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

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  1. Hi Becky, No problem on the delay…… It is kind of you to reply!! I have plenty to keep me out of trouble in any event. BTW, our old friend Denny Gibson was in the Puget Sound area a couple of weeks ago, and we had a great time recalling our Forum adventures. I’ll keep an eye out for any replies to my Forum inquiry. I celebrated my 81st in mid July and I want to tell you that American Road Magazine (I was a charter subscriber, pre publication!), you folks, and the many friends I made over my 14 years (so far) on the Forum were life altering. Truly. I have never tried to count the many many road adventures prompted and encouraged by American Road. It must run into the hundreds, a rich and treasured part of my golden years. I have more in the future, but I owe the Repps enormous gratitude now. My road trips have engaged, entertained, educated, and enlarged my perspectives. I have met and gotten to know a wide range of my countrymen and country women, in towns and villages spread across America. Images and appreciations that began in my grammar school readers came to life as I met cowboys, small town mayors, loggers and fishermen, college professors and waitresses and shared their pride in their community and an interest in what was down the road. I have spent many nights in historic hotels, learned the real history of real people, taken tens of thousands of photographs (some enjoyed by others), written volumes (some that has been read), met wonderful people, and much much more…...thanks to a post card I got years ago about a new magazine that would deal with the Two Lane Roads of America. My great appreciation goes to you folks for many great years of wonderful road trips, with more to come! David
    2 points
  2. Becky, Thanks for the encouragement! I have nothing against Facebook, but you are absolutely correct. I can certainly contribute to the Forum. As you might suppose I have tons of road trip experiences over a 60 year period. I would enjoy putting a few stories together with photos. But by and large they will not be too current. I’ll give a shot, and if it appeals. Here are a couple of ideas. Any preferences? I have a stack of Ford Times magazine from the late 40’s. This was the peak of post WWII road travel, when we could again get on the road. I could probably pull something together from them. We took a road trip a few weeks ago to a fishing port on the Washington coast….boats, lighthouse, etc. As you know I have tons of road maps, Automobile Blue Books, Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide, from 100 years ago, etc etc. I can always do a piece on something about almost anywhere in America in 1917 or 1920. I am probably the “world expert” on the National Parks Highway, and no slouch on the Yellowstone Trail and the Yellowstone Highway. Anyway, that is just a sample. If something might sync with upcoming issues, I’d give it a try as well. Dave Keep the Show on the Road.
    2 points
  3. 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.
    2 points
  4. I would like to start a thread that captures those buildings along the roadside whose days of glory are in the past and now wait for time to take it's ultimate toll. During my road trip travels I am always on the lookout for those buildings that were once part of the road trip experience but are now likely relegated to a distant memories of road trips past. Whenever I pass through a small town, or along what was once the major thoroughfare through an area that is now bypassed by the Interstate, I always keep an eye out for that former gas station, diner, or motel. Sometimes they have been repurposed to fulfill another roll, others are in a state of suspended animation, but many times they are abandoned likely to never be a stop along the highway again. In the 15 or so years that I have taken an active interest in the history of the American road I have had the opportunity to visit sites multiple times seperated by a few years and have witnessed the accelerated decay of some of these buildings, some are even gone completely. The "Kamp"ground office at Two Guns is an example that comes to mind. Each time I pass through that area east of Flagstaff I pull off the Interstate and take a look. Each time there is more grafitti, less of the buildings siding intact, and more of the interior exposed to the elements. I'm sure there are many more examples out there and I hope you will share some of what you've seen. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/painted-desert-trading-post-at-sunset-rick-pisio.html I'll start with an iconic building that I have attempted to reach 3 times, once successfully, but don't expect to see the next time I pass through Arizona. The Painted Desert Trading Post stands in the middle of nowhere, east of Painted Desert National Park, and nearly inaccessible. The section of Route 66 that this building sits on was bypassed sometime in the 50's and like many Route 66 buildings that lost traffic to the Interstate it eventually was abandoned. It has survived the 70 or so years since it last saw customers only because of its remoteness. Time and the elements have taken their toll however. When I was last there the east side of the building has started to slip, the stucco was flaking off, parts of the walls are gone, massive cracks are present in the foundation, and you can see the sky through the roof. There may be hope for the old gal yet. As I was writing the draft for this post I was looking online for some information and came across this article. It would appear that a group has purchased the land and the building with an eye to preserving the structure. I wish them the best of luck! http://www.route66news.com/2018/04/08/group-buys-painted-desert-trading-post/ Roadhound
    2 points
  5. 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
    2 points
  6. We have some great news! After speaking with officials with the City of Madera, they have agreed to post our Historic Route signs along Gateway Drive. This is the first new signage we will be placing, as Calexico was replacing existing signage. Getting approval in Madera is a significant accomplishment for us and I look forward to many more in the future. We don't have a date yet for the installation but we anticipate it within the next couple months. I want to thank Andrew Maximous, the City of Madera, and all our members and donors for helping make this happen. https://historic99.org/historic-route-signs-madera/
    1 point
  7. I wanted to thank the staff of American Road Magazine and Becky Repp for the inclusion of the Historic Highway 99 Association of California in the most recent American Road magazine. We are small, but we are growing. We have members now in CA, OR, WA, and BC. We are working on getting historic route signage up in various cities. We also host monthly meetings with presentations on various topics about US 99. In August, we had a representative from Mentryville, an old oil boom town just west of Santa Clarita and the birthplace of California oil, talk about its history. Things are moving, even if slowly. There is much to do. Thank you again for including us! We really appreciate it and intend to return the favor.
