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Keep the Show on the Road!

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Everything posted by Keep the Show on the Road!

  1. I think Dave Wins the Best Answer Prize! Here is a quote from the Topix site that tends to confirm his answer: "The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, aka "history on a stick," recognizes Pender County history as far back as 1663. via StarNewsOnline.com" Is this forum the source for all road knowledge, or what!!? Keep the Show on the Road!
  2. As usual, nice shots! I missed them when we were through. Keep um coming, and Keep the Show on the Road!
  3. Thanks for the kind comment! Eastern Washington is unique in the world for the scablands. You probably are far more knowledgable on the subject than I am, but there are some great books to read before you visit. They add greatly to the understanding and enjoyment of what you see. When I was at Dry Falls a fellow was explaining to two of his passengers that a river cut Dry Falls. Some River! Too bad to be standing right there and so little appreciate the events that shaped what he was seeing. I simply suggested he might enjoy the displays at the visitor's center, but he drove off having no idea what he had seen. It is truly astounding to see the consequences of those massive floods, from the air or on the ground. Thanks again for your interest. It helps Keep the Show on the Road!
  4. I realize that a map may help locate sites in unfamiliar areas so I have numbered the photos in my four related Yellowstone Trail posts on the map. You will find the number in the caption of each photo. The Yellowstone Trail before 1925 took a loop south from Spokane through Rosalia, Colfax, Dayton, Walla Walla, Richland, Grandview, Yakima, and Ellensburg, then converged with the later 1925 route at Cle Elem to cross the Snoqualmie Pass toward Seattle. Spokane has much to offer, but as recent former residents we didn’t feel on a short trip like revisiting places we already knew by heart. So we skirted the metropolitan area and turned south off the 1925 Yellowstone at Davenport and headed for Rosilia on the 1915 route of the Yellowstone. We followed some great roads, paved or graveled. Our faithful Delorme GPS and laptop keep us from making wrong turns. Monument Where the 1860 Mullan Road Crossed our Path (Map Location 9) I urge you to register so you see the photos displayed with the text! We intersected the old Mullen Road of 1860-61 at a monument placed beside it in 1926, then followed a small sign that advertised “Dine on the lake” to a charming resort (47.3246, -1176981) on one of the lakes in a basin scoured out by the Missoula Floods. Lunch was in a pleasant restaurant seated beside the window overlooking the lake, surrounded by pines and the green grasses of spring. Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog lounged on the grass in the park, while we enjoyed the view. I have driven Interstate 90 between Spokane and Seattle on business at least 30 times, and until we got off the flyway, I never knew this lake and resort even existed. Aren’t the two lane roads great!! When is the last time you had lakefront seats at a cookie cutter restaurant on the interstate? I won’t digress too much, but the Mullen was like the western Yellowstone Trail of its time. It ran between Walla Walla and Fort Benton, Montana on the Missouri River where river transportation became possible. It was the earliest surveyed long distance road in the Northwest and touched several places the Yellowstone later traveled. As you follow the Yellowstone between Walla Walla and western Montana you will encounter the Mullen in road names and even town names. But this is a forum about two lane roads, so let’s return to the story where we reach Rosalia on the 1915 loop of the Yellowstone. As a quick reminder, prior to 1925, the route of the Yellowstone took a large 300 mile long dip or loop from Spokane south to Walla Walla, west to Richland and Grandview, north to Ellensburg through Yakima, then west again through Cle Elum where the two routes again coincide. On the noth side of town is what appears to be the Model Garage advertised in the 1919 Automobile Blue Book. I can’t be sure and the local museum was closed, so I couldn’t confirm the identification. In any evet, it is a nice old garage. Probably the Model Garage Advertised along the Yellowstone Trail in 1919 (Map Location 10) Rosilia has restored an old service station in town, complete with a period gas pump. They were in the process of doing some paving around the building which spoiled the photo op, so I am including a photo from a year ago. (Photo to Follow) The highlight for Yellowstone Trail aficionados at Rosalia is probably the black arrow on yellow background sign on the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad bridge just south of town. Yellowstone Trail Sign on Beautiful Milwalkee Railroad Bridge (Map Location 10) While it has nothing to do with the Yellowstone Trail, just east of town on a hill is the site of the Battle of Steptoe Butte (May 17, 1858), where Lt. Col. E. J. Steptoe and his men got their clocks cleaned by the local residents, members of the Spokane, Palouse, and Coeur D’Alene tribes.. As you read western history, the Colonel pops up all over the place, usually in a favorable light. But this was not his finest hour. Much of the blame for the ignoble retreat rests on his shoulders, as he left Walla Walla ill equipped to fend off an attack. Had he been just a bit less lucky he might have enjoyed Custer’s fame, posthumously. Of course the Indians paid very dearly for their success when Col. George Wright and his men later in the year retaliated and ruthlessly subjugated the tribes, killing all their horses and hanging Indian leadership at the peace parley. Wright got many locations named after him in the area, including parks, streets, and a fort. The Indians got Hangman Creek named to commemorate their participation. I think Rosilia has the potential to be a real Yellowstone Trail stop, with the service station, the garage, a number of great buildings and a genuine old sign. I hope they recognize the potential. The town has a Norman Rockwell feeling, and with a little coordination they could do it up nicely. It continues to be one of my favorites along the old route. You are now in the great Palouse wheatland of Eastern Washington. We drove for miles through