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

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/03/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    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. 1 point
    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.
  3. 1 point
    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?
  4. 1 point
    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
  5. 1 point
    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.
  6. 1 point
    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
  7. 1 point
    MGA707, Gees, I feel like I am sitting at the foot of the master!! All my knowledge comes from memory, and that ain't good! My recollections of those days are as a school kid. I didn't "hit the road" until I had a 1948 straight eight Pontiac in the 50s. I used to drag race it on 1st Street in San Jose. I was the king of the one block race. Ford V8's would take me in two blocks, but the signals were timed so if you went faster than the speed limit, you always hit a red signal at the next intersection. The Pontiac had enough torque and low gear to pull tree stumps, so it was always ahead in one block. The good old days.....:) Dave Keep the Show on the Road.
  8. 1 point
    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
  9. 1 point
    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."
  10. 1 point
    Ah, my boys, me thinks 1946 Plymouth 2 door Deluxe. You should have been there...... when they came out! The rear tail light distinct rectangular with chrome trim), elongated rear side window, and fastback line are keys.for me. Thanks Roadhound and MGA for the great ride! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  11. 1 point
    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
  12. 1 point
    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. 1 point
    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. 1 point
    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. 1 point
    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. 1 point
    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. 1 point
    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!!
  18. 1 point
    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
  19. 1 point
    Hi Cort, I read your tribute to your father. I'm sure he would have been pleased. Dave
  20. 1 point
    Geez, I leave for a couple of days and come back to arachnid flashbacks, mutant cattle, and fond remembrances of thousand finger massages. My parents never gave me the quarter so I'll never know the euphoria that a thousand finger massage can bring. For the record it was my younger brother that wanted a pool, my desire was a restaurant nearby not only so that we didn't have to drive any more but also so that I could get a hamburger and fries. I don't know why it was but hamburgers on a road trip were always bigger, juicier, and tastier than anything I could get at home. It didn't matter what town we happened to stop in it was always the case. MGA707's comments about the Mom & Pop motel in New Mexico reminded me of our stay at the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. It had all of the warmth of a good bed & breakfast (without the potpourri) along with the nostalgia of 50's roadtrip. The room we had was immaculately restored and clean, clean towels and bed linens, plus modern conveniences like wifi and flat screen TV's. The rate was extremely reasonable, if I recall, and the person I gave the credit card to when we checked in was the owner. It captured the nostalgia of the era with modern convenience thrown in. My wife was so impressed she forgave me for the machete adventure on our way to Montoya earlier in the day. I know of a few Mom & Pop type motels that have been restored and are operating but they are mostly along Route 66. Besides the Blue Swallow the Munger Moss in Missouri, the El Trovatore in Kingman, and the Wigwams in San Bernardino and Holbrook come to mind. I wonder if there is much of a market for that type of road trip motel nostalgia outside of the Route 66 corridor? Roadhound
  21. 1 point
    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
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