    1 point
  8. Hi everyone. II hope you are doing well. apologize for being MIA. We've been dealing with flooding and short staffing due to Covid issues, etc. I was just taking a quick peek on the Forum and saw this string. Dave, I apologize for not responding to your message: Here are a couple of ideas. Any preferences? I have a stack of Ford Times magazine from the late 40’s. This was the peak of post WWII road travel, when we could again get on the road. I could probably pull something together from them. We took a road trip a few weeks ago to a fishing port on the Washington coast….boats, lighthouse, etc. As you know I have tons of road maps, Automobile Blue Books, Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide, from 100 years ago, etc etc. I can always do a piece on something about almost anywhere in America in 1917 or 1920. I am probably the “world expert” on the National Parks Highway, and no slouch on the Yellowstone Trail and the Yellowstone Highway. Anyway, that is just a sample. If something might sync with upcoming issues, I’d give it a try as well. Truthfully Dave, I would be interested in any and all of the subjects. But I'd like to hear what everyone else wants to read about. Preferences anyone?
    1 point
  9. * Been another long while since I have visited. Hope everyone is well. Posting now because I am excited to share some news! OC,SH CRUISE DAYS & NIGHTS Start July 11 & July 14 respectively @ Mozzafiato along historic US 20 in Elgin IL. Official announcement, with a personal note about US 20: https://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/2021/07/06/announcing-cruise-days-nights/ Website page with full details (dates, times, etc), plus a list of events including at least 1 in every U.S. state: https://www.oldcarsstronghearts.com/ocsh-cruise-nights/ Will you join us? IN OTHER NEWS: Still researching options for a new radio show home, but details of my past shows, including some you can still hear online, are here: https://www.cdshowcase.com/radio-show-history/ Also, 02/20/2021, I posted a vent-rant, which includes some rather personal news, on Facebook. The status is probably similar to the thought-provoking threads I used to post on the boards, if anyone remembers those. Anyway, I decided to make the status public, so check it out if you are interested in a discussion. Cort, pig & cow valves with pacemaker 2003 MGM LS + 1981 cmc SC; need 1975 Chrysler Cordoba "Getting there is half the fun" | The Muppets, Kermit & Fozzie | 'Movin' Right Along'
    1 point
  10. Still kicking here. You should find a way to post that video. I'd certainly love to see it. I've been working on adding more videos to our YouTube channel. Our Historic Highway 99 Association of California is now a 501(c)3 and things are slowly moving along.