the rolling hills covered in green springtime wheat, interrupted from time to time by another white house and red barn set back from the road among some trees. Between Rosilia and Colfax where the 1915 route turned southwest to cross the Snake River, you can easily spot the old road, and follow it if you like through Thorton and other small settlements. We spent the night in Colfax. Not far out of town on the new road (exit north end of town) you pass the fair grounds. If you turn left (south) on Colfax Airport Road, and travel perhaps half a mile you will see on your right some county road buildings and out front a horse drawn road grader (46.8585, -117.4255). Graders such as this were common in 1915. They were usually drawn by horses (but later by trucks). Look carefully at the side photo to see the spring and seat for the teamster/ driver. You are looking at the American Big Winner, Model 33. This was the big iron of 1915. Is it any wonder the roads were barely cut from the prairie or hillside? It would be fun to know if this baby worked the Yellowstone. Odds are it did, given its location. This Old Road Grader Just Outside Colfax Possibly Worked the Yellowstone Trail (Map Location 11) To view the images in 3D, stare at them until a third 3D image appears in the center. If you have problems, let me know and I will substitute red /blue images and send you a free pair of glasses. The old road left town on a 12% grade at the south end of Colfax and wound its way through the burglet (smaller than a burg) of Wilcox and eventually to the Penawawa Ferry landing to take the ferry across the Snake River. We did the same, along a well graveled but little used road, throwing up a huge cloud of dust. The last half mile down to the ferry site is alternating rock and deep sand. We immediately high centered in the first section of sand and beat a hasty retreat. This is one place a small sedan does not belong! However, you don’t get stuck in low clearance sedans. For very obvious reasons. When you hear the sand dragging on the crankcase of a sedan, you know its time to retreat. And retreat we did, back to the graveled road and on to the later Yellowstone crossing at the Central Ferry on a paved road. There are at least a couple of old pre 1928 bridges just off the current road. One I spotted is at Meadow Creek Road (46.5966, -117.7826). The other is at 46.5241, -117.7835. Both can be viewed on Google earth. The second bridge represents an interesting lesson in road construction, new and old. The new road crosses the draw on a massive fill in a little over a tenth of a mile. The old road makes a half mile loop to stay on an acceptable grade and crosses the head of the draw on a short bridge. It is clearly visible on Google Earth. When you see big cuts or fills you can be confident you are not on an old road alignment! Remember that grader? The Yellowstone travels on to Dayton with its depot and historic main street and to Waitsburg, both small towns on the Trail and worth a visit. The Lewis and Clark Trail Byway runs through Dayton, and the expedition camped a couple of miles from here on May 2, 1806 on its way back from the Pacific Coast. Railroad Depot in Dayton (Map Location 12) As we drove around Dayton we heard the sound of a band playing. Heading toward the sound, we saw and heard a group of local kids marching down the street....shades of Music Man! You gotta love the American road! Still Photo Of Dayton Kids doing the Music Man Thing (Map Location 12) If you have broadband, hear and see a little bit of two lane Americana as the band plays on in Dayton. It is about 1MB so wait a bit for it to download. http://pair.com/davepaul/americanroad/Sequence02.wmv The Marching Band! Walla Walla is a bustling city with an interesting downtown. We had planned to stay in Walla Walla. But even this early in the travel season it was hard to find a place, especially when you have a 130 pound dog to accommodate. So we drove on to Richland, also on the Trail, and the site of the WWII atomic bomb development at Hanford. We had breakfast at a small restaurant in Benton City, across the street from what was evidently an early garage/ service station. You can follow the Yellowstone in this area on the Inland Empire Highway, the name given to the road by either the state or the auto clubs. We stopped in Grandview to see an old section of the road on the national register of historic sites, but didn’t find it. I should have looked at a map, but I thought for sure my nose for old roads would suffice. It didn’t. But now I have something to look forward to the next time we come through the area! With some sadness we stopped at the Teapot Dome service station (46.3891, -120.2381) outside Zillia, its gas pumps forever frozen at $1.77 for regular. I recall a happier day only a few years ago when you could enjoy a fill up at the historic site, located just off exit 54 of the interstate on the Yakima Valley Highway. Historic Teapot Dome Service Station. Visit it before it Moves! (Map Location 13) We can report that the City of Zillah plans to raise the money to buy the building, and move it closer to Zillah. If successful, it will become a tourist information center. No doubt that will provide the 85 year old building, said to once have been the oldest operating service station in the country, a longer life. The Teapot Dome station grew out of the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration and was created by Jack Ainsworth. It began its life in 1922 in Yakima, was moved to the Zillah area in the early 1930’s, and moved again in 1977 for better access from I82. It is a shame that the station is not commercially viable any longer, and a credit to Zillah that it will not die an ignoble death at the hands of a drunken vandal. I’m 99.9% confident that when the Teapot sold its last drop of gasoline in 2004, it was the oldest service station in at least Oregon and Washington operating out of its original building. If you use the 1922 date (others have placed it at 1928) I certainly am not aware of an operating station that is older anywhere in the Northwest. The Yellowstone goes on to Yakima and Ellensburg, then to Cle Elum where it converges with the 1925 route through Waterville. But alas, we preferred US12 and White Pass over the shoulder of Mt Rainer with its terrific vistas and great little restaurant at Rimrock Lake. So we bid the Yellowstone goodbye for this time. We’ll be back!
