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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

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  3. Rincon Cafe Driving north out of the Salinas Valley town of Gonzales on the old alignment of US 101, Alta St. as the locals call it, you are quickly surrounded by lettuce and spinach fields. A mile north of town, just before the road turns into an overpass and on ramps, sits the boarded up structure of the Rincon Cafe. The northern end of the building looks to have once been a single bay garage while out front was where the gas pumps sat. The barely visible outline of the letters spelling "Norwalk Service" above the gas station's front door are a clue to the buildings past but still don't reveal what brand of gasoline was once sold there. The cafe on the southern end of the building looks like the type of place John Steinbeck might have stopped at for bacon, eggs and a cup of coffee. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  4. I knew there had to be someone out there that could relate to my situation. Overall though, the pluses outweigh the minuses by far.
  5. Rick, Brings to mind a couple of lines from a favorite song: But there's nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear Than to stand in a bar, of a pub with no beer Great image and story. I believe many women don't fully appreciate sagebrush, old buildings, and remote roads.....but then I may be wrong. John and Alice Ridge of Yellowstone Trail fame seem to share a common love of the old road. And while I have not actually asked Becky, she might be another. My wife is not a member of the club, but she is willing to let me rave on. Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  6. Montoya This building is another I don't expect to see standing should I have the opportunity to pass through New Mexico again. It was 1962 when Route 66 passing through Montoya was relocated to where I-40 is now and the building as well as the entire town was bypassed. You can see and hear the traffic passing by 200 yards to the south of the old highway on the interstate, and at some point in the past a lot of them must have stopped for a cold beer because when I got there they were all out and I could have really used one about then. Abandoned store in Montoya, New Mexico There's not a lot of information that I could find about the building itself but based on the location, overall footprint, and remaining signage I assume it was probably a gas station with a small store attached. Getting to the location is easy if you know which exit to take off of the interstate. However, if you just filled up in Tucumcari and have settled in for a couple of hours of driving toward Santa Rosa and points west, or vice versa and you are heading east, you might blink and miss the crumbling roofless adobe brick structure 200 yards north of the interstate. My journey to Montoya took place in 2015 and started west of Montoya at an exit called Newkirk. I'm not sure if Newkirk can be called a town anymore, but, there is a filling station with a small store and a few old buildings to be seen there. My wife and I were heading from Santa Fe and bound for Tucumcari for the night. Her mother's maiden name is Montoya and thanks to ancestry.com she new that some of her ancestors had settled somewhere in New Mexico at some point in time but nothing more specific than that. Perhaps this town was a family connection. It was also one of the few times that I could remember her showing some enthusiasm about one of my ghost town stops. It was an improvement over the subdued tolerance that I usually got. We drove a few miles on the frontage road east out of Newkirk and just before crossing over the interstate we turned left onto a dirt road. The dirt road lasted for about a third of a mile before it turned onto a section of cracked and broken asphalt. As I was explaining to my wife that the section of roadway we were now on was Route 66 between the years of 1926 and 1936 the sagebrush became more plentiful and the road started to get less and less visible. Before long I was completely in the sagebrush and unable to see any sign of the road. 1926-1936 era roadbed heading east towards Montoya I walked ahead for a few yards and found a cow path in the sagebrush that lead to a service road that ran alongside the railroad tracks. It didn't take to much whacking with the machete to clear the path and once on the service road I made my way to the bottom of the hill and back onto the frontage road that continued east into Montoya. It was difficult to tell if my wife was more thrilled with the road we had taken to get there or what could be seen of Montoya. She could have been expecting a bit more from the namesake town I suppose. But one thing is for certain, she had to have been impressed by my ability to turn a 10 minute drive on the interstate into a 90 minute long off road adventure that required the use of a machete. I finally got my beer later that day when we went out for dinner in Tucumcari. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  7. mga707

    Travel Troubles

    Not to minimize your rather harrowing experience with 'La Migra', but the road you were following through Dome Valley was not actually the old Bankhead Highway/Broadway Of America/Old Spanish Trail/US 80. There is doubt whether the road through the valley ever actually was signed as '80', as the 'new' route through Telegraph Pass, which is still the route of eastbound I-8, was completed and opened for traffic in 1927. Anyway, from your description I gather that you were traveling on the paved, 'stairstep' road through the valley that runs north and east of the Gila River bed, following section lines. This road is newer than the actual old highway, which has never been paved and runs very close to the railroad tracks that are south and west of the normally dry Gila bed. In his exhaustively-researched 2009 book, "Drive the Broadway Of America--the U.S. 80 and Bankhead Highways Across the American Southwest", author Jeff Jensen gives a mile-by-mile account of this early alignment, and strongly recommends attempting to drive it only with a 4WD vehicle, as parts are extremely sandy and rough. This original alignment comes out to what is now US 95 about a mile south of the historic McPhail bridge that you mention above. Ironically, had you taken this old but rough original alignment, you probably would not have encountered any BP vehicles at all--but you may very well have gotten stuck in a sandy, dry washbed! For what it's worth, I was traveling the opposite direction on I-8 the following day, heading to Encinitas CA from Tucson, and wishing I had the extra time to explore some of the old sections of US 80!
  8. Michael Ballard

