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Keep the Show on the Road!

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Everything posted by Keep the Show on the Road!

  1. Cort, I encourage you to apply again for disability, and as you appear to be planning..... through a lawyer in that field. Many of them will do it for a cut of the back payments, because many programs are retroactive to when you first applied. Keep in mind that being turned down is routine, perhaps to discourage the lazier of the scammers, but it also delays help for those who most need it. I have a son with multiple challenges, so I have become familiar with our social services. Ask around, make lots of phone calls....you will connect with someone who gives a damn. I understand that you are truly facing some tough challenges. Happily for you, you are made of strong stuff, so you will do OK. No need to be nervous, it is certain to work out with your smarts and tenacity. As you know, the solutions won't knock on your door looking for you. I'm not big on fairy tales, but I'm absolutely sure that persistence (and of course attitude) is the key. Getting some help these days takes your kind of efforts, so don't be bashful. If you want someone to talk old roads, e-mail me using our message service. I'm not a good source of sympathy, but I know a thing or two about two lane roads. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  2. Rick, I love your statement...and I did take it as a compliment. But I must tell a story.....surprise! As a young man in my teens I worked as a soda jerk in a drug store fountain, and one of the girls at the counter one day told me:....."David, you have such a nice personality....You shouldn't hide it! So saying you learned things about stuff you never wondered about, is practically an award!! Thanks for the come back! Hope all goes well with you! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  3. In case you didn't know, a foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. In the “old” days they were in practically every city of any consequence, almost like blacksmith shops. The Star Foundry of Seattle was a major producer. For example, it cast the statue of Chief Seattle in Pioneer Square. See it here: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMG68J_Chief_of_the_Suquamish_Chief_Seattle_Seattle_WA “So what?!” you say......well you are about to learn. In 1935-36 the young men at Camp 1366 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, located in the Lewis and Clark State Park astride old US99, built an auto camp kitchen. As you know, many auto camps had kitchen facilities. They served a practical purpose when there wasn't a stove and sink in your camping vehicle, and the nearest restaurant might be a score of miles away. The magnificent camp stoves at Lewis and Clark State Park are of stone, and the fittings are of cast iron. They no doubt served as places to prepare an evening meal and also supported family and civic picnics in the park. I have noted in local 1930's newspapers from nearby towns the mention of gatherings at the park, for example on the 4th of July, or for a local school outing. The stoves were wood burning and no doubt were fired up on such occasions. I recognize that most road travelers won't give a rip about stone stoves....who does? But look at it this way. Standing in that CCC built kitchen, beside that old stove, all original, not restored or reconstructed, you are in a scene from over 70 years ago. For a moment you have truly stepped back in time, not to a place built to “look like” the past, or restored to what we “imagine” the past to look like, but authentically of the past. OK, it is all in your mind's eye, but for those who can see it, congratulations. If you can't, I understand! At the base of each stove is a ashdoor or clean – out door where you remove ashes, and a damper to regulate the flow of air into the stove. Stamped in raised and rusted letters on the hoary door are the letters STAR FDY SEATTLE.......the Star Foundry in Seattle, Washington , the maker of the stove fittings back in '36. I nosed around a bit and here is a photo of the Star Foundry I found at: http://pauldorpat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/9.-Star-Foundry-Duwamish-Head-WEB.jpg And the company still exists, now as North Star Foundry. I doubt the stoves get much use today. The cooking surfaces are scaling and a red hot metal surface today would be considered an insurance liability, especially with youngsters around. But it isn't hard to imagine when these beautiful rock and iron structures were regularly in use, along with the adjacent sink....a real hot spot on old US99! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  4. Denny, I'm looking for the dimples on the golf ball, but they don't show in the photo!! Those of us out west definitely used porcelain, but I can accept that those in the mid-west had steel balls. Probably something to do with the chill. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  5. My kingdom for a drink! Drinking fountains may seem pretty mundane, but how often do you get a splash of cold pure water from one built by the Civilian Conservation Corps along old US99 in 1936? You can when you stop at the former auto park, and now Lewis and Clark State Park, south of Chehalis, Washington. In the 1920's an auto camp operated where the Lewis and Clark State Park stands. You can still enjoy camping at the park, in part because the Civilian Conservation Corp in the mid 1930's had a camp at the park and built several improvements, including the water fountain shown below in this original 1936 photo from the state archives, and my photo from yesterday I plan to share more of the structures the 18-25 year old CCC young men built at the park in 1935-36, but the water fountain seemed a unique place to start. Was the fountain and the faucet authentic? Could it be the same Haws – made drinking fountain installed by the CCC boys? The answer turns out maybe, at least in part. First, the rock fountain, base and stand, is obviously the same and original. The stones prove it. But what of the drinking faucet? (Click photos for enlarged view) The Haws drinking faucet head now on the fountain was a design introduced in 1920, but it replaced the original in the photo, which was apparently a Haws also. You ask, how does he do it.....how does he know so much about roads, and water fountain faucets too....the man is unbelievable....or maybe not! A childhood friend had family connections with the Haws Faucet Company and he educated me on the fine art of delivering water to the parched and weary. The Haws Sanitary Faucet Company without the Sanitary in their name is still in business, and many here will recall this type of faucet, and a few, like me will remember the white porcelain sphere that preceded it. The innovation in the fountain in my photo was that the water didn't fall back on the source, and your lips never touched the fixture....sanitary. If you recall the older white sphere, the water came out of the center and fell back on the sphere, thus cleansing the fountain head of most of the saliva, tobacco juice, and mucus with each cooling drink....yuck! But it was common for the unwary to pucker up and “kiss” the sphere as they sucked in the H2O, especially when the water flow was low. So Haws created the design in my photo in 1920, to great acclaim in the fountain business....really! I guess it was easier to be acclaimed back then. So our parched campers for the past nearly 75 years have been sucking it up at this fountain. Somewhere along the way, the unsanitary white spherical water head was replaced with the modern 1920 design, but it appears that the self shutting faucet value may be the original! It is the original design, and it it wasn't necessary to replace it when the head was replaced. (And if that gives you a twitter, just wait until I get to the hardware on the stoves in the cooking shelters.) So I am going to assert that we are looking at a genuine CCC built stone water fountain, with original stone platform and steps, with a vintage (and perhaps original) faucet value, and a vintage fountain head that has served auto campers for more than 70 years on old US99. To see this beauty, book your flight now into Portland or Seattle, and follow old US99 to the Lewis and Clark State Park........and be sure to tell your friends that you saw it here first! I'm expecting this to go viral. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  6. Elsewhere HERE I have noted that the old Pacific Highway (now US99) ran through the Lewis and Clark State Park. What makes that interesting is that the original 1913 alignment apparently still exists in the Park, now as an equestrian trail. And that old Pacific Highway alignment follows the Cowlitz Wagon Road, which was a pre automobile road that carried passengers and freight into the Puget Sound area in pioneer days. And the wagon road followed the Cowlitz Trail, which was the early route followed by the fur trappers of the Hudson Bay Company, and later the first settlers in the Puget Sound. I looked recently at a 1951 USGS aerial photograph of the area, and to my pleasure, saw a ground trace of the old Cowlitz Wagon Road / Original Pacific Highway just north of the park. That is important because it substantiates the route of the road through the park. I drove to the closed Park today (opens May 1 for a new season) to look at and photograph the Civilian Conservation Corps structures, and wondered if I could find any trace of the old wagon road/ Pacific Highway immediately north of the Park. I could, and did! See the photo below taken on S. Prairie Road (in a little rain squall). Point A is where the old wagon road intersects S. Prairie Road at the coordinates shown. My photo above shows the old road. Both point A and point B are visible in modern Google Earth images. The upper green marker identifies the old trace visible in the red 1951 aerial photo above (I changed the B&W photo color to red for clarity) . The lower green marker indicates where the aerial map shows the old road crossing the the northern park boundary. I had identified the road through most of the park earlier (points C through E) in the map below but until I looked at the aerial image I couldn't be sure where the road exited / entered the park on the north side. (For those who followed my speculations as to where the wagon road crossed the wetland, I was wrong. The actual crossing is apparently about 60 yards east of my guess. No matter, now it is determined.) Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  7. Curt C and his lovely wife Leona met Sheila and me for breakfast Saturday morning. It was a little like a reunion of old buddies, although we had never met. Something about a love of the old roads and the places they take you creates a common bond. We rattled off discoveries and shared interests at full throttle. Curt has been a student of the two lane routes for several years and has a fine web site devoted to the Pacific Highway (US99). He is an accomplished road sleuth, with far more energy and talent than I for discovering the interesting and historically significant. His wife is a talented road companion. When Sheila and I were half way to the restaurant, I remembered my camera was in the other car, so I don't have photos to share, but we will certainly get together on another occasion and include mug shots. The Washington wing of the forum is slowly growing, with Eric (Sit Properly), Curt C and myself covering the roadsides. Curt had an interest in the Sunset Highway, one of the original named roads in Washington dating back to the teens. I suggested to him a few weeks ago that the National Parks Highway might be a complementary interest because it followed the Sunset Trail, and he has taken off with it. I am quickly being eclipsed, but I'm delighted. Frankly the route deserves the talent and enthusiasm he brings to it. Good job Curt! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  8. Jim, Your comment about John's Modern Cabins condition is perfect. You hate to see them collapse, but you would hate to see them restored. As you said so well, there is a real charm about their dilapidation....and I would add my typical note....they are authentic. Of course the old sign is terrific. A really great site. I'm enjoying the ride! Dave
  9. Jim, The Route 66 bridges were great, but the new photos on the old film with the Hawkeye stopped me dead in my tracks. Seriously!! How cool is that! And the quality isn't bad...soft with some evident grain, but overall very nice.. Of course it was a big negative. Were the images you posted scanned from the negatives or the prints? I am kind of struck with the whole retro images thing. Both you and Eric have an interest in it. I think it is great....taking road images with film and equipment in use 40 years or more ago. As you know, as a septuagenarian I have a license to tell stories of the "old times", and I was amused when you called ASA (or now ISO) 125 kind of slow. My recollections and film use go back to when Kodachrome was ASA10! And I shot lots of it at ASA 25, and considered ASA 64 a fast film. Kodak did a better than great job of marketing. They “owned” the film business and convinced just about everyone that taking pictures on your road trips (and back then it was road, not air) was as important as eating. I traveled in my 20's with an 8mm movie camera, a twin lens reflex for B&W film, a Polariod camera for family shots and album photos, and my Yashika rangefinder for 35mm color slides. Later I upgraded the Yashika to a Nikon F. I kept a small chest for my film on the back seat. And film and processing was a significant cost for any road trip. I even resorted to “rolling” my own. I think I considered 35mm slides to be about 20 cents a shot including processing, and that would be at least $1 per photo today in today's dollar!!! The other day I bought a $69 digital to keep in the glove box for grab shots, and it does everything those four cameras did, and much much better, with no film cost! I'm enjoying your Route 66 posts and I hope everyone is following them. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  10. Denny, Your reports are anything but cursory! I enjoy both the content and the format. I think our mutual friends at American Road should contract with you to do trip reports between issues. Several of the magazines I subscribe to outside the travel genre do interim e-mails to subscribers with fresh content. It would seem a natural for a quarterly magazine, the opportunity to highlight advertisers, and to provide a sense of continued community connection for readers. You have a consistent style, you "see" well, do good photos, and you mix the road geek with the weekend traveler interests. Just a thought!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  11. Curt, I had the privilege of a preview of your post, and I am still overwhelmed by what you accomplished is such a short time. I have messed with the National Parks Highway in Washington for several years and in a single stroke, you surpassed all my work. I am glad I encouraged your interest! I might have a few comments and questions, but there is so much to digest I don't know where to begin! (Curt and his wife are stopping for coffee in Olympia Saturday, and I will get to meet them. We will have lots to discuss, and I hope he will share whatever passes between us with the forum.) Now I want to explore the “southern loop” of the National Parks Highway, that proceeded the use of Blewett Pass. Two required ferry crossings of the Coumbia River within 25 miles as the crow flies has got to be “special.” A great job, and the definitive post on the subject. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  12. Eric, With the number of backers you have for this project, I hope you and Sarah have room for all the film! I think it is a fun project and having enjoyed your and Sarah's company on the Spencer discovery trip, I'm confident it will be a good beginning for your long and loving marriage. Of course I'll be a backer. I still have some Polaroids taken on my (first) honeymoon in 1960, and others taken on vacations in the 1960's, but I don't recall any on Route 66, so yours will be valued additions! Because I can never resist putting in my old stuff, below is a 1968 Polaroid I took of an old wooden bridge and abandoned school house in Richmond, Oregon. Kind of amazing that these old Polariods have faded so little. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  13. Jim, The introduction of the Model T is considered by some as the watershed, when automobiles stepped out of the recreation era and entered the utility era. It was introduced in 1908, and by 1915 Ford alone was producing over half a million automobiles a year. Automobile registration according to the 1917 Good Road Year Book reached 2.44 million by 1915. We were still a very long way from a car in every garage, and horse power still had a whinny. WWI slowed production for domestic use, but by 1919 Ford topped 800,000 and total US production was over 1.2 million vehicles. My grandfather bought a new Ford in 1918 and believe me, he was a homestead farmer, and no early adopter. The kid in the knee britches and tie is my Dad, and the guy wearing the hat behind the wheel is Grandfather. The rest of the family is standing, and neighbors are in the back seat. Dave PS If you click on the photo and take a squint at my ancestors, it is easy to see where I got my good looks and urbane demeanor!
  14. Jim, I looked this morning at your three latest blog entries regarding your route 66 trip, and they were a delightful and entertaining mix of popular culture and historical description....not to mention a large dose of road boffin! I have a couple of comments....of course! Is there more story to “turkey tracks.” The photos suggest distinct foot tracks. How come? Small, distinct irregularities in concrete get smoothed into indistinct depressions rather quickly by traffic. Right? The tracks in the photo look fresh, not worn. As for the: “The 1910's and 1920's were a highly experimental time for those who built highways. It wasn’t even entirely clear yet whether the automobile was just a passing fad! “ The first sentence is almost an understatement, but entirely true. But as for the second sentence, not so much so. I know you were exercising a writer's license but I doubt either of us believe that automobiles were actually considered a “passing fad” anytime in the 1920's. A newbie who follows your blog may consider that as expert opinion from a road hero. I submit that at least by 1915-16 the automobile had been fully recognized as here to stay, and was seen as a growing and permanent feature of American life. Highway construction methods were still much in flux. Arguments over wood, brick, macadam, concrete, etc and construction methods were still very aggressively pursued. But automobiles were a certain fixture of the time. I submit for your consideration that it was cost that drove a jurisdiction to lay a one lane concrete strip, and not the thought that we might one day return to horse drawn conveyance. Anyway, I recognize my comments to be nit picking (I obviously have too much time on my hands today!) and highly recommend your blog for anyone interested in Route 66, or the history and delights of the two lane road! Dave
  15. Jim, I looked at the three most recent blog entries and the photos (above). I have to say the Wagon Wheel was my favorite (no discredit to the Munger Moss!) because of the little “office” sign. It brought back a real rush of memories because they were kind of standard, so I saw them a lot in the 1940's and even the 1950's at motels. And the varnished interior door must be original. Dark varnish and inset panels sure look 1950's to me! The Chevrolet sedan over the grease pit is a 1950. My second car was a 1951, which I recall was very much the same design with only a small variation on the grill. The Wagon Wheel has it all!!! Great stuff! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  16. You won't want a drink at the Columbia River Bar, not at the one at the mouth of the Columbia River. At the bar, the mighty Columbia River encounters the even mightier Pacific Ocean, and the two, when aided by wind and prevailing currents, have a serious showdown. The result is the graveyard of many ships, over 2000 according to wikipedia citations. Of course as a north-westerner I knew of the bar, and I have a friend who described a bad day there in his large pleasure boat, but I had not given it much attention. Then our Denny G. put me on to a video crossing the bar (site below) and I figured I owed myself a visit. Sheila and I were in the area at the end of a great trip along the Washington Ocean Beach Highway to Astoria, Oregon, and the bar is just a few miles west of Astoria. http://www.youtube.com/embed/ByGSMmenPDM?rel=0 Quite honestly, I didn't know what to look for. Big waves? Ships in distress? Coast guard standing by to pick up survivors? The video Denny recommended (see it above) showed a fishing boat being tossed about like a rubber ducky as it crossed the bar. But I didn't even know where the bar was, what it looked like, or what to expect if I saw it. I just knew it was at the mouth of the Columbia, so we drove there. Guess what!? There is an observation platform near the south jetty. While Sheila took a walk on a trail out to the beach, I climbed the platform and there before me was........the ocean. Where was the excitement, the drama, the danger? The sun shown warmly for an early spring day, and a large ship cruised slowly up river on what seemed a smooth sea. I took a photo or two of the ship, and wondered where I had to go to see the bar. Maybe I needed to go to the north side of the river. When I got home, I looked at maps of the river entrance. And it became obvious that I had been looking at the bar all along. The ship I had photographed was “crossing the bar,” with Sand Island in the background. So here it is, a big ship gripped in the clutches of the Columbia River Bar. I guess you had to be there to appreciate the drama! Seriously, the bar is dangerous at times, as on a strong ebb current. The boats in the video were built for the conditions, but boaters too frequently lose their lives there. Not a joke. Dave Keep the Show on the Road! PS After posting this I took a look at tomorrow morning's bar report. It shows 13 foot waves with breakers in the main channel at 6AM. That's a whole lot rougher than the conditions in my photo!!!
  17. We weren't looking for birds, but in a quiet arm of the river we spotted a couple of bald eagles, at quite a distance. It required a very long telephoto setting, and lots of enlargement to produce these shots from my cheapy camera, so I didn't include these with the original photos. Nonetheless, they are representative of the scenery along the riverside you are likely to encounter on this two lane road. The immature youngster appeared a bit disheveled, and lacked the grand plumage of its senior, but both were a match for any passing fish. I know they are a lot more common today than they were when I was a young man in the 1960's, but I still like to spot our national emblem in the wild. We have some on the lake where we live, and they are a magnificent bird. Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  18. Rick, You nailed that one! We had a couple of days of blue skies and I urged Sheila to take a quick road trip with me before the clouds returned. They have returned and have deterred me from doing a bit on CCC structures in this area. To be complimented on my photos by a pro is great, but you have probably spotted the post processing. That is what I do on rainy days to satisfy the travel itch. When I got home and looked over the shots I wasn't impressed with them. But I recently bought the NIK Collection of Photoshop plugins and tried them out here. Google bought them out and was selling the whole set for $150....barely within a retiree's budget, but better than the $400+ NIK used to want. I liked what I could do. The results pleased me, and helped present the photos as I saw them (or perhaps as I wish I saw them). The drive was well worth taking, the towns welcoming, the people nice, the sights beautiful and photogenic.....and so it is nice when the images match. We have in years past visited the Maritime Museum in Astoria and toured a coast guard boat tied up there. It is definitely worth the visit, and so is Astoria. I was much impressed with how the community has become a place to visit. I recall when it was dull and run down, perhaps 20 years ago. Not on my list of places to stop. But it is now vibrant with nice restaurants on the waterfront, shopping, things for the kids, and a general upbeat feeling. And the river activity with the big ships adds interest. The Lewis and Clark tie is always interesting. And of course, if you are a real history buff, the ties with Astor and the fur trade are equally fascinating. We will plan another visit when the sun shines. BTW we stopped at Dismal Nitch. It has a nice picnic area and even restrooms. I don't see why the Corps of Discovery gave it such a bad rap!! Thanks for the comeback! Dave