  5. I realize that a map may help locate sites in unfamiliar areas so I have numbered the photos in my four related Yellowstone Trail posts on the map. You will find the number in the caption of each photo. The 1925 Yellowstone Trail followed the route of the Sunset Highway between Spokane and Seattle and maps are more likely to show the name “Sunset” than “Yellowstone.” One day I will have to research who named the Sunset Highway, the Inland Empire Highway, and the Central Washington Highway. Was it the Automobile Clubs or State officials? I don’t know, and perhaps someone on the forum can tell me. In any event, road signs and motel names along the 1925 Yellowstone Trail (Pole symbol: Black and Yellow, often with an arrow pointing toward Yellowstone NP) alignment are much more likely to carry the name Sunset than Yellowstone. No matter, I like both names, and since the highways are one and the same, we get two for the price of one. Or more correctly, four for the price of one, as this was also the National Parks Highway (Pole symbol: NPH on Red, White, Red bands) and the National Park to Park Highway (Pole symbol, two P’s facing). For many miles the Yellowstone travels the Scablands described briefly in an earlier post. In 1925 the road was gravel, with only the last 20 miles into Spokane paved. The countryside was described as alternating farmland and unimproved prairie, with small towns all along the route. The towns along the old road hang on today through some farming and ranching, some tourism, usually centered on the lakes formed in the coulees, and some small town pride. When we leave Dry Falls headed east on the Yellowstone we travel through small towns that are at best in transition, and at worst dying or dead. Some have nothing but abandoned buildings lining their once busy streets, but some have found a basis for prosperity. One of my favorite stops is Coulee City. We spent a night there in 1962, and unless my memory is shot, the place we stayed is still in business. I have some old photos of the family taken there. Coulee City Hotel (Map Location 5) This trip we stopped and had a picnic next to the public library, on a grassy little spot, and I took a photo of the hotel. It was probably built after 1925, but it looks like so many of the hotels that used to serve the traveling public, I thought it worth the picture. The next stop is my favorite on this stretch of the Yellowstone, only because the old Hartline service station has, in its dirty window, a vintage map rack complete with free maps. They have been there for as long as I remember, and I always stop to check that they haven’t been moved. They have been in the sun so long now that they actually appear burned. When do you last remember getting a free map at a service station? Hartline Garage with Old Pumps (Map Location 6) For the many folks who have begged for a photo of Sheila, rose of the Road, and me, take a look at the reflection in the window. I am crouched to take the photo and Sheila is posing for the photo. There, now stop your pleading! Old Free Maps Stand with Maps, in Chevron Garage, Hartline, Washington The town of Almira is next with a vintage hotel, garage combination. The hotel is trying for a comeback as a B&B. The Edsel sits alone across the street. Both Hartline and Almira have seen better days, but hope springs eternal, and I wish them the best of futures. Edsel in Almira, Washington (Map Location 7) To view in 3D, stare at the images and slowly cross your eyes until a third 3D image appears in the center. Leaving Davenport eastbound, turn left and then right at the east edge of town onto the old Sunset Highway alignment on the north side of the rail tracks. Stay on the Sunset for about 6.25 miles and you will find an old concrete section for a few miles, complete with the curved gutters of the 1920’s and 30’s. I looked for a date stamp on the gutters but found none. It may be too esoteric for some, but there is a lone old style billboard on the right side of the road at about 8.75 miles. The Spokane Davenport Hotel of mid last century is advertised in fading paint. Considering that there would have been no sane reason to erect the sign on an abandoned highway, it must have been put up while this old section of road was still the main route. Yellowstone Highway and Old Davenport Hotel Billboard (Map Location 8) The Davenport Hotel has been beautifully renovated. I mentioned the sign to the owner a few years ago, but apparently nothing came of it. No surprise. What do you do with a faded billboard? We didn’t travel beyond this point on this trip. The Yellowstone Trail between here and Spokane is quite interesting because it does the zig zag typical of the days when roads followed section lines. However, we wanted to visit a couple of towns off the Yellowstone, so we cut across on two lane paved and graveled roads to Rosilia on the 1915 Yellowstone loop south of Spokane, where we will pick the adventure up in the another post.
  6. Rick, you have been holding out! The first of these two shots is superb! It makes me want to go back and see that site again. The lighting is exceptional. I really enjoyed the Mountain Lion building at Two Guns, but I didn’t cross the bridge. But about 10 minutes after we arrived, a little Volkswagen bug zoomed across the bridge to the big ruin, so I know it was safe to do so. I have said before that I dismissed Route 66 as over rated until we did the winter trip. Now I am thinking about doing it again with more care, and going further east. I hope you will add other photos. Keep the Show on the Road!
  7. Rick. Terrific photos! I'm not surprised. Your work is outstsnding. Folks should visit your website. It looks like you may have crossed the bridge. We didn't, but I have wondered what that structure across the canyon fron the Mountail Lion cages was. Will you be posting more of the Route 66 trip? Keep the Show on the Road!
  8. It sure does!! That is a sweet bit of good advice from the expert! It has been a couple of years since I took that road, but it is one of the best remaining longer examples of the old Yellowstone in the west. We had planned to take it this trip and close the loop back through Cle Elum, but the weather was turning wet so we cut the trip short by returning via White Pass. While I am replying, I have wondered sometihng. Sometime probably in 2001 or 2002, probably in April, I took the old Lookout Pass dirt road out of Mullen eastbound until I was blocked by a snowdrift. On my way back down, there out in the middle of nowhere was a couple in what I recall as a white Ford sedan,. I couldn't imagine that anyone else had any reason to be miles from nowhere, unless they were following the Yellowstone also. We exchanged a "Hello'" and since they weren't in distress, I drove on down the road. I have wondered since whether it was you folks. Anyway, it is great to have you add your expertise!! We had a wondeful trip and almost closed the loop in Washington, but not quite. I'll be posting more soon with pictures. Keep the Show on the Road.
  9. As always, thanks for the interest and reply!! In Washington, today’s US 12 is generally contiguous with the pre 1925 Yellowstone Trail (YST) from Dodge (west of Pomeroy) through Dayton, Waitsburg, Walla Walla, Richland, Prosser, Grandview and , Yakima. We traveled that route three days ago, including the beautiful US 12 non Yellowstone Trail section from Yakima over White Pass with its spectacular views of Mt. Rainer. I will post a few photos and the story soon, so come back in a few days to this section of the forum. I have repeatedly traveled today's US 12 over the years in Washington, so if you have a particular interest I may be able to answer a question of two. By the way, when did the current US 12 take its number? On all my post 1926 atlases up through 1953 it is identified in Washington as US 410. In the meantime, Keep the Show on the Road!
