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

Keep the Show on the Road!

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About Keep the Show on the Road!

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    http://www.historicalroadmaps.com
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  1. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Ridge Route Update

    Mike, thanks for the update, and for your efforts to get the Ridge Route reopened. That is a mighty undertaking. Dave
  2. Keep the Show on the Road!

    You can hear me on the radio again

    I read the playlist for your show. Glad to see you are back on the air. I know your Dad passed recently. Speaking as the father of a son about your age who struggles with self sufficiency and health issues, your Dad would be proud you keep on truckin'. I have a question. How does a radio station get permission to play music artists? Do they have to pay royalties....or something? Old age is reducing my road trips so I am not posting as often here, but I was on the road a few weeks ago, so maybe I will put it on the Forum. We traveled old auto and stage coach roads in Oregon. Great fun. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  3. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

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

    Gillespie Dam Brigde

    Terrific photos!! I recall visiting there in about 2007. In fact i think I posted something about it way back then. It is good to see it is getting good care. Glad the Vibe is doing well. My first car (in 1956) was a Pontiac, a big 1948 straight 8 sedan. You could pull stumps with the torque that car had. . It is a shame they have left the scene. They made some excellent cars. And ahhhh the Miata. I owned one of the first three in Washington. I drove from Olympia to Spokane to claim it. I actually cried when I sold it. It was my second favorite car, after the 1958 MGA I had in college. You must be doing some recent road tripping. Great reports! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  5. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Fairbank AZ roadside store restored

    It has been "forever" since I saw that style of desk!!! I knew it very well in the 40's. The lid (large writing surface) lifted and the bin underneath provided space for books, papers, pencils, and just about anything else. If I recall correctly the seat can be adjusted up and down by the custodian. What makes those desks special to me is the inkwell on the upper right. You had a bottle of ink, and a pen with a removable metal tip, and you used it. Talk about the past!! I understand that youngsters don't even learn cursive these days. I hope the power never goes off. Thanks! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  6. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Pioneer Grain Elevator on Stage Coach Road

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

    Fairbank AZ roadside store restored

    An interesting location. The store looks typical pre 1940 Arizona. I looked at Fairbank in Google Earth. There is a big complex foundation across the road and toward Tombstone a few hundred yards. What was that? I didn't know BLM was into historical restorations. I guess I have not been on the road enough lately!! Thanks for sharing!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  8. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Dad death, radio show reboot, vehicle fronts

    Hi Cort, I read your tribute to your father. I'm sure he would have been pleased. Dave
  9. I have wondered for at least twenty years (I am slow to resolve these questions) whether there could be a special book, publication or web site just for mom and pop motels that was sort of a review and guide. There may be one, but my original idea was that it be distributed at the registration desk, or even in the room, free. Then those inclined to favor those unique places of character and personal attention would know where to stop next. I suppose mom and pop restaurants could be featured as well. The mom and pop places would pay for advertising and naturally promote the distribution and awareness because each gained when all handed them out. You see that model sometimes in the antique business. So there is a way to fund retirement.....but I am too long retired to want to start now!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  10. MGA, Terrific! Yes KFI was another beacon in the night! And a station in SLC. Who today can imagine the satisfaction of pulling in one of those "old friends" from your home town while somewhere on the road in the great American "outback" at night. Those old AM stations were as American as apple pie, and brightened many a dark road. Heck if you bought your car in So Cal or the Bay Area, KFI or KGO was labeled right on a push button. But you actually had to turn a knob to tune in most stations. No one today realizes the hardships!!! And while Rick was looking for the pool, I was asking Dad for a quarter Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  11. Gees, my memories of the Mom and Pop travel business of the late 40's and the 50's come back. We never saw a pool, but I remember the two headed calf in the store window just down the street from the motel in Garberville, California. And I not only remember Magic Fingers, but rooms that featured pay radio. Drop your two bits in the radio and you could listen to an hour of the news on AM. No FM in those days. KGO in San Francisco was a 50,000 watt station. At sundown local stations had to shut down, so 810 on the dial could be heard in Oregon, Washington, etc. It was our connection to home! And even stations in Tijuana came in loud and clear on the road. Microwave, refrigerator, TV......HA. Vending machines, hot breakfast, all night front desk, sundries in case you forgot your razor,.... HA HA. Pillow top mattress, shampoo, hair dryer, air conditioning, mints on your pillow, cookies, etc, etc..... HA HA HA. Yap, the good old days. Dave
  12. Rick, Terrific description of your experiences, and they brought back similar reflections. Your descriptions are worth saving. The era of the Mom and Pop is obviously over, and your description of the transition is valuable. I try to explain to my grandchildren the differences between a travel experience where individuals were the driving force rather than corporations. Is it better now? It sure is. The bed I sleep in, and the room I enjoy in even a moderately priced motel is twice as nice as in most Mom and Pop places. Who sleeps today on a mattress laid on a wire spring base metal bed frame, or watches black widows crawl in and out of the ceiling lamp fixture? Of course they were not all that bad, but your description of stopping at several and sometimes making a desperate choice is true. Older is not better, but different, and more varied, less predictable, and much more personal. But what is personal is also variable, while what is corporate is standardized. And I miss the 25 cent a ride Magic Fingers Vibrating Beds....:) I better explain Magic Fingers. The company produced a vibrating motor that attached to the aforementioned bed frame, and placed a coin machine on the night stand. You put your quarter in the slot, pushed down the lever, and got five minutes of relaxing vibration. Just the thing for the weary road traveler! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  13. Rick, Great image and it brings to mind my early days. I thought getting old would take longer! But I sure recall the days in the late 40's through the 60's when neon ruled. As a kid, and before I got my license in the mid 1950's, I'm not sure that those fancy signs attracted my parents when we were on road trips. I suspect they figured if the place had a fancy sign, it would cost too much! What I recall most was that Mom wanted it to be clean and quiet, and my sister and I wanted a grassy play area. Many of the places were along railroad tracks, so it wasn't easy to find quiet. I don't know why motels snuggled up to the tracks, unless the land was cheaper, and of course the roads tended to follow along railroads. I have a few shots of motels in the early 60's after I started taking movies and stills. And Dad was something of an early adopter with slides. But when a single photo cost the equivalent of a few dollars in today's money, you didn't take a lot of pictures of motel signs!! It was an entirely different business model because motels were mom and pop affairs. There was no such thing as today's cookie cutter chain motels. Each night was an adventure to find a good place to stay, and part of the fun of travel. With today's consistent look alike, clean and well appointed motels I bet I could be blindfolded and still locate everything on the property.....even if I might scare a few people with the mask. Thanks for the great photos....I really appreciate them! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  14. Ah my young friend….figural bottles must be bottles that are in the shape of figures….most probably female humans, but also deer, dogs, cats, and other figures. My wife did small sculptures in plastic clay and called them figural art so I am an authority!!! I imagine business may have been a bit slow. Don’t all motels still have open parking garages between the rooms….when did that design go away? Time flies….but when I was a kid, that was the basic design. Early era....Indeed!! Who conducted the survey to determine 1 in 7 passing cars was on illegal business? It must have been a doctoral study based on survey forms filled out at local bars…..I love it. Aside from my snark, great photos and terrific dialog. This is the stuff of real road tripping!! Great stuff. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  15. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Trains, Stamps, & Road Trips

    Impressive! I don't personally know anyone else who got a photo on a stamp, but this kind of puts you up there with George Washington!! Dave
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