    Travel Troubles

    Greetings all. I wanted to share a rather unpleasant experience I had recently while traveling along an old alignment of US 80 in Arizona. My husband and I were traveling between San Diego, CA and Phoenix, AZ on the Saturday before Christmas. As we had more available time, I wanted to finally take the original route of US 80 through Dome Valley, also stopping by the McPhaul Bridge north of Yuma, AZ. I had done a bit of research before we left, as the old road through Dome Valley had many turns. After visiting the McPhaul Bridge, we headed north on US 95 to the turnoff for Dome Valley. After we made the turn, we found that the old road had signage for a detour for I-8 and directions to "Old US 80" and I-8, which made travel a bit easier. With only one exception, all the turns were well marked with these signs. Near the first big turn, we noticed a border patrol car parked alongside the road, pointed toward traffic. I didn't think too much of it, other than was disappointed to see them. Not long after this, however, I saw they had passed the car that was behind us and was getting closer to us. Again, didn't think too much of this but was a bit concerned. I hadn't been speeding and I had been coming to a complete stop at the stop signs, despite the lack of limit lines. I would have anyway. Now, we proceeded down old US 80 south toward the "newer" alignment of US 80 which follows I-8 a lot closer. Still, the border patrol car was following us at varying distances. We saw another border patrol vehicle just north of the Old US 80 turn near Wellton. At the junction, we turned left, to head down old US 80 toward Wellton and Mohawk. Well, that is when things turned into a problem. After we turned, the border patrol vehicle that had been following us pulled us over. After we stopped, we asked why we were being stopped. They first asked us if we were familiar with Dome Valley. They also asked us where we were going to and where we were going from. They asked why we went a different way and evaded a "Federal Checkpoint", calling it that instead of border patrol checkpoint. They had said the route was "popular with smugglers". They had also taken our driver licenses to, well, we weren't sure what. They told us they were doing a background check on us. They checked their records and asked why we took a different route because, according to their records, we normally took I-8. Remember that when you pass those cameras alongside the roadway. They are indeed tracking your movements. I suspected before but this was proof. I told them we were following old US 80 and even showed them our book by Eric Finley, which shows the alignments of the highway, including Dome Valley. They asked us if they could search the car, even ran a drug sniffing dog by our car. They kept us alongside the roadway for nearly 30 minutes. They had no probable cause other than the fact we drove an open public roadway, which was even signed by the state as a through route. They humiliated us by stopping us alongside a public highway while others looked on. Three border patrol vehicles stopped us. Three. They violated our rights by stopping us without cause. They were truly on a fishing expedition after they asked us why we were going that way, which was still none of their business. Why did it take so long to do a "background check" on us? Why was that even needed? This was a truly disturbing experience, one which I do not intend to let slide. Formal complaints will be filed with various agencies, including the ACLU. So, with their excuse for pulling us over, it does beg many questions. How often does this happen? If the route is indeed an issue for them, why is there no checkpoint along it? Why is the border patrol, not the DEA, looking for drugs? If they are "just doing their job", then why do they need to stop random cars on a public roadway? It would seem that the fact they did so says they are not doing their jobs. This was not how I wanted to travel old US 80. No one should have to deal with this sort of harassment and illegal activity by law enforcement.
  9. A book? That seems like a lot of work. Although, I have contributed to the the works of others over the years and would be more than willing to do so again if asked. It's still a thrill to pull a book of the shelf, see a picture that looks familiar, then realize that my name is listed underneath as the photo credit.