  10. Thanks for the reply! We are back at the ole home base again. The trip was limited to the 1915 and 1925 routes of the Yellowstone Trail in Washington. One of these days we will do a cross country trip and swing through Illinois. My ancestors came from that area but I have only been in Chicago. We have lots more to see! I have added a couple of fresh posts in the Yellowstone Trail section, with photos, et al of the 1925 route. Keep the Show on the Road!
  11. I realize that a map may help locate sites in unfamiliar areas so I have numbered the photos in my four related Yellowstone Trail posts on the map. You will find the number in the caption of each photo. We left Waterville and David and Amy at the Hotel Tuesday headed east on US 2, AKA the 1925 Yellowstone Trail, the National Parks Highway, and the Sunset Highway, A wealth of old roads! Before we left, David gave me a recent book describing a trip along the National Parks Highway in 1919, as well as a copy of an original 1925 map of Washington I didn’t have in my collection. I gave them copies of half a dozen 1917-1920 strip maps of the old road produced by the Automobile Club of Western Washington. We backtracked a couple of miles to photograph a picturesque Dr Pierces sign visible from US 2 as you come into Waterville from the west. Barn just west of Waterville (Map Location 1) The hamlet of Douglas, a few miles east of Waterville was on the Yellowstone. The Douglas General store was closed, but it looked like only a seasonal thing. I certainly hope so, as it is a special stop on the old trail. Douglas General Store (taken two years ago)...on the Yellowstone Trail Route (Map Location 2) There isn’t a lot to stop for between Douglas and Moses Coulee. Fifteen Million years ago 64000 square miles of the northwest was covered with layer upon layer of lava. The Missoula Floods swept the surface clear. Some of the lava layers are exposed in the Moses Coulee, a deep gash miles long and a couple of miles wide that runs through the Waterville plateau. The Moses Coulee was cut by the outflow and floods of ice age lakes Spokane and Columbia and the Waterville plateau was scoured by the famed Missoula Floods that occurred when a huge ice dam near Missoula, Montana broke repeatedly over eons and released the water of Lake Missoula. Moses Coulee from the Old Yellowstone Trail Alignment (Map Location 3) The old highway snaked up the side of the Coulee on the only roadbed possible in days when horses pulled the road making equipment. US 2 now climbs out of the coulee on a massive fill and cut, probably viable from the moon with binoculars! I had studied the route of the old Yellowstone Trail using Delorme and Google Earth, but you never really know whether you can travel it in a little sedan until you are on the ground. At the very bottom of the Coulee we picked up a dirt road that took us perhaps a quarter mile through sagebrush and rock. Then in from the right swung the old pavement, complete with the old white line. Dodging the sagebrush that had encroached from the sides making it a one laner, we started up the old grade. Halfway up we found an old sign still standing, advertising a long gone bank in Coulee City, and the remains of a rusting car beside the road The road wound up the edge of the Coulee with magnificent views down the canyon. The lack of any kind of guard rail suggested that the road may have been abandoned some time ago. There was an unguarded several hundred foot drop off the edge. Looking south down the Coulee from the old road. You can see the massive fill of the new road in the distance. (Map Location 3) To view in 3D, stare at the two images and slowly cross your eyes until you get a third 3D image in the center.When we reached the top of the plateau we were greeted with the back side of a Road Closed sign, and a wooden barrier. Happily we were able to skirt it. Apparently we had not been blocked at the bottom end because it was not expected that most people would find the old road from that direction. But then most people don’t study the old alignments before they travel! Without a doubt, the most spectacular scene is the Dry falls in the Grand Coulee. The turn off on State Route 17 for the short drive to Dry Falls, takes you to one of America’s most spectacular sites, important not just for what it is today, but for the amazing forces that created it. Dry Falls (Map Location 4) Unlike the wonderful Grand Canyon which was carved over millions of years inch by inch, Dry Falls, several times larger than Niagara, was carved out of solid rock in a short time, geologically speaking, by massive floods out of Lake Missoula in what is now Montana. The now dry falls and the coulee are the product of cataclysmic floods, each relatively short, that geologists didn’t recognize were the cause until fairly recently. The Eastern Washington scablands and the channels carved by the massive outpourings of Lake Missoula, boggle the mind. They are best seen from the air on a flight in or out of Seattle, because you see the effect of the floods in overview. On the ground, you see deep canyons with high cliffs, and rocks as large as hotels resting in strange places. I’ll update the post later with more photos and descriptions. It is Thursday morning and I want to keep this as current as possible. Tuesday night we stayed in Davenport, but did not have wi fi. We are in Colfax today on the 1915 Yellowstone Trail route. We will take the old road out of Colfax and head for Walla Walla, crossing the Snake River at what was the Central Ferry in Yellowstone Trail days, but is now a bridge. BTW, we spotted the old Yellowstone Trail marker yesterday at Rosilia on the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad Bridge. It also looks like John and Alice have been here recently as each museum has their book and 1919 guide for sale. Long live the Yellowstone! (Note: I bought the last guide at the Lincoln County Museum, better restock them!) More later. For now we are trying to Keep the Show on the Road!
