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

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  1. Last week
  2. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Ridge Route Update

    Mike, thanks for the update, and for your efforts to get the Ridge Route reopened. That is a mighty undertaking. Dave
  3. Earlier
  4. Michael Ballard

    Ridge Route Update

    From our ridgeroute.org website - On Monday, June 10, Michael Ballard (myself), Harrison Scott, Dave Omieczynski, and Richard Valot had a meeting with representatives from the Angeles National Forest. They included Jerry Perez – Forest Supervisor, Justin Seastrand – Environmental Coordinator, Ricardo Lopez – Road Engineer, and Jamahl Butler – District Ranger. Our meeting, which was held on the Ridge Route near the southern end, was to discuss a range of topics regarding the road. We initially met at the Ridge Route and Templin Highway where we made introductions and briefly went over the meeting details. From there, I led the group with my sportbike up the road to the southern gate. At that point, we discussed the land ownership problems and the 2010 paving, which we believe will help us with our goal of getting the road reopened. After our discussion, they opened the gate and I led the group on a tour of the Ridge Route from the southern gate to Reservoir Summit. The initial plan, however, was to only go about four miles north to see the recently reconstructed section of road. Each stop, the USFS people decided to go a bit further. We didn’t mind this at all! Along the way, we made stops at some of the sections of the roadway that had been repaired as well as some of the historic sites along the road, such as the National Forest Inn site. At each major stop, Scotty brought out his books and showed photos of the sites. Once we got to Reservoir Summit, we had another discussion regarding the state of the roadway. Overall, it was in very good shape with only a few areas needing more immediate attention. Many sections had been resurfaced and we did make it clear that we didn’t want to see a wholesale repaving of the roadway for the sake of preservation. They seemed to understand this. After our discussion and hike to the reservoir, we all headed back to the southern gate to finalize our meeting. The meeting was productive and positive. There is still a lot of work to be done, but they were willing to help and to work with us. Instead of a Memorandum of Understanding, we may be entering into a Volunteer Agreement regarding cleaning drains and such along the roadway. They also stated they would do additional research regarding the land ownership issue at the southern end of the roadway. In regards to opening the roadway, there is still no estimate on when it will reopen. Another concern is roadway maintenance, which we may be able to help defray with volunteer effort. There are still additional issues that need to be addressed but we at least have a better understanding of what the Forest Service sees as the problems. One of them, overall condition of the roadway and ability for vehicles to travel safely, I tried to prove by using my sportbike. If I can go on the roadway using that vehicle, most everyone should be able to pass over it safely as well. Only time will tell if this meeting was truly successful, but I believe it was. I will give additional updates when we hear back from the USFS in the near future.
  5. mga707

    You can hear me on the radio again

    The 'Reader's Digest' short version is that commercial radio stations have contracts with the two main music publishing organizations, BMI (Broadcast Music International) and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) whom they pay. The two publishing organizations then distribute songwriting royalties to their respective songwriters.
  6. Keep the Show on the Road!

    You can hear me on the radio again

    I read the playlist for your show. Glad to see you are back on the air. I know your Dad passed recently. Speaking as the father of a son about your age who struggles with self sufficiency and health issues, your Dad would be proud you keep on truckin'. I have a question. How does a radio station get permission to play music artists? Do they have to pay royalties....or something? Old age is reducing my road trips so I am not posting as often here, but I was on the road a few weeks ago, so maybe I will put it on the Forum. We traveled old auto and stage coach roads in Oregon. Great fun. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  7. * June 2019 already? As I suspected in April, life did get in the way of being active more often here. When I had my family of cars & road tripped yearly (2002-2011), I visited over 35 groups & message boards regularly; I cut back a few years ago & now visit irregularly because life has sure changed over the years. I am (thus far) still alive, tho. I have been out of work since last August & job hunting is difficult; I even started my own business. But, a new bright spot is returning to the airwaves! Official announcement of my re-booted radio show: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2019/05/15/cd-showcase/ [includes genre details & links to check out] 2019 CD SHOWCASE website page: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/radio-shows/2019-cd-showcase/ [features playlists & links (related Facebook group & FB event; radio station website & FB page; how to listen when show airs & online-via podcast)] If you enjoy the show, let me know & give some feedback direct to the radio station; thank you. Cort, pig&cowValves+PM, www.oldcarsstronghearts.com 2003 MGM LS + 1981 cmc SC; need 1975 Chrysler Cordoba "It was like a lighted match had been tossed into my soul" | Trisha Yearwood | 'The Song Remembers When'
  8. knightfan26917

    Dad death, radio show reboot, vehicle fronts

    Hey Dave, Thank you ... I sure appreciate your comment. Tough to believe he has been dead 2 months today, but time sure is flying. Life is so short & fast, & I feel like I am running out of time. Cort, pig&cowValves+PM, www.oldcarsstronghearts.com 2003 MGM LS + 1981 cmc SC; need 1975 Chrysler Cordoba "A smile can hide all the pain" | Glen Campbell | 'Rhinestone Cowboy'
  9. Michael Ballard