    1 point
  11. Glad to see there is still life on here! Been many years since I posted anything. I was just looking at the National Road U.S. 40 Forum and the old brick road road in Norwich, Ohio. In 2017 our Ohio/W Penn Region of the Dodge Brothers Club hosted a meet in Cambridge with side trips. One trip was to go across the brick road in Norwich with our cars. I have a 2.5 mb video of a 1926 Dodge Brothers touring car driving most of the length of that section. Les
    1 point
  12. On March 24, 2021, we finally posted new signs in Calexico, California. The original Historic Route signs, posted about 1995, were badly faded and in need of a refresh. In cooperation with the City of Calexico, we replaced the old signs with new larger signs. We plan to replace all the signs in Calexico in the near future. This was our first project as well and a big break for the Historic Highway 99 Association of California. https://historic99.org/calexico-signs-posted/
    1 point
  13. The Olequa Bridge was built in 1872, by the Northern Pacific Railroad. The bridge was abandoned about 1910 and the old right of way became a highway in 1927. The highway bridge was removed sometime the in late 1950's. https://www.pacific-hwy.net/olequa.htm
    1 point
  14. Here is my story of the old Mud Road, better known as the Fort Vancouver to Fort Steilacoom Military Road completed in 1861. The was the first wagon road through the Cowlitz Corridor between Portland and Olympia. After the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed in 1872, between Kalama and Tacoma, the road began to fade away. https://www.pacific-hwy.net/westside.htm
    1 point
  15. Just to introduce myself. My wife and I love to travel and are always looking for the next great adventure. We have travelled 46 of the 48 states by motorcycle, sailed for 4 years from New England to Bahamas, and along the Gulf Coast. we have lived in 8 different states and currently retired to Arizona, Plans are to do, by our car, all of Lincoln Highway, Route 66, US Route 1, US 50, and participate in Route 66 Fun Run, Hot Rod Power Tour, American Gumball Rally, and whatever fun things we can find on the roads of this great country. Bill & Tina Ouellette
    1 point
  16. Greetings all, Finally, really good news. Last month was just “good news”. Now we’re on to really good news. Our Volunteer Service Agreement with the Angeles National Forest was finalized on December 11 and is now in effect. We will be getting a key to the gates within the next week. Assuming weather and roadway conditions cooperate, I plan to make my first visit on the road, past the gates, on December 21st. The plan is to come from Sandberg and head to Castaic. It will be a lot of fun and an adventure. Yes, plenty of photos will be taken and posted. I haven’t fully traversed the road since about 2009 or 2010 at the latest. With this agreement finally in place, we can begin to move forward with our portion of the physical preservation of the roadway. We are looking toward late Spring 2020, likely in early May, for our first volunteer event. Over the next few months, we will be making regular visits to the Ridge Route to assess what section we will work on first. I figure, as the road has been mostly inaccessible for so long, that a location within the closure would be best. As it gets closer, we will finalize a date for the first event on the road. All the information regarding these will be posted here as well as on RidgeRoute.com and SoCalRegion.com. Subscribe to this site, available on the right, to keep up to date with events and information on the Ridge Route. Beyond getting the agreement and key, the roadway is still closed to motor vehicles between the gates. We are still working with the Angeles National Forest to open the road and get it properly maintained. Our maintenance events are meant to be supplementary, not primary. Our work will at least help keep the roadway in place as much as possible for the time being.
    1 point
  17. 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?
    1 point
  18. 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
    1 point
  19. 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.
    1 point
  20. 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
    1 point
  21. Recently, I was driving the Lincoln Highway through Echo Canyon and spotted an unusual sight just to the south of the roadbed. Toward the eastern end of the canyon, down a 10 foot embankment, and across a small creek was the remains of what looked to me like a 1940's era coupe. The paint was faded, there were bullet holes in the door, and it was half submerged in the soil. As I hiked down to get a closer look a number of questions popped into my head. What year, make, and model is it? How did it get there? How long has it been there? Was it the sight of a shootout between police and bank robbers? The water in the creek was to wide for me to leap across and short of ripping out a fencepost I couldn't find a suitable material to make a bridge, so, I was left to making my observations from a distance. I was able to see that all the glass was missing with the possible exception of a tail light on the drivers side. It didn't look like the steering wheel or much of the interior was intact but it was difficult to tell with it being submerged in the soil the way it was. I did observe a small piece of the rear bumper sticking up out of the earth which leads me to believe that the frame is intact. If anybody knows the story of this relic I would be interested in hearing about it. Roadhound http:\\rick-pisio.pixels.com http:\\www.rwphotos.com
    1 point