  12. I realize that a map may help locate sites in unfamiliar areas so I have numbered the photos in my four related Yellowstone Trail posts on the map. You will find the number in the caption of each photo. We are on the Yellowstone Trail tonight, in the small town of Waterville, Washington, population about 1100. This is real small town America. The only restaurant closes at 8PM and the only bar serves the best meals in town. We ordered the twelve inch meat eaters pizza and it weighed at least 3 pounds. Even a hungry man couldn’t eat more than two slices, despite the fact it was delicious. We are spending the evening at the 1903 Waterville Hotel. David and Amy are our hosts. David bought the hotel in 1992 and after renovating it, opened it for business in 1996. The 1903 Waterville Hotel, Waterville WA. A stop on the Yellowstone Trail (Map Location 1) David pulled out a copy of American Road, volume one, issue one. I told him I wished I had saved mine! It had a note from Becky Repp, co-editor of American Road inside, a memento from a stop here in 2003. The Hotel Lobby with much Original Furniture (Map Location 1) As we stood on the old fashioned porch and discussed Waterville and the hotel, townspeople drove and walked by, each one waving and greeting David and me. I guess when you stay at the Hotel you are automatically part of the community . Amy showed me the rooms and the library. They have furnished each with old fashioned furniture and accessories. You even get a retro radio tape player combination and old time radio tapes to play. The lobby and sitting room are right out of the 1920’s, and much of it is actual furniture from the hotel from 60 or 70 years ago. Apparently the former owner had kept the original furniture down through the years, so David got it when he acquired the hotel. We have a 700 square foot two room suite with full kitchen, couch, easy chair, and all the fixings, including wi fi for less that a night at most motels. This is their one dog friendly room, and we were happy to get it. Bo was pretty tuckered out after several hours traveling so he has a large section of floor to rest on. (Next morning) Across the street is the Waterville Garage, a typical 1920’s facility. Were it not for the Visa and Master Card signs, this might as well be 1925 when the Yellowstone Trail was rerouted through here from its former path through Walla Walla and Yakima much to the south. The Waterville Garage (Map Location 1) This place is about as close as you can get to time travel. The Hotel, the old garage, and Waterville itself evoke the memory and images of what America was like in 1925 or 1940. Downtown Waterville at Dusk...on the Yellowstone Trail (Map Location 1) The folks who monitor the Yellowstone Trail section here, and write the Yellowstone Trail material for American road, John and Alice Ridge, stayed at the Waterville not long ago. Now Amy offers their book for sale and has posters of the Yellowstone Trial hung in the hallway outside our room. Yesterday, our first day on the Trail, was filled with stops in other great places like Cle Elum and the old Blewett Pass burg of Liberty. We will add more photos and stories as time permits. As for me, I’m headed in to get my continental breakfast as soon as I post this. If you want to stay at the Hotel, visit their website at www.watervillehotel.com. It will be an enjoyable experience. Ole Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog has recovered from a day of checking the sights and is ready to help Keep the Show on the Road.
  13. Damn, Denny, I enjoy your stuff! And your web layout is perfect for telling a photo/ text story. I appreciate the links as well. If I can’t be there, your writing, photos, and presentation reign. I have never been closer to Ohio than 30,000 feet, but I get a bit of it in your descriptions. I think your shot of the Byway with the industrial structures is great. Somehow it doesn’t look bad from this distance. Maybe we are seeing what our kids will consider picturesque industrial history. We are off this morning on a journey through the farmlands and villages of eastern Washington, along the Yellowstone Trail, AKA Sunset Highway and Inland Empire Highway. Your comments and Dennyisms are always welcome. Keep the Show on the Road!
  14. There is a magic about two lane travel, and it often starts before the trip. Sheila, Rose of the Road, Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog, and I are planning to leave tomorrow for a little road tripping along the 1915 and 1925 Yellowstone Trail in Washington. Hey Pal, Let's Get This Show on the Road! We have passed by the historic Waterville Hotel, in the lovely village of Waterville, Washington several times over the years but one thing or another prevented us from staying in this 1906 restored beauty. It served travelers along the Sunset Highway and the Yellowstone Trail for many years, and enjoyed a reputation for good food and nice rooms. It was the Waterville “control” for the 1915 and 1919 Automobile Blue Books and is pictured in both. 1915 Ad for the Waterville Hotel. Today a restored beauty. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to at least tour the building we e-mailed the hotel this afternoon, and the owner, David called this evening. To our delight they had a room and even more to our delight, they are Yellowstone Trail aficionados. David and Amy both welcome two lane adventurers regularly and Amy is becoming the local expert on the old road. The courtesy and enthusiasm that met our inquiry, and the shared interest in the old roads will no doubt make for a great visit, so I will pack old maps and guides to share. Where but on the two lane roads of America do you find this kind of interest and hospitality? David closed by saying to my surprise that they have wi fi, so expect the first installment of travels with Bo as early as tomorrow. For those who are not familiar with the Yellowstone, we will travel over Snoqualmie Pass, through Cle Elem, over Blewett Pass, through Cashmere, and meet the Columbia River at Wenatchee. Then we go north along the east bank of the mighty Columbia to Orondo, and up the famed Pine Canyon grade to Waterville for the night. Tuesday we are likely to cross the scablands formed by the unbelievably huge Missoula floods (as deep as 600 Ft), stop at Dry Falls, a massive dry fall cut by the rushing water that dwarfs Niagara, and then drive eastward through former farm villages toward Spokane and the Inland Empire. The next couple of days we will take the earlier 1915 loop through Walla Walla, Yakima, and then up to Ellensburg. Advice on sights and stops are earnestly appreciated! Follow travels with Bo on the Yellowstone Trail in the Yellowstone Trail section right here on the American Road Forum. We are trying to Keep the Show on the Road!