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

    I believe I saw the signs in Janruary 2013 when I went on my first motorcycle ride to Phoenix. By late 2017, they were indeed gone.
  10. I agree, very disappointing that people would do something like that! Glad you enjoyed the article, it's an interesting website.
  11. Thank you for that update--really disappointing that the signs were stolen, one would assume merely for the value of the metal. The Next Exit article is fascinating!
  12. Hi mga707, Thank you for posting the photos and info about the Gillespie Dam Bridge. This is something we may want to include in an upcoming issue of American Road magazine. Curious about your comment, "It looks like there are places for interpretive signs in two places, but they have not as of yet been installed." I did a little research and came across this: There was interpretive signage placed at the bridge during the 2011-2012 bridge rehabilitation project. However it has since been stolen. The text that appeared on the interpretive plaques and photos can be found at: Next Exit History, http://www.nextexithistory.com/explore/historical-sites/historic-gillespie-dam-bridge/
  13. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

    Michael, I appreciate your geological comments. Understanding the roadside geology is up there with understanding and appreciating the roadside history and architecture. Looking at the area you note in Google Earth, it looks like the road from the NW (going SE) follows along the edge of the flow, climb it and then crosses the bridge. An older road seems to climb the flow just a little bit to the west. In street view you can see the edge of the flow readily.....but all this is conjecture as I have little to no expertise. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  14. Michael Ballard

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

    The area around the bridge is quite interesting geologically. There is an old volcano to the southwest and the basalt from the vent makes up the cliffs on the west side of the bridge. At one point, a few million years ago (I can check the actual age), the top of the flows were level with the surrounding terrain. It is a good example of how much erosion and uplift has taken place since that time.
  15. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

    Terrific photos!! I recall visiting there in about 2007. In fact i think I posted something about it way back then. It is good to see it is getting good care. Glad the Vibe is doing well. My first car (in 1956) was a Pontiac, a big 1948 straight 8 sedan. You could pull stumps with the torque that car had. . It is a shame they have left the scene. They made some excellent cars. And ahhhh the Miata. I owned one of the first three in Washington. I drove from Olympia to Spokane to claim it. I actually cried when I sold it. It was my second favorite car, after the 1958 MGA I had in college. You must be doing some recent road tripping. Great reports! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  16. Oh, and to update another facet of this 10-year-old thread, I still have the '05 Vibe. 187,000 miles and still zero major problems. Did have the infamous Tanaka airbag recall, and then a recall on the recall. Did not drive it on this particular trip, though, but it is hitting the road for San Diego in less than a month. The '99 Miata was not so lucky, took a check from insurance for it in '16 following a chain-reaction crash on I-10 that would've cost about 7K to repair.
  17. Revisited the 1927 bridge yesterday, and drove the nearly the entire stretch of Old US 80 from the Salome Highway down to Gila Bend. Some changes in the last 10 years: The bridge now has height 'sizer' barriers at each end--wonder if there was an 'oops' accident? Also, at the east end of the bridge there is now a parking area and raised viewpoint, constructed in 2012 according to the sign. It looks like there are places for interpretive signs in two places, but they have not as of yet been installed. The view area does have a steel 'knuckle' of the type used in the bridge--neat touch. Here's some pictures:
  18. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Fairbank AZ roadside store restored

    It has been "forever" since I saw that style of desk!!! I knew it very well in the 40's. The lid (large writing surface) lifted and the bin underneath provided space for books, papers, pencils, and just about anything else. If I recall correctly the seat can be adjusted up and down by the custodian. What makes those desks special to me is the inkwell on the upper right. You had a bottle of ink, and a pen with a removable metal tip, and you used it. Talk about the past!! I understand that youngsters don't even learn cursive these days. I hope the power never goes off. Thanks! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  19. Dave, I just looked on Google Earth at the Fairbank area and saw the structure you mention above. That is a horse corral, presently in use. Horseback riding in the National Conservation Area is popular, and there are many trails. If you follow the old rail bed south from the Highway 82 a short ways you can see the foundation remains of the old rail depot.
  20. mga707

    Pioneer Grain Elevator on Stage Coach Road

    Very nicely done!
  21. Not sure about the foundation you mention. The old two-story railroad station, which was demolished after passenger service ended in the mid-1960s, was located farther south along the old rail bed, so it's probably not that. I'm going to have to check Google Earth as well--love looking at their aerials of abandoned places I've visited. Yes, the BLM had done a wonderful job of historical preservation in a couple of National Conservation Areas not too far from my home in Tucson. Fairbank is located within the San Pedro Riparian NCA, and they have also beautifully restored the Empire Ranch buildings, including the main ranch house that dates to the 1870s, in the Las Cienegas NCA, which is located just east of State Route 83 near Sonoita. Here are two more shots from Fairbank, of the interior and exterior of the old three-room schoolhouse that is now the Visitor Center. The school closed in the mid-1940s, which is when the town declined to just a few dozen residents. The desks came from the old school in Tombstone. The schoolhouse is to the left of the store in the above pictures, and the former teacher's house is next to it. Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, the school is the only one of the three buildings open to the public, although the house can be looked into through the windows. Fairbank is one of those rare 'ghost towns' that are located right along a paved State highway.
  22. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Pioneer Grain Elevator on Stage Coach Road