  22. Outstanding! I thought it was a Plymouth or a Dodge but the only good view I could find was of a Dodge and the forward rake of the doorpost didn't look right. Now that we know what it is we have to figure out how it got there. I heard a story told by an old timer sitting in the corner of the bar in Ogden that may answer that very question. The Legend of Elmer Lockwood He grew up on a farm in Oklahoma during the depression, the 6th of seven children. He served his country during the second world war but wasn't a good soldier. His Army buddies call him "Screwball." He set the record for hours of KP duty in his division. When he got back he was unable to hold a job and suffered today from what we would call PTSD. It was raining hard on the day before Christmas Eve in 1949 when he got in his '46 Plymouth 2 door Deluxe Sedan and headed up Weber Canyon to the small town of Morgan to rob a bank. During his escape he lost his bearings and got turned around in the hard blowing snow . Instead of heading west to the flat, open, land surrounding the Great Salt Lake he headed east, further into Weber Canyon. That limited him to 2 options; head south on the old Lincoln Highway towards Coalville and back towards the Great Salt Lake or head east, towards Evanston and wide open Wyoming. He figured they would be waiting for him in Coalville and hoped that the Wyoming State Troopers hadn't been alerted yet. East it was. As he sped through the town of Echo he could see 2, maybe 3, Utah Troopers in his rear view mirror about a half mile back. He turned east and headed up Echo Canyon Road, right foot pushing as hard as it could into floor trying to get all he could out of the 217 cubic inches under the hood. Would the 95HP be enough? The Troopers were gaining on him. Six miles into Echo Canyon, on a long straight stretch he lost traction on a patch of ice and felt the the rear end skid out the right. He slid sideways off the road and down the embankment finally coming to a stop on the bank of Echo Creek. He tried to start the motor but it wouldn't turn over. Trying to make one last stand he grabbed his handgun, pulled on the door handle, but before he could get out of the car the Troopers filled the door of the Plymouth with holes. The police left the car where it landed and in time the creek bed built up around it leaving just enough exposed to frustrate anyone who tried to figure out what it was and how it got there. The locals say that on a snowy winters night, on the eve of Christmas Eve, if you stand beside the car you can hear the ghost of Elmer Lockwood tell you "it's a 1946 Plymouth 2 door Deluxe Sedan."
    1 point
  23. 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/
    1 point
  24. 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
    1 point
  25. 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!
    1 point
  26. 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.
    1 point
  27. Neon Arrows Of all the roadside architecture probably nothing beckoned to the traveler more than well lit neon signage. The warmth and glow of the neon could make even the dodgiest of places look decent. Add in a theme that appealed to the restless kids in the back seat, with some animation, and you had a double threat. The Arrow Motel along State Route 68 in Espanola, New Mexico may have had that appeal. A close look at the neon tubes would indicate that they were synchronized to turn on and off to give the appearance of the bow string being released and a neon arrow flying through the air. After sitting vacant since 2000 the Arrow Motel was demolished on Jan 3, 2017 after a prolonged legal battle between the city of Espanola and the owners of the property who had refused to clean it up. The sign reportedly has been relocated to the Glorieta Station redevelopment in Albuquerque, NM. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com http://www.rwphotos.com
    1 point
  28. The building just behind Wilkerson's in the photo was a small building with "Figural Bottles" painted on the window. I'm not sure what a "figural bottle" is but the building itself looks lie it may have been the office of a gas station at one point in time. I haven't found much information on it. There may have been a single wide trailer behind the gas station that is peeking into the right side of the below picture. Since we've already explored most of what I saw in Newkirk there was one other building that caught my attention. A little further east on the main road was a building that looked like an early motel with small rooms next to garage ports. I haven't been able to find much information about this building either but it looks to be from an early era of automobile travel. I didn't explore much more of Newkirk other than what was easily accessible from the old highway. There are still residents in Newkirk and I have read that the crime along that stretch of the Interstate is high, as high as 1 in 7 vehicles passing through are involved in illegal activity. The residents there have a reputation of preferring to shoot first and ask questions later so I kept to the main road, quickly took my photos, and moved along. To orient ourselves with layout of Newkirk I present the screen grab from Google Earth: At the top left corner is the UP railroad tracks running on the north side of town The road running up the left side is NM 129 The brown line is the 1936-1964 path of Route 66 The red line is the 1926-1936 path of Route 66 Just below the bottom of the image, south of town is I-40 Roadhound http:\\rick-pisio.pixels.com http:\\www.rwphotos.com
    1 point
  29. Q. How long can an adobe building survive before you consider it a pile of dirt? Another example of a building I will be surprised to see standing if I pass through New Mexico again. A few posts ago, while describing the route I took to get to Montoya, I mentioned getting off the Interstate in a place called Newkirk. In Newkirk, at the intersection of the I-40 off ramp and the old Route 66, is a Phillips 66 station that is still in business. If you follow Route 66 east a few hundred yards from that Phillips 66 station you'll find the abandoned adobe structure of the Wilkerson's Gulf gas station. Built in 1910 when the town was still primarily a railroad town, it had a front row seat to the traffic on Route 66 until 1964 when the Route 66 roadbed was relocated south where the current westbound lanes of I-40 are. In 1985 Route 66 was replaced completely by I-40 and in 1989 Wilkerson's pumped it's last gallon of gas. Since then it's adobe walls have been slowly returning back to the earth. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com http://www.rwphotos.com
    1 point
  30. 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
    1 point
  31. 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.