  10. Rick, I have been inattentive to my disadvantage! Your photos and description are superb! A place I didn’t know existed! Of course 1975 is practically yesterday when viewed from my chronologically advanced years, but the photos and story are pure gold. The days when I reasonably expected to visit these places are past, so I depend on younger eyes and pens keyboards to tell the stories for me and others to enjoy!! Thanks! Great job! Now when is the book? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  11. Thank you for that--great pictures, story, and linked NPS article. Definitely want to stop next time I'm on that stretch of 40.
  12. Glenrio Glenrio was mentioned in the previous post and I came to the realization that of all the ghost towns that I have been to this tiny town along an abandoned section of Route 66, straddling the Texas-New Mexico border, is probably the most complete example of abandoned roadside architecture in its natural state of slow decomposition. Glenrio was a town that existed because the road was there and ceased to exist when the road was gone. This link from the National Park Service gives a much better summary of Glenrio's history than I ever could. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/glenrio_historic_district.html My two visits to Glenrio where of two extremes. The first time was in the month of May and it was pouring rain. The old dirt road to the west was a slippery mess and would have been impassable without four wheel drive. I mean it was off the road, slide into a ditch, impassable. At various time I could feel the back tires of my 4x4 lose traction, or sometimes it was the front, and there were brief moments of panic when both would lose traction and my truck felt like it wanted to swap ends before regaining traction and straightening out. The mud that splashed up along the running boards, into the wheel wells, and throughout the undercarriage might have been slippery to drive on but it hardened into concrete. Ten dollars in tokens later at a truck wash in Santa Fe and I got most of it off. Even today, 4 years later, my drive shaft and rear axle are stained with the color of the New Mexico mud, which my truck wears with pride. In the town the skies were dark on that first visit and the air was quiet except for the sound of the raindrops ricocheting off the asphalt and soaking my pants below the knee. It wasn't hard to imagine a 54' Chevy Coupe from Texas pulling into the newly built Texaco station for a fill up, it's wipers leaving streaks along the windshield. The driver, perhaps a traveling businessman on his way west with a load of his product in the trunk, might stop at the Longhorn Cafe for a bite to eat and to wait out the storm before getting back on the road headed towards Albuquerque, or Gallup, or maybe even Los Angeles. My second time through Glenrio was 4 months later in late August and the feeling couldn't have been more different. The air was already stifling even at the early hour of 9:00 am. I grabbed my water bottle and camera and began walking the 4/10 mile length of the town working up a sweat in the process. Broyles Gas Station, the Longhorn Motel, the State Line Bar all looked like they longed to have the clock turned back to before that morning in 1975 when the barriers were removed and traffic was now riding on the brand spankin' new interstate, bypassing the town. It was hard to imagine anyone ever living there. State Line Motel and Cafe Broyles Gas Station. The wood and adobe building was built in 1925 as a Mobil Gasoline franchise. The Little Juarez Cafe. The Art Moderne-style diner was built in 1952 and remained opened until the town was bypassed in 1975. A 1968 Pontiac Bonneville waits for a fill up at the Glenrio Texaco station next to the Little Juarez Café on the Texas side of town. Roadhound http:\\rick-pisio.pixels.com
  13. MGA707, I have a few photos from Glenrio that can be seen HERE. A true Interstate Ghost Town. It's definitely worth a stop and a quick look around if you pass through the area again. Be careful though, there is one residence on the east end of the town that does have dogs. Made me think twice about poking around too much. Rick
  14. knightfan26917