  15. Ouch, hung on my own gas pump! Or 2YsUR,2YsUB,ICUR2Ys4Me! Gasoline isn’t the primary cost of owning a vehicle, and it isn’t even the primary cost of traveling. If you travel 300 miles a day in an automobile that gets 20 miles to the gallon, the difference in daily cost when gasoline is $2.50 a gallon or $3.50 a gallon is $15. Not trivial, but probably not a budget buster in and of itself. None the less, how can I cut the cost of my auto trips, using my current vehicle? I love to drive, and to travel. I confess I’m not checking the air in my tires more frequently, coasting on long down grades, or rolling down the windows to save on air conditioning. But we can cut our cost of travel and add to the fun. I argue you have to look at the full picture, not just at the cost of gasoline. We picnic more and eat lunch less frequently in a restaurant. I figure that’s at least a net $4.00 saved (and a lot more for a family), and better yet, we have more fun. We stop where and when we like, pretend we are 18 again, and eat better. Instead of spending a buck or more apiece for a cold drink or bottled water when we gas up, we carry a little cooler with some ice and soft drinks. It is there when we want it, and we don’t have to wait in line to buy it. Assuming two stops and 4 soft drinks, that’s at least $2.00 saved. We enjoy eating dinner out, but we look for places that are special, not expensive. We scout the recommendations from American Road, and forum members. We save money, and I’m sure we have more fun. The cost savings here is so variable I won’t try to add it up, but my guess it is at least $5 to 10 bucks a dinner. Oh, BTY, don’t hesitate to read the menus often posted outside restaurants in tourist areas, or ask for one before you are seated. It’s your money. With refrigerators and microwaves in many motel rooms, we should have fruit on granola with yogurt and some juice instead of a restaurant breakfast. It would cost half what we spend on breakfast in a restaurant, and be twice as good for us. You could save at least $5 plus tip! We often use the little coupon books you see that give special motel rates. We carry our AAA tour book, and pick up a free coupon book on the road. We select the places we would consider staying in the AAA book, and then we cross reference to the coupon book. While we are still miles away, we call the places in the coupon book that met our standard based on the AAA book, and ask for their best rate. If it isn’t the coupon rate, we simply cite the coupon rate. Most of the time the clerk or owner will then offer the coupon rate, or very near it, especially off season. And there is a little forbidden pleasure when the fat cat next to you pays $20 or $30 more than you did for the same room. Also wherever possible, check out the places in American Road or recommended by forum members. They are usually less expensive, just as nice, and a lot more fun than most cookie cutter motels. Figure at least $10 saved. Add it up and the savings exceed the increase in gasoline costs, and you are traveling healthier and happier Now for those of you lucky enough to be driving a Behemoth 8, I can tell you how to get gasoline, not just cheaper, but free. Get rid of the Behemoth. Do the arithmetic. Look at the AAA cost estimates. You will be shocked. I don’t care if you really want to drive a new $35,000 two ton Behemoth 8, but don’t whine about gas prices. Just to cite the AAA study, it will cost you 37 cents a mile to operate a small sedan, 57 cents for a large sedan, and 60 cents for an SUV. This was when gasoline was $2.26 a gallon!! Add another 6 or so cents to each category to adjust to today’s gas prices. So by driving a small sedan, not a big car or an SUV, the money you save is 20 cents or more a mile, or more than the cost of your gasoline! Your gasoline is free! In fact the price of gasoline can go to $5.00 or more a gallon and you are still getting it for nothing compared to what you would have paid with the Behemoth 8. Drive as far and as often as you like, and the gasoline is free. Maybe that is a tiny bit fast and loose with the details and doesn’t deal with all the reasons you really need that big luxury vehicle, but the bottom line is, if you want to save money on gas and travel, drive a more fuel efficient vehicle. Driving more and spending less, I try to Keep the Show on the Road
  16. Great description! I went to your webshots site and enjoyed the photos. What is the story on the Rockhouse Cafe? BTY, are there supposed to be photos in the body of your post? If so, I'm not seeing them, although I'm signed in. Anyway, I look forward to the next chapter! Keep the Show on the Road!
  17. Gees, here we are 8 months later and the price is $3.58. That is over a 50% increase!! This is as a result of "increased demand" as some would like us to believe? I wish you other guys would stop driving so much! How can I Keep the Show on the Road?
  18. Below is the 1915 Automobile Blue Book description of the road between Fallon and Austin. Fallon to Austin, Nev. - 118.5 m. Via Salt Wells Ranch, Frenchmans and Alpine Ranch. This is a section of the Lincoln Highway. As the mountain ranges in this part of the state run north and south the Lincoln Highway is compelled to go over the top of them, making numerous rather steep grades. There are several long stretches without water on this trip and the tourist is warned to take on full supplies before leaving Fallon. Fair dirt road to Salt Wells. Here an 8-mile flat is crossed which will be absolutely impassable in wet weather and tourists are warned not to attempt it after a rain, although it will be pretty fair in dry weather if the freight teams have not cut it up to any great extent. After leaving 8-mile flat the road is rolling and hilly with a few sandy stretches, but as a whole is very good. After leaving Alpine Ranch no water is obtainable for 50 miles. Austin lies half way up the side of the mountain and the grades are very steep approaching it. According to the 1915 Good Roads Annual, the State of Nevada spent zero, zippo, nada, on roads in 1915. It was all up to counties, which you may be certain weren’t big spenders. And there were no federal matching funds. So imagine the road in 1915! Salt Wells was a stop on the Lincoln in 1915. Perhaps the bladeless windmill in the photo below marks the site of the wells. The buildings in the photo housed until recently the Salt Wells Villa brothel. The facility was closed in 2004, but according to local newspaper accounts, there is some interest in reopening it. The place was closed when we stopped for this 2005 photo. Salt Wells Villa Brothel I want to include here a photograph on the Lincoln taken in 1915, very likely in the same place. It is part of the wonderful collection at the University of Michigan Library, Special Collections. The University of Michigan Library does a great and much appreciated service. The image is "Near Salt Wells” 1915, the year