    1 point
  32. 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
    1 point
  33. 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
    1 point
  34. 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
    1 point
  35. 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
    1 point
  36. 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
    1 point
  37. I have a new Jeep Wrangler JL sitting in my shop. I have owned Jeeps for most of the last 30 years and really don't like being without one. We had a 2017 JK Unlimited 4 door with everything but leather. It was great for getting groceries or hauling the grandkids, but there was something lacking in the soul department - it just did not speak to me. My wife bought a new high gas mileage DD, so she had quit driving the Jeep. I decided to get rid of it as we really do not need 3 new cars, but she reminded me that when Jeepless, I am usually looking to by one.....and she was right. So I did the logical thing, at least for me, and bought a base model 2 door. The only options are AC and limited slip. Yep, soft top, manual transmission, and roll up windows. How the heck is a guy supposed to survive with something like this? Very well I'm here to tell you! The base Wranglers now come with CC, PS, PB, AM/FM, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The softtop is the quietest softtop I've ever had on a Jeep....nearly as quiet as the last one was with a hardtop. And so far I'm averaging 22 mpg. I've never been able to get over 17 mpg with a Jeep before. So all-in-all, I'm very pleased with it. The new red one and the old black one on trade day. Might be the perfect touring vehicle......for me at least!
    1 point
  38. Thanks for sharing! These photos bring back memories. I remember staying there and seeing a show. This was, I think, in 2001. The painted rooms and the opera house are amazing.
    1 point
  39. MGA707, I looked through the archives and found these photos from 2007, 11 years ago. I put them into a panoramas where that helps. I remember reading about the woman who danced there, Marta Becket. I think there was one of her performances the day we passed by. A lost opportunity!!! She was a spry 82 in 2007, and passed away at 92 last year. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
    1 point
  40. Dave knows this one....located in Durkee, I believe, OR along RT 30 and the Oregon Trail.
    1 point
  41. Restored Shell Station in Mt. Olive IL on Rt 66....but I don't remember which alignment....one of the older alignments for certain. Someting tells me this ramp has been here a while! Old Motel/Restaurant sign that has been repurposed.....at least once! Located on one of the later alignments north of Litchfield, IL. And look what else we found...... I've been by this place for yEARS and never saw this. I have no idea when it was put there or for what reason, but it is just off I55 along 66 and hidden by the trees. Not a building, but an old brick road from an early RT 66 alignment south of Chatham, IL. And here is a very interesting tidbit....not about the highway, but rather something to see in Springfield, Il. Fleetwood Lindley rests here. Just who was Fleetwood Lindley? Fleetwood Lindley was born on April 4, 1887 and died on February 1, 1963. He was a florist by trade and led a mostly unremarkable life. He was also President of the Board of Directors for Oak Ridge Cemetary where both he and President Lincoln are buried. But, they have more in common than just being buried within a few hundred yards of each other…..Fleetwood Lindley, was the last man alive to have seen the face of Abraham Lincoln. A little explanation is in order methinks! Fleetwood’s Father, Joseph Perry Lindley, was a member of the Lincoln Guard of Honor. This group was formed following the attempted theft of Lincoln’s body from the original tomb in November of 1876. During the reconstruction of the tomb in 1900-1901, it was planned to bury Lincoln’s casket in a steel cage 10 feet underground and cover it with concrete to prevent any more attemps at stealing the body. The casket would be sealed away for eternity. On the morning of September 26, 1901, Fleetwood’s teacher gave him a note from his father stating he should get on his bicycle and ride out to the tomb as fast as he could to witness an historic event….and that he did. The Guard had decided to open the casket one last time to ensure that the body inside was indeed Lincoln. Fleetwood made it to the tomb in time to see the casket opened. I’ll let his works speak for him: “Yes, his face was chalky white. His clothes were mildewed. And I was allowed to hold one of the leather straps as we lowered the casket for the concrete to be poured. I was not scared at the time but I slept with Lincoln for the next six months.” “His face was chalky white….” As spooky as that sounds, it was apparently caused by attempts to lighten his face during the trip from Washington to Sprinfield. There was no doubt who it was however. It was the unmistakable face of Abraham Lincoln. Strangly, Fleetwood Lindley retold this story to Life magazine on January 29, 1963, but he would never see the article published. Fleetwood Lindley passed away on February 1, 1963…a mere three days after the interview. We visited both Abraham Lincoln and Fleewood Lindley during our time in Oak Ridge Cemetary. This was copied from my blog entry about the Lincoln Tomb and Fleetwood Lindley.