  19. Jim, Shameless self promotion! This isn't a dating service!! Actually, brilliant idea for an eligible bachelor. I'll be looking forward to the trip reports, sans your mug. Oh, BTW, here is a shot of me with three of my buds....but Sheila demands I add that I am already taken . (Edit) Opps......I just read somewhere that DeCaprio has declared he is gay. In case you wondered, I'm not. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  20. Jim and Denny, Thanks for the kind words! And Jim, I hope your Spring Break trip came off well. I'm looking forward to the reports! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  21. The Columbia River is one BIG body of water, and that is especially apparent as it approaches the Pacific. The Washington Ocean Beach Highway between Longview and the bridge across the Columbia to Astoria, Oregon is not a terribly old road. It was completed in the 1930's. Segments of it existed before then. It is a beautiful two lane drive that follows the Columbia River shore for many miles, and often crosses wide valleys and lowlands formed by the streams and rivers that enter the Columbia from the North. The history of the road is of course tied to the history of the river. Dotted along its length are the campsites of Lewis and Clark as they approached, and then struggled to reach, the Pacific Ocean. Tiny riverside hamlets and small towns appear and almost as suddenly disappear in the rear view mirror, unless of course you take the time to stop. Sheila and I drove the highway last weekend. It has been about 30 years since I last took the road. Not a lot has changed, except the loss of the grand old salmon cannery buildings......which I regret. One remains, but you risk being shot if you try to approach it. The only way to see it today is from the water. This website tells its story: http://www.cathlametchamber.com/altoona.php Another thing that has changed, and it was almost inevitable. Retirees and escapees from urban areas have taken over. It isn't easy on them, because many come from California and are not prepared for months of overcast skies and dreary days in the winter. You can know it will happen, but living it is another thing. Just call it an acquired taste. The good news is that these transplants may have a greater interest in the history of their communities than the natives. Weather beaten buildings abandoned by locals are seen as opportunities to create museums and community attractions. Little used waterways are great for kayakers, and old hotels become bed and breakfasts, catering to other escapees from the hectic big city life. The general store gets the boutique treatment and the abandoned waterways provide moorage for your pleasure boot. When we stopped at the village of Skamokawa (point B on Google Map below) I stepped out of the car to take a photo of the general store (above). Before I had the camera focused, Lance greeted me and told me about the store and community. I can't resist the opportunity to visit with a local, especially one who is so enthusiastic, so Sheila and I got educated, and in the process were guided to the local sights. Thanks to Lance. Here Lance is (below) pointing out a photo in the general store of the old town before there was road. The old town site on the river in the picture that Lance is pointing to above has changed (of course!). The view below of the site shows what it looks like today. The building that looks like an old hotel is now a nice B&B. The old Redmen Lodge Hall (below) had the school downstairs and the lodge upstairs in the old days. It perches on the hillside above the old town. It is now a very nice local museum, staffed on the day we visited by a nice and knowledgable....you guessed it....., California transplant. We drove on to Astoria, and stopped at the Baked Alaska Restaurant for a bite to eat. I know we are a burger and beer gang here, but I have had to revise my diet a bit. I ordered the Shrimp Bisque and Garden Salad, and I can honestly say I didn't miss the burger and beer. And the view matched the meal. There is much more to share about this little road trip, but it will have to wait until I have more time. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  22. One last comment....you have no doubt seen this site but it was new to me. http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/CA/Airfields_CA_LA_E.htm Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  23. If it is of use, I have included below the Alhambra 1926 (reprinted 1939 with modifications) USGS historical topo from the USGS site. (CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE) Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  24. BTW, do you note the Ross Field Balloon School in Arcadia on the second map? More historical aviation history! There is also the Ostrich Farm on the last map....but they don't fly do they?! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  25. Sounds like a job for MAPPERMAN! Here is a 1939 map of the area. I wasn't sure what years you needed, and I don't see an airport on this map. Sadly I just sold a detailed atlas of LA from the 1930's. I figured I would never need it! Dave Keep the Show on the Road! PS Opps.... I had just before WWII in mind when I copied the map above. Below are two maps from 1925.
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