run back. It's a great 20 mile diversion, especially if you are frustrated by the 45 MPH speed limit on the parkway. The ice cream stand at NC-80/US-70 has a few picnic tables under a couple of large trees and the management enjoys motorcycle visitors.
Pleasant Garden to Micaville
Est 13 miles - .5 hours (click here for route map)
Large warning signs at each end of this short highway warn truckers the route is not recommended for them. At times it is very steep and all but a couple of miles of the route are full of very sharp turns and switchbacks. Those entering from the north at Micaville will experience a thrilling downhill trip that terminates at US-70. There's a small (seasonal) ice cream shop at that intersection for those so inclined, and some flat landers NEED the rest at the end of this run! Of course, they will turn right around and run it on the uphill just to see how it changes...
North bounders get a nice hill climb experience that crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway near the end of the ride. A six minute run westbound on US-19E to Burnsville offers a wide variety of restaurants.
Two small towns are found along the way, Hamrick and Busick. Both of them are north of the parkway, both are very small and offer no services. It is a good idea, however, to slow down while within their speed zones unless you want a performance award from the local sheriff's deputy. It which case the phrase from the 1960's Dodge commercials come to mind, "Boy, you in a heap 'o trouble!"