    Grain elevators are dangerous places. They too often explode, or the unfortunate worker smothers in the interior storage bins. In the same year the 1916 Union Grain Elevator at Boyd was built, 22 people died because they could not outrun the flames as grain dust exploded at an elevator in the east, at Baltimore. Boyd sits just off The Dalles California Highway (US 197) on the old stage coach and freight road between the Columbia River and the gold fields at John Day. It was the main road between California and the Columbia River Highway until the Oregon highway folks chose a route further west through Dufur in 1923. Grain was lifted from horse drawn wagons up a long conveyor belt to the top of the elevator (note the structure on top the elevator) and dropped by chutes into silos or bins below. The grain was stored 10 or more feet deep. A misstep and a worker could fall into a bin, and as in quicksand quickly sink into the wheat and smother. As recently as last year 10 workers in US grain elevators met their fate in that manner. The Union elevator was built by the farmers in the Boyd area to save them the 12 mile wagon haul to The Dalles on the Columbia River. The Great Southern Railroad built a siding to the elevator, and grain cars could be loaded through a big chute that resembled an elephant's tusk. No record exists of an explosion or suffocation death at the elevator. The pioneer barn at Boyd collapsed last winter. I photographed the barn last June. The cupola that provided airflow to the hay loft was still standing proudly on the roof then. The loft door was a bit askew, but you could still imagine a loaded hay wagon beneath and a farmer throwing pitchfork loads of hay from the wagon up through the door. The barn escaped loft fires generated by oxidation of hay too wet to store (thus the cupola), and the ravages of 100 years, only to succumb to last winter's heavy snow load on a weakened roof. A sad loss. https://youtu.be/1Xx6RyZ6odw
  23. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Fairbank AZ roadside store restored

    An interesting location. The store looks typical pre 1940 Arizona. I looked at Fairbank in Google Earth. There is a big complex foundation across the road and toward Tombstone a few hundred yards. What was that? I didn't know BLM was into historical restorations. I guess I have not been on the road enough lately!! Thanks for sharing!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  24. The Fairbank Commercial Company store, gas station, and post office sits along one of Arizona's original State Highways, SR 82, a few miles NW of Tombstone and right by the San Pedro River. Fairbank got it's start in the late 1800s as the rail stop for Tombstone. The trains stopped running in the 1960s, but the store remained open into the early 1970s. By the early 1980s it was in very bad shape and in danger of collapsing. Luckily, the BLM has restored the building and the entire Fairbank townsite around it. Original plan was to put a visitor center in the old store but the building was just too deteriorated so the center went into the three-room schoolhouse next door. It is a gem! Here's a photo of the old roadside store from last month, and one from 1982 for comparison. State Route 82 is just to the right in both shots.
  25. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Dad death, radio show reboot, vehicle fronts

    Hi Cort, I read your tribute to your father. I'm sure he would have been pleased. Dave
  26. * Remember me? When I last visited (mid-December 2018), I had intended to be more active; unfortunately, life got in the way. While I suspect it will again (still job hunting), I wanted to give an update. Instead of re-writing, links are below if you are interested; check out the website for other entries from late December, January & February, including my work (late December 2018 to early April 2019) for the mayor of Elgin IL via my CD Consulting Services! 03/15/2019 VYING TIME - some thoughts about life in general & links: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2019/03/15/vying-time/ 03/22/2019 COMPANY STRATEGY - a look at automotive front ends: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2019/03/22/company-strategy/ 03/27/2019 COMING SOON - my new CD SHOWCASE radio show, with more ways to listen: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2019/03/27/coming-soon/ 04/05/2019 AT THE HEART - my tribute to Dad, who died 2 days earlier: http://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2019/04/05/at-the-heart-235/ Cort, pig&cowValves+PM, www.oldcarsstronghearts.com 2003 MGM LS + 1981 cmc SC; need 1975 Chrysler Cordoba "Where do you begin?" | Dolly Parton | 'Starting Over Again'
  27. After giving the Mom & Pop Motel guide a little bit of thought I believe that it has to be a phone app with a VR tour. I've seen a few of the high end hotels offer a virtual reality tour on their websites now and I think being able to walk through a motel and check out the room before even stopping to take a look would be beneficial to those mom & pops that are clean and comfortable looking. Of course, there may be a VR marketing angle to be found for the seedier motels too, but I digress. Imagine if you could pull up Main St. in Anytown on Google maps, click on the motel that looks interesting from the street view, and then walk into the rooms and around the grounds before your trip even starts. It wouldn't eliminate looking at the room before you signed in but at the least you would have a good idea what it was like before you got there and could eliminate the less desirable motels from the start. Roadhound
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