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

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  3. I-5 is commonly referred to as "The Grapevine" by locals and traffic reporters. Most assume the name derives from the twisty nature of the original roadway - the Ridge Route. That road was indeed very twisty, much like a grapevine. However, that is still not the reason. The name Grapevine actually comes from Grapevine Canyon, where old US 99 and I-5 come down from the mountains and into the San Joaquin Valley. The canyon is called such as wild grapes grow along the canyon walls. It was formerly known as Canada De Las Uvas which is Spanish for Canyon of the Grapes. The name Tejon Pass is also a "new" addition to the area. The current Tejon Pass was known as Grapevine Pass or Badger Pass until the 1850's. Old Tejon Pass, much farther to the east, was a very treacherous route. That pass was eventually abandoned in favor of the current Tejon Pass. The name was just shifted to the new route. After the 1933 bypass of the original road to as late as the 1970's, the roadway over the mountains was still referred to as "The Ridge Route". It wasn't until the 1980's that the name "The Grapevine" was extended to the entire roadway. Why this was done is still unclear. Even Caltrans called it the "Ridge Route". So, if you want to call it proper - call it Tejon Pass, when being specific to the actual pass, and the Ridge Route when referring to I-5 from Castaic to Grapevine. While you're passing through Grapevine Canyon, be sure to spot the wild grapevines that still grow in the canyon.
  4. Michael Ballard

    Ridge Route Update

    Big update coming soon. It looks like we may well have our volunteer agreement in place by early December. With this agreement comes a very important thing, a key. We will finally have full access to the Ridge Route. Right now we are anticipating having some sort of event, likely a road work type event, in late Spring 2020. I'll be going up on the road as soon as possible, after I get the key, to evaluate what is needed to be done.
  5. Michael Ballard

    Ridge Route Update

    Perseverance is key with these things. We will succeed, it just may take a while.
  6. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Ridge Route Update

    Michael, If you and others with the same mission pull it off, nothing but KUDOS! You are working against the odds! Dave
  7. Michael Ballard

    Ridge Route Update

    Things are looking good on the Ridge Route front. Our volunteer agreement with the Angeles National Forest should be coming through soon. Once the fires calm down anyway, as they have been taking away the people that are working on it. Once it is in place, things will start to move a bit faster on our end. The road is still a ways from being open, but we should hopefully have some form of access.
  8. Michael Ballard

    Historic US 80 in Arizona

    My mistake. I forget about that chunk.
  9. mga707

    Historic US 80 in Arizona

    Historic 80 signs are also on what is now SR 80 from Benson down through Tombstone/Bisbee/Douglas and over to the NM border. Also in the Yuma area, if memory serves. Minor correction to the above post: The State Route from Florence Junction to Oracle Junction is 79, not 77. 77 picks up old 80/89 at Oracle Junction and continues into Tucson. The historic 80 signage continues to the Tucson city limits.
  10. On a recent trip out to Phoenix I found that Arizona is posting signs along old US 80, at least where it coincides with current State highways. I found two shields, one in each direction, on State 85 near Buckeye. Apparently, it is also signed on State 77 (former US 80 from Florence Junction to near Tucson). Anyone else seen any new shields?
  11. There are many. They are rare on State highways. Used to be two from the mid-1920's on State 150 near Rincon, but replaced about 15 or more years ago. Los Angeles County has plenty of wooden pony truss bridges on the county roads (East Fork Road, Little Tujunga Canyon Road, and a few others). There is a 1922, widened 1928? pony truss span over the Rio Hondo on State 72 (former US 101) near Pico Rivera. Not as many in northern California. Mostly concrete and steel up there.
  12. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Images before 2011 Lost

    I just discovered that old photos posted on America Road have disappeared. The long forgotten Hypotenuse Trail (2008) has lost it's images. This may be old old news I have not fully tracked the issue but I think I have enough to know it is on the forum board end. Since photos from more than one member are gone (and thus it is not a loss at the member's host storage site), and because the images are uploaded to board storage, it is a issue at the forum board end. It seems to apply to all images before about 2012 give or take a year, but I didn't seek to track down a specific date for the change. 2013 images were available, but not so for some 2011 and before. If I had to take a guess, AR shifted to a new version of its board and in the process, the files prior to some date were deleted. If my guess is correct, I doubt there is a fix. The other possibility is that the broad host deletes the oldest images when AR's storage allocation is exceeded. In any event, I thought you would want to know......or I am just repeating old info. I don't remember, but I think old men are forgetful. Dave
  13. Michael, are there any pony truss style of bridges in California? I don't recall ever seeing one.
  14. Michael Ballard