    1 point
  42. Thanks mga707. Of the half dozen or so times that I have been to Death Valley I have always approached from the west side and never made it as far east as Death Valley Junction. Looks like it is worth checking out. Rick
    1 point
  43. Hamilton, Nevada For a few short years Hamilton was the prominent mining town in Nevada's White Pine County until the ore ran out. Founded in 1868 the town was already in a state of decline when most of it was destroyed in 1873 by a fire that was intentionally set to collect the insurance money. Hamilton hung on after the fire as its population declined and for first couple of years of the Lincoln Highway it was a place to stop before a bypass was cut over Antelope Summit 10 miles to the north. The Hamilton Post Office finally closed in 1931. Today, piles of brick, scraps of tin scattered in the sage brush, and a few remnants of brick walls are all that remains of the original boomtown. The State of Nevada promotes the path from US 50 at Ilipah to Hamilton as a scenic drive and is well worth it if you don't mind a little bit of dust on your tires. The road is easily passable by a passenger vehicle during good weather but a high clearance vehicle is recommended during rainy season when the dirt & gravel road is wet. The road is closed during the winter months. Since my previous visit to Hamilton in 2007 there has been a noticeable decline in the number of free standing rock and brick walls. Back then there were a few archways plus some almost complete walls still standing. Today most of those structures have all collapsed. There is a 1950's era, maybe 1960's, mining operation set up at the southern end of town with a steel shed that is still standing but it too has been vandalized with doors ripped open and bullet holes in the steel walls. Photo from Ghost Towns: How They Were Born, How They Lived, and How They Died by Tom Robotham (Running Press, 1993) gives an idea of what the main street in Hamilton once looked like. This photo of the remains Whitington Hotel was taken in July of 2007 during my first visit. 2018 view of the Whitington Hotel from approximately the same position as 2007. One of the few remaining walls along the main street that is still standing. Piles of bricks where a building once stood. Roadhound htttp://rick-pisio.pixels.com
    1 point
  44. Dave, I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's health and hope that it improves soon so that The Rose can get back on the road. The house at Eastgate is still standing and it looks to be in good repair. I'm not sure if it is occupied but it does look like there has been recent work done inside, although I couldn't tell how recently. Roadhound
    1 point
  45. Eastgate Station Today Eastgate Station sits on Nevada Highway 722 and between about 1924 and 1962 was the route of the Lincoln Highway and US 50 through the area. In 1962 US 50 was re-routed to the north through New Pass and Cold Springs, bypassing Eastgate. Keep the Show on the Road! had previously posted some excellent historic photos of this site in the Lincoln Highway forum. https://www.americanroadmagazine.com/forum/topic/1116-rediscovered-lincoln-highway-gas-station-in-nevada/?tab=comments#comment-12491 I have been to this site twice now with an 11 year span between visits. On my most recent visit in Sept 2018 the building looked about the same as it had on my previous visit with the exception of the roof. However, on my previous visit the shingles were, for the most part, intact. This picture by Russel Rein was scanned from Brian Butko's "Greetings From the Lincoln Highway" and looks to be from the late 50's. Today the form of the building is recognizable, the slope of the terrain has been altered, the gas pumps are long gone, and the shingles have departed the roof but the flagpole still remains. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
    1 point
  46. Hazen Market along US 50A in Nevada I was traveling east on the Reno Highway, US 50-A, having just passed through Fernley headed towards Fallon and points east when my eye caught the Hazen Market sitting on the north side of the highway. The building looked to be no longer in use but in good shape overall with the exception of some weathering on the facade. After taking a few pictures I moved on, postponing any research on the building until after returning home. The information found on Wikepedia is fairly basic: "The Hazen Store is a small complex of buildings in Hazen, Nevada, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The store provided a stopping point in a remote portion of U.S. Route 50 and served as a focal point in the small town of Hazen. The store was built in 1944 to replace an earlier store that was demolished to make way for a realignment of Route 50.