of our Automobile Blue Book quote above cautioning that freight wagons may cut the road up. This is a freight wagon. It looks like a load of hay and railroad ties, or perhaps bridge beams. A close look to the far right shows the Salt Wells. Salt Wells 1915 (University of Michigan, Special Collections) Now remember the comment above about the road being cut up by freight wagons? This photo is taken in the dry season. Look at the ruts cut onto the road by the horses and wagons! And at the dust. When you encountered one of these rigs in your auto on the old Lincoln, who do you think detoured off the road into the sand to get around? Let me assure you, it wasn’t the teamster. If you saw him coming, and in this landscape you could, you hoped to find a bit of firm ground to pull off. If you met him on a mountain curve, you did the backing down. I can’t resist including another photo from the University of Michigan collection taken between Fallon and Salt Wells, in 1915. It should speak for itself. Stuck Between Fallon and Salt Wells, 1915 (University of Michigan, Special Collections) The next identified stop on the old Lincoln was at Sand Springs on the north side of the road. (If you want an interesting view of the dunes and the old Pony Express Station, go to Google earth. The station is at 39.2910, -118.4182 and the dunes will be very evident to the north east. The “Loneliest Phone in America” stands at the turn off US50, drawing its power from solar cells. You can see the reflection of the tower on which rest the solar cells. I have included a shot of Sheila, Rose of the Road calling home. Lonliest Phone in America The huge sand dune on the horizon is used for recreational purposes. Most people today take the turn off US50 and then pass by the most interesting site within fifty miles without paying attention. About .8 mile from the turn off US 50 on the road toward the dunes is the road to the 1860 Sand Springs Pony Express station. It is a short walk from the parking area to the station. 1860 Sand Springs Pony Express Station Believe it or not, the station is not much different today than it was 137 years ago, probably in good part because it was buried until the 1970’s under sand, and thus protected from both the elements and the sub humans we call vandals. Sir Richard Burton wrote in 1860 of a stop at Sand Springs Pony Express station: "Sand Springs deserved its name. Like the Brazas de San Diego and other mauraises terren near the Rio Grande, the land is cumbered here and there with drifted ridges of the finest sand, sometimes 200 feet high and shifting before every gale. Behind the house stood a mound shaped like the contents of an hour-glass, drifted up by the stormy S.E. gale in esplande shape and falling steep to northward or against the wind. The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury salts; it blistered the hands. The station house was no unfit object on such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, impure floor, the walls open to every wind, and the interior full of dust. Hibernia, herself, never produces aught more characteristic. Of the employees, all loitered and sauntered about desoeuvre's as cretins except one, who lay on the ground crippled and apparently dying by the fall of a horse upon his breast bone." It is often said that photos don’t do something justice. This is the case here. It is difficult to get the feel of the site in a photograph at midday, and I have never been there except in full mid day light. When you visit it alone it takes on aura of the past that is hard to shake. The sand, the wind, the fireplace where the man lay dying, are all there, and the walls are probably about as high in most areas of the building as there were in 1860. It makes you wonder what the fellows who kept the station felt when they heard a noise in the night and knew that some pretty angry Indians were around. I have included a 3D photo to give the structure some dimension. You can see the sand dune in the background. To view in 3D stare at the side by side photos and slowly cross your eyes until a third image in 3D appears in the center. Sand Springs Pony Express Station in 3D One Pony Express rider tells the following story: "One day I trotted into Sand Springs covered with dust and perspiration. Before I reached the station. I saw a number of men (Indians) running toward me, all carrying rifles, and one of them with a wave of his hand said, 'All right, you pooty good boy, you go.' I did not need a second order, and as quickly as possible rode out of their presence, looking back, however, as long as they were in sight, and keeping my rifle handy." Pony Bob Haslam, in his famous ride (see quote in Cold Springs description below), may have saved the life of the sole man at the Sand Springs station during the Piute uprising in 1860. On his west bound ride, he found the Cold Springs station in ruins and the station keeper dead. When he reached Sand Springs he convinced the fellow there to ride west with him to the relative security of the station at Carson Sink. Good counsel. The next place on the Lincoln, Frenchman’s, is long gone. All that is left are a few rusty auto parts scattered on the ground, and what appears to be a water pipe. It is a little sad, as Frenchman’s looms large and prosperous in old photos and on old maps. The 1924 Lincoln Highway Guide notes; Telephone, gas, oil, meals, lodgings. This was originally a freighters' station, but M. Bermond, (the "Frenchman") the proprietor, has built and fitted up splendid rooms, and will serve such a meal as you might expect on Fifth Ave. in New York. Water is hauled several miles to supply this station and a charge is necessarily made for it. Somewhere along the stretch past Frenchman’s is a rare shutree, the limbs sprouting shufruit. I don’t recall the milepost but it is on the left (north) side of the road near Middlegate and you can’t miss it. Scientists have been unable to fully explain how this rare species propagates, and why one would be found so far from others of its species. One theory is that a shuseed somehow stuck to a truck or auto passing one of the other trees of this species in another state. Somehow the shuseed was dislodged and took root on the loneliest road in America. The other theory involves aliens. A Shutree near Middlegate Going westbound you now have a choice. You can take the old US50 road (now NV 722) which is the newer Lincoln Highway (1925) or the newer US50 road which is actually the older Lincoln Highway (1913). Confused? Don’t be. I would take the US50 as far as the Cold Springs Pony Express Station (about 9 miles) then backtrack and take NV 722 which is for my money the prettier and more evocative drive. Besides, it has little traffic. On the left of US50 at about 8.7 miles past the intersection with NV722 are some impressive ruins of the Cold Springs Overland Stage station and not far beyond, some of a telegraph station. It is sad that