Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/20/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    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
  2. 1 point
    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
  3. 1 point
    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
  4. 1 point
    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.
  5. 1 point
    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
×