[2] The property comprises the main store, a garage, and a bunkhouse formerly used by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The central portion of the structure dates to about 1904, operating at a different location as a saloon called Shorty's Bar until it was relocated in 1944.[2] The Hazen Store was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2002, as an illustration of a commercial property on the Reno Highway" I also found this article from the Lincoln Highway News from 2008 that shows the building all shined up and looking for new occupants. https://lincolnhighwaynews.com/2008/07/15/road-changes-close-classic-hazen-market-in-nv/ Hazen Market along US-50A in Hazen, Nevada Building that I assume to be the garage mentioned in the Wikipedia article Gas pump in front of the Hazen Market It's a shame that after 70 years of business the Hazen Market has sat idle for the last 10 watching watching the traffic pass it by. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
    1 point
  47. One of the main roads through Death Valley National Park is California Highway 190 running from Olancha and US 395 on the west to Death Valley Junction to the east. Along its 131 mile route it passes the constantly irrigated dry lakebed of Owens Lake, over the southern tip of the Inyo Mountains, descends the Argus Range into and across the Panamint Valley, veers northeast over the Panamint Range and into Death Valley before turning southeast and passing through Furnace Creek and exiting Death Valley. In addition to having the distinction of being the lowest road in North America at 282 feet below sea level as it passes through Badwater in Death Valley it also could be the hottest road in North America. As CA 190 enters the western side of Death Valley National Park there is a geographic feature identified on the topo maps as "Rainbow Canyon". The three mile long canyon is a mere 1500 feet wide at the top with 1000 foot tall walls of reds, greys, and pinks that some compare to the Star Wars planet of Tatooine. Pilots that fly through the canyon compare it to the trench that Luke flew on the Death Star in his X-Wing fighter with one difference being that the canyon isn't surrounded by laser cannons but rather Nikons and Canons. The Father Crowley Vista Point (36°21'6.92"N 117°33'2.05"W) sits on the south side of the canyon towards its western end and is a good place to stop, take a comfort break, and get a good view of the canyon. If your lucky you will be standing near someone with a scanner set to a frequency of 315.9 and you will hear the call of a pilot at the Olancha waypoint requesting clearance to the Jedi Transition heading east to Star Wars Canyon. As you look along the canyon to both sides you notice small groups gathered on the hillsides, all excitedly looking west. Soon you notice a small dot pop up over the hillside and quickly descend, growing larger, and heading toward the canyon's western end. As it continues descending into the canyon, its form now readily apparent, the small groups gathered on the hillside raise their telephoto lenses and follow the object, capturing pixels by the gigabyte, as the aircraft passes below them with the sound of afterburners echoing off the canyon's wall. Military pilots know the route between Olancha and a location east of Panamint Springs as the "Jedi Transition". The area around Rainbow Canyon, and Death Valley in general, is known to be the most dense flight-test complex in the world, with aircraft from Edwards AFB, NAWS China Lake, Plant 42, Mojave airport, Nellis AFB, NAS Lemoore, MCAS Miramar and the Fresno Air National Guard Base all using the restricted air space for training and testing. Aircraft as diverse as F-16 & F-18 fighters to B-1 bombers to C-17 Globemaster transports have all been spotted making runs through the canyon. As target rich of an environment as it might sound for the aviation enthusiast it can also be frustrating, and possibly dangerous if you venture outside the parking area. Rattlesnakes are not uncommon in the dry rocky terrain and between the months of April and September temperatures well above 100 degrees, and sometimes close to 120, are common. The best time of year, from a temperature perspective, is between October and March. It's also possible that you could find yourself hiking out to a prime location and sitting all day with no aircraft flying by no matter what time of year you go. A VX-9 Vampire F/A-18F Super Hornet out of China Lake NWS in low level flight through Star Wars Canyon. Royal Danish Air Force F-16 in low level flight through Star Wars Canyon Royal Danish Air Force F-16 crew gives a wave as they exit Star Wars Canyon. Air crews from the Denmark Air Force were based at Nellis AFB as they transitioned to the F-35 Lightning II. Roadhound
    1 point
  48. Great story Dave! Whenever I see a California Ag Inspection Station it serves as a reminder that I'm a day's drive or less from home and that my journey is nearly over. I've never had any hassles though and have always been waived right through. At one inspection station in the Mojave Desert I didn't even get a waive and by the looks of it I would bet it's been a long time since anybody has been pulled to the side there for a Peruvian plum. Rick