    Ridge Route Update

    Our biggest hurdle seems to be the land ownership issue at the south end. The County of Los Angeles is to blame for that mess but we hope the federal government may have enough clout to get it fixed. Time will tell. In the mean time, we are working toward possibly starting up road repairs again.
  15. Great photos! The last time I was in that area (August 2005), we had a limited amount of time but at least went to the first pony truss bridge at the west end. My guess on the bridges is late 1910's to mid 1920's. The pipe railing, instead of lattice railing, seems to point to that era. At least, that is what I'd go by in California. Each state is a bit different.
  16. Last May, between a day of ceremonies at Promentory, Utah, celebrating the Transcontinental Railroads 150th anniversary and a historic steam engine double-header featuring Union Pacific's Big Boy 4014 and 844 passing through Echo Canyon in Utah I found myself with a day free to do some road explorations in Western Wyoming. Before leaving for the trip I contacted "Greetings from the Lincoln Highway" author Brian Butko for recommendations on what was interesting and worth seeing in the area. One of the many excellent recommendations he made was a section of the Lincoln in Wyoming between Lyman and Granger. Always a sucker for a remote stretch of historic roadway I did my research and put it on my trip itinerary. I left the Interstate prior to Fort Bridger and drove Business 80 through town and on into Lyman. On the east side of Lyman I found the section of dirt road marked by the familiar red, white, and blue sign with the blue "L" on it. From here on it was all dirt road but relatively well maintained and still used regularly. Roadbed leading away from Business 80 east of Lyman After passing through a causeway under the interstate I crossed the first of two pony trusses that pass over Blacks Fork River. The wide open land in this area looked to be used primarily by ranchers and at one point had to make my way through a herd of sheep. I didn’t find a date on the bridges but my suspicion is that they date to sometime during the period when the roadbed was US 30S. Pony Truss bridge across the Blacks Fork River Looking back south and west at the road that was just driven. The second pony truss sits about 4.5 miles further down the road from the first. Pony Truss #2 looking back over the road just driven The next noticeable landmark is the eroded sandstone cliffs of the Church Buttes. It is alleged that the formation was given its name by Mormon pioneers for their steeple-like needles, however, the formation was a significant landmark along the Oregon and California trails as well as the Lincoln and US 30S later on. One report I read stated that there was a service station located across the road from the buttes, which is fitting as the area is now dominated by oil production. Church Buttes Continuing east, the signs of oil production dominate the landscape as you go past an ugly and loud compressor station. At about the 10 mile mark east of the Church Buttes you reach Granger junction, or as it is listed on my 1941 road map, Little America. The junction sat at the intersection of the Oregon Trail and Overland Stage Trail and later was the split between US 30N and US 30S. The town of Granger itself sits a couple of miles to the northwest. Today Little America is a travel center located near the junction of I-80 and the current US 30. The junction at Granger as it is today. The road to the left was the route of the Lincoln and US 30S towards Ogden and the road on the right was US 30N and followed the Oregon Trail to Portland. And the junction as it was in 1927 (Scanned from Brian Butko’s “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway”) A mile and a quarter further east the road intersects with US 30 which can be followed back to the Interstate, past the present day location of the Little America, Green River, and points east. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com http://www.rwphotos.com
  17. beckyrepp

    Sci-fi Road Trips

    We hope everyone is enjoying our sci-fi themed Summer 2019 issue of American Road. We'd love to hear about your favorite sci-fi movie that involves a road trip. Don't forget to tell us why it's at the top of your list, too!
  18. beckyrepp