    Crazy Days (Life)

    * I used to frequent this & many other boards daily. But, this time, it has been over 3 months since I last visited. A lot has & has not happened, & I am still job hunting. If you want to catch up, read the blog entries linked below! Meantime, what is new with you? 09/13/2018 COURAGE DEPTH (Dad health & some interesting connections) http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2018/09/13/courage-depth/ 10/30/2018 CRAFTING DIRECTION (thoughts, long-time friends & castle update) http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2018/10/30/crafting-direction/ 11/22/2018 CULINARY DELIGHTS (thoughts, Thanksgiving & SBS) http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2018/11/22/culinary-delights/ 12/03/2018 CREATING DRIVE (running out of time, Holiday tip) http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2018/12/03/creating-drive/ Cort, pig&cowValves+PM, www.oldcarsstronghearts.com 2003 MGM LS + 1981 cmc SC; need 1975 Chrysler Cordoba "It's coming on Christmas" | Robert Downey Jr | 'River'
  15. Thank you for posting those 'Exit 0' photos. I've driven by them about a half-dozen times over the past 30 years. Never have checked out what is left of Glenrio.
  16. Exit O Along Interstate 40, at the state line between Texas and New Mexico, sits "Exit 0." On the south side of the Interstate sits the Route 66 ghost town of Glenrio but at the exit itself there are 2 abandoned service stations on the Texas side of the state line. It was 1980 when the Interstate bypassed Glenrio and shifted traffic north of the town. It is also likely that sometime around that time period that the two service stations were built. Not sure when they serviced their last customers but today they are left abandoned and exposed to the elements. Abandoned Standard\Chevron station in Glenrio, Texas Pump islands at the abandoned Standard\Chevron station in Glenrio, Texas. Wild sunflowers at the site of an abandoned Texaco station in Glenrio, Texas. Abandoned Texaco station in Glenrio, Texas. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  17. Lots of interesting tidbits to be found in that link. Thanks Dave
  18. Michael, Congratulations on your election victory! Rick
  19. Greetings all, There have been some changes recently regarding the Ridge Route Preservation Organization. Due to some unexpected circumstances, we have a new president. I, Michael Ballard, was elected to become the new president of the RRPO. I look forward to leading the group and will continue our struggle to preserve and protect the roadway. I plan to be meeting with many different groups in the near future to help further our cause and get more people involved. Harrison Scott, the former president of the group, will still be involved. We do thank him for all he has done and his continuing contributions to our collective effort are always welcomed and appreciated.
  20. This is like a feast of recollection and reflection, with a big dose of fine writing. I recall that motel….it was probably 10- 15 years ago and Sheila and I were following the Pony Express route. We didn’t stop. The post below gives a bit of the history of the motel. It still had cars in front based on the 1999 Google Earth image. You could have owned a piece of Nevada history, a motel, and RV park for just $225,000. Guess no one wanted to!! http://www.exploreforums.com/topic/3150-schellbourne-station-motel-rv-park/ Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  21. Slots Motel, Schellbourne, Nevada The only scenario that I can see where I would consider stopping at a place like this when it was functioning as a motel would be because all the motels in Ely were full and no rooms were available in McGill either. It's getting late as you drive through the darkness northbound on US93 towards Wendover, kids asleep in the backseat, and your looking for anywhere possible to sleep. Your wary when you find a motel in the middle of a dark desert landscape but the 6 room motel with the roadhouse next door will have to do. Wendover was still at least an hour down the road, if not more. It was one step above pulling onto the side of the highway and sleeping in the car. And what's with wooden railings in front of the rooms? Did they think I was going to hitch my car to it? All it did was make it impossible to back the station wagon up in front of the room and do a straight in unload. We were back on the road before the sun was up. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the life and times of what finally ended up being called the Slots Motel. It is located in Schellbourne, Nevada, where the Tippets Route of the Lincoln Higway\Pony Express Trail intersects with US 93. I do have vague recollections of it looking open on either my 2007 or 2011 trip through that are but neither the 2006 or the 2011 google images show any cars in the parking lot. We didn't explore it either time. To me it looks like a motel that could have been built in the 70's, or thereabouts. There were still some fixtures in a couple of the rooms but most of them had been vandalized with at least broken windows and doors off the hinges. One room was filled with mattresses and a few of the others had mattresses leaning against the wall. Looking through the screen door of the building to the left I could see a bar just inside the door but not much behond that. I didn't enter the building. It may have had a dining room of some sort, probably a few gambling machines or even a small casino. Photos taken Sept 2018 Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  22. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, Sometimes we buy vehicles to comfort ourselves, or our egos. But the best buys are those that expand our horizons, and enable us to do things we would not, or could not, do before. Your Big Red is a good example of the latter. Congratulations! Eastern Oregon where I believe you live has terrific places to go, and a little early snowfall can really add to the beauty. You don’t need this advice, but I learned the hard way that a capable 4 wheel rig can also get you into big trouble if you are inclined to off road solo in the winter. So have a great time, and keep us up to date on your adventures. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  23. hutchman

    New touring vehicle

    This thing makes me feel like kid. I'm 5 min or so away from some beautiful scenery and don't take advantage of it enough. The wet season is upon us and they close most FS Roads 12-1, so I need to make the most of it over the next month! Maybe do some cold weather camping before it gets too bad.
  24. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Becky, Great to see you chime in! We all appreciate your enormous contribution to the joys of traveling the American Road! Dave
  25. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, OH THE JOY!! I recall my days with my Toyota Land Cruiser. Of course it more often than not got me into places I had no business going with a wife and 2 year old. But truthfully, your photos practically brought tears to an old man's eyes. I wish you many more happy trails ahead!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  26. mga707

    Route 66 trips

    For me, Chicago to OKC is a bit too long for one day--I'd stop in Tulsa. And as much as I enjoy Flagstaff, I'd stop in Winslow instead and spend the night at the classic La Posada Fred Harvey railroad hotel there.
  27. David Lynch's "Lost Highway", 1997.
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