    1 point
  49. On my travels recently in Central Oregon I located and visited an abandoned town with a store and Richfield Oil dealer. As is always the case, the store windows are smoked with age and the interior is full of assorted junk. Wonderful because I don’t really appreciate or enjoy restorations in most cases, and because I know the place is intact. Is the eagle I photographed through the window a version of the famous Richfield Eagle? I know of two versions of the eagle. This one is similar to one of them which has spread wings, but the neck of this cast is not elongated. So for you service station pros, any thoughts? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
    1 point
  50. Bend and Central Oregon have grown enormously in the past several years, but many historical roads have survived the growth. I made 8mm movies (1967) of Bend when I lived there over 50 years ago, and one is posted here. But this new post and the ones that I hope to follow deal with the roadways of Central Oregon much longer ago, in about 1910. We are going to drive where the first automobilists drove at the turn of the last century. We will travel sections of the old California Banff Bee Line highway, and drive in the tracks of the first ever transcontinental auto race! We may visit a stage station or two, and provide some vintage road maps from the period for your perusal and interest. I am posting this as an introduction. The story will evolve as I re-explore the old roads, and I will try to keep you posted as I learn more. But here I want to to provide a quick and perhaps interesting insight into the development of roads and automobile travel in and around Bend, Prineville, Redmond, Madras, and into the surrounding area including Shaniko, Maupin, Dufur, and several tiny villages in what is called Central Oregon.. When I finish I hope you will be encouraged to drive the roads and see sights you might otherwise miss. In 1900 the first railroad tracks reached the outskirts of Central Oregon, ending in Shaniko, a little over 80 miles north of Bend on our modern roads.. This “end of the line” was the beginning point for transportation into Central Oregon. Virtually all goods and people coming or going, went through Shaniko. The other way to go was over the high Cascades or on a very long steamer and overland ride via The Dalles, and believe me, a rail coach was much preferred! So freight wagons and people converged on Shaniko, and wagons pulled by teams of horses left and returned to Shaniko. It so happened that the area around Bend was also being promoted as the new mecca for agriculture, with irrigation projects and dry land farming offering the promise of a prosperous future for those who got there first. It was not long before eager land developers and boosters realized that transporting boomers, newcomers, and land seekers in an automobile beat a long, slow, and muddy or dusty ride in a horse and buggy. And a ride in an automobile was a novelty for many in and of itself. Practically overnight, between 1909 and 1911 the automobile took over Central Oregon roads. According to the Prineville newspaper, in 1909 there were less than half a dozen auto stages operating in Central Oregon, and by 1910 there were 35, and as many as 50 automobiles a day were on the roads!! Unlike other areas where long distance road travel by automobiles grew out of a tourist and recreational interest, in Central Oregon the impetus was land, not primarily fun and “seeing the sights.” My copy of the Weekly Oregonian of June 2, 1910 (above) shows the gathering of the auto stages at Shaniko, and one on the grade between Antelope and Shaniko to or from Prineville and Bend. Note that they competed with the horse drawn freight wagons for passage!! And note the road bed, with several inches of mud, and the chains on the automobiles in Shaniko. Such were the travel conditions when the roads dried out enough for travel in the spring. Ah, the good old days. Finally, the building in the background in Shaniko is the Columbia Southern Hotel, opened in 1901-02. It is still there! As a young man I remember eating there for lunch at the long community table with the retired sheep herders who were the hotel residents. They were a polite lot, but if you didn’t reach fast, you might not get any mashed potatoes from the big red serving bowl. The photo here was taken on my last visit in 2007….my how time flies! I think one aging sign on the side of the Hotel then still advertised “family style” meals. I’ll check if it still is there when I visit. I hope I can make the trip next week, so as they say “Stay tuned.” Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
    1 point
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