    You can hear me on the radio again

    Cort, Congrats on your show! Dave, please do share the details of your trip on old auto and stagecoach roads in Oregon. Fun! Best, Becky
  19. Having grown up in the "Drive In Era," I doubt the sound system was a big issue, but believe that land values played a sizable role. Another difference at least in my experience was that a walk-in movie was something of a social event. And it was often combined with a dinner out. It was a bit of an event. A real date. And some theaters were beautiful, not like my 51 Chev. The drive in was almost like watching a movie on TV. Nothing much distinguished it from an evening at home....except the movie itself. Taking a girl to a drive in was considered a cheap date, while a dinner and walk in movie was upscale. And after you had an apartment, why use the back seat? In addition, the drive in screen was too small, too far away, and viewed through a windshield. The big wrap around screens of the walk in could not be duplicated in a field. Dave
  20. I don't know how to relate this to road travel, but I fully agree. It is apparent to an old guy that we are already in WWIII. It is, or can be, waged by using the internet to send tailored misinformation to targeted audiences, and to disable or compromise key infrastructure. It is easy to identify our political predispositions. We not only answer questions on the web directly when invited, the sites we visit clearly identify our attitudes and beliefs. We can unwittingly be fed a buffet of distorted and tailored "news" designed to reinforce our misbeliefs and prejudices. Imagine how incapacitating even a limited compromising of our voting apparatus would be. Americans across diverse views would doubt the results were authentic. More effective than tanks and planes. And who needs bombs if you can shut down something as mundane as Safeway's or Amazons delivery networks for a few weeks, or disrupt airline reservation systems. What would happen if your credit card didn't work at the gas pump? And half of America would go dumb if twitter went silent. Get your road trips in now!!! Dave
  21. Back to business. One piece of roadside architecture that symobolized baby boomer car culture of the 50 and 60's, and has been dissappearing from the roadside landscape for quite some time now, is the drive-in movie theater. One reason often given for the demise that started in the 70's was improvements made to the sound systems in the walk-ins. Who wanted to watch Star Wars and listen to it through a single speaker hanging from the driver's window when you could see it indoors in Dolby Stereo? The remaining drive-ins have made some improvements by broadcasting the movie audio via FM but for most of the sites their fate was sealed long ago. While the sound system may have been a factor I believe the real reason for their demise was the value of the land they sat on. When they were first built they were in a location away from the center of town, but as cities grew and expanded they gobbled up the land around the drive-in and eventually the drive-in itself. Today there are only 348 operating drive-ins nationwide, which is down from around 4000 in the 1950's. One statistic I would be interested in seeing was what percentage of the baby boomer generation, and the Gen X generation that followed, were concieved in the back seat of a car at a drive-in? The Motor Vu pictured below is located in Riverdale, Utah. Rick http://rick-pisio.pixels.com http://www.rwphotos.com
  22. Dave, The social media apps themselves don't bother me as a concept, I've even seen some good things come out of it, but what bothers me is what is done with the data that gets collected. Combine the data collected by FaceApp (Russian) with AI and it has the potential of creating a lot of havoc in our reality. The Pony Express may have collected some very rudimentary data about it's clients but its nothing compared to what Facebook users give up about themselves voluntarily. Rick
  23. I do appreciate that AR maintains the Forum. Many Kudos. But like you note, most people prefer other means to share, like Facebook....which is great. I have been using it for longer than many users have been alive. The media defines the content. Pony Express, telegraph, and post cards defined how much, what, and how often we shared travel insights. Take the telegram for example. "Stage robbed, cousin John shot, wish you were here. STOP.." Its like a Facebook post without the selfie. A friend who loves the French was in France when Notre Dame burned. I looked at her Facebook, and friends shared such insights as "Disastrous," "Devastated, thought of you" "So Sad," "A real loss," and the like. I added "Bad news." You can't say that it didn't capture in real time the pain and the despair she was feeling on the trip. Someone posted "Get well," but I think it was intended for someone else. My daughter and her husband went to Disneyland recently. Again her friends contributed. "Looks like fun," "Did you meet Mickey?" "How long were the lines?" Lots of good travel news like that. And bless my daughter, she posted stuff like "Great room," "Lost a suitcase," and "Headed home Monday." It was like being there. So you see, forums and Facebook each have a place. Can you even imagine this piece on Facebook.....and why would you? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  24. Thanks Dave, I sincerely appreciate the kind words. I have had a couple of photos in issues of American Road in the past, usually in the letters section. However, if the editors decide to heed your advice I'm not that hard to find. I am grateful that the good folks at American Road magazine keep this forum up and running. In a world where everyone has moved to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other social media it's nice to have this refuge where you can actually converse about a topic with others that have a similar interest in a respectful manner and not worry about some troll hijacking it. I have gained so much knowledge over the years from contributors like yourself that are willing to share what they know and actually seem to enjoy helping to research the things that they don't. Rick
  25. Rick, I am blown away. I followed the first link under the photo which led me to some of your recent work. I hope the folks at American Road notice your road images. You should be a regular featured contributor. Your images capture the feeling of the America Road in a way that draws me back for more. American Road is a great provider of road related images. I wish they would ask you to do a two page spread every issue, a centerfold of American road beauty. Becky has told me many times that the Forum is a source of inspiration and content. Becky, this is the proof. I have followed your work over the past several years here and you clearly have mastered the art. You have graduated from excellent to masterly. I don't know anyone else who is producing your quality content and evocative, creative presentation. And I appreciate the accompanying stories. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  26. The Service Bay Need emergency repairs while on that road trip? Broken fan belt? Leaking radiator? Replace a tire? Those services where once available at most gas stations along your route. The service bay was where the work would take place and if it required the mechanic to get to the vehicles underside then there was the hydraulic lift in the center of the shop to raise the vehicle. Today, a stop for fuel requires you to pump your own gas and emergency repairs, well, good luck with that. The service bay pictured below was once part of a Sinclair station in James Town, Wyoming. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com http://www.rwphotos.com
  27. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Mystery Coupe in Echo Canyon

    MGA707, Gees, I feel like I am sitting at the foot of the master!! All my knowledge comes from memory, and that ain't good! My recollections of those days are as a school kid. I didn't "hit the road" until I had a 1948 straight eight Pontiac in the 50s. I used to drag race it on 1st Street in San Jose. I was the king of the one block race. Ford V8's would take me in two blocks, but the signals were timed so if you went faster than the speed limit, you always hit a red signal at the next intersection. The Pontiac had enough torque and low gear to pull tree stumps, so it was always ahead in one block. The good old days.....:) Dave Keep the Show on the Road.
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