it has been necessary to fence in the stations, but judging from the damage to Sand Springs in just the three years between my visits there, fences with razor wire are the only thing that touches the psyche of the vandal. Across the road on the right is a dirt road to a kiosk and a trail to Cold Springs Pony Express Station, still undamaged when we last visited it in 2003. The walk to the station is about 1.5 miles one way on a flat surface. But beware the hot sun on your head. Don’t take the walk without a suitable hat and at least a bottle of water. You could be sorry. Cold Springs Pony Express Station where Pony Bob found the station keeper killed This is the place where Pony Bob found the station keeper killed. Quoting his story: "After remaining at Smith Creek about nine hours, I started to retrace [westbound] my journey with the return Express. When I arrived at Cold Springs to my horror I found that the station had been attacked by Indians, the keeper killed, and all the horses taken away. I decided in a moment what course to pursue — I would go on. I watered my horse, having ridden him thirty miles on time, he was pretty tired, and started for Sand Springs, thirty seven miles away. It was growing dark, and my road lay through heavy sagebrush, high enough in some places to conceal a horse. I kept a bright lookout, and closely watched every motion of my poor pony's ears, which is a signal for danger in Indian country. I was prepared for a fight, but the stillness of the night and the howling of the wolves and coyotes made cold chills run through me at times; but I reached Sand Springs in safety and reported what had happened. Before leaving, I advised the station keeper to come with me to the Sink of the Carson, for I was sure the Indians would be upon him the next day. He took my advice, and so probably saved his life, for the following morning Smith Creek was attacked." Back track now the nine miles to NV 722 and take it to Austin by way of Eastgate. When we were there in 2005 there was a Lincoln Highway marker on the gate. The ranch house was empty. Eastgate Ranch House The bunkhouse(?) walls are covered with the names and initials of Lincoln Highway drivers of the past. I have read the building's stones were moved here from Middlegate, which diminishes its provenance a bit, but doesn’t diminish the pleasure of perusing the old names and dates carved in its walls. Eastgate Bunkhouse(?) Wall The 1924 Lincoln Highway Guide states that Eastgate offers “…meals, lodging, gas, oil, drinking water, radiator water, camp site. A fine place to camp.” Next Stop, Austin and the famed International Hotel Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  19. RoadDog, thanks for the report! Gilroy is an old community on the old El Camino Real (US101) with much history in the far south of Santa Clara County, about 30 miles south of San Jose, California. I knew it fairly well in the mid 50’s. Hecker Pass was once in a rural location, but like most of the area, is now engulfed by development. Apparently the fight over saving the trees took the standard route (I read some comments on the web). We have enough trees in the world, the branches will fall on our heads, we will run into them, they are in the way, they will all die anyway, etc. I’m glad some people who respect their heritage were also heard. And kudo’s to those who made the right decision and those who did the work to make it happen! Keep the Show on the Road
  20. Great stuff!!! Keep it coming!! This is what it takes to Keep the Show on the Road!!
  21. A quick travel tip. The National Weather Service provides a collection of graphic weather forecasts that display cloud cover, precipitation (both rain and snow) by predicted amount, wind, and a variety of other weather elements dynamically on a map. I don’t mean the typical radar displays that show past events, or the little graphics with a smiley sun partly obscured by a naughty cloud! These are animated graphic forecasts on a map. As you move your cursor over the hours on the timeline for today, tomorrow, or for up to 7 days ahead, the maps are updated graphically. For example as you move your cursor over the time line, the sky cover graphic turns increasing darker tones of grey for areas of the map the greater the forecast cloud cover in the area. It is like watching a movie of future weather on the map, and you control the day and the hour you want to view, and even the scale of the map! On a winter trip into Santa Fe, we stayed in sunny skies a day ahead of a snow storm all the way. As a result we got some nice photos and enjoyed sunshine and dry roads. Sadly, Sheila, Rose of the Road had to cut short her shopping in Santa Fe so we could beat the storm out of town, but sometimes there is a price to pay for knowledge! The text forecasts are great as well, and they are available for any place on the maps, just by clicking on the location you want. The combination of detailed text forecasts via a click on the map, and dynamic graphic weather map forecasts makes for easy trip planning and real time trip adjustments for maximum fun. Search on National Weather Service and look for the Graphical Forecasts. Currently the URL is www.weather.gov/forecasts/graphical/sectors/ Just a little travel tip to help you Keep the Show on the Road!
  22. Let me refer to the Lincoln Highway – Utah by Gregory Franzwa and Jesse Petersen. I think you have to consider two sections of the Lincoln on the Dugway. The older 1913 route and the 1919 Goodyear Cutoff. The latter is the straight as an arrow route that crosses the Dugway and takes you via Gold Hill. The earlier route went by way of Fish Springs and followed a good part of the Pony Express route in the area. This route is also blocked by the Dugway and is the basis of my initial comment that you can detour around and enjoy the Pony Express for 40 miles as a bonus. Peterson did a nice overview map of the three main routes, another good reason to buy the book. I think it would be taking too much liberty for me to copy it and post it without permission. The Wendover route is dated to 1927, after the advent of numbered highways in the US (1926 was when we officially got numbered highways, but usually they don’t show as such on maps until 1927). Franzwa does a nice write up of the Wendover Route in the current issue of the Lincoln Highway Forum magazine. I would join (I am a member) if only for the publication. I need to repeat the importance of the two (Lincoln Highway – Nevada and Lincoln Highway – Utah by Franzwa and Petersen) books because they are far better sources than I will ever be. I have no idea when the Goodyear Cutoff actually was closed to public traffic. It probably had a value locally for some time, but it probably did not carry much traffic. I really don’t know. The Dugway was deactivated in 1946 than reactivated in 1950, so maybe the last date it was open was 1950. Maybe Ypsi-slim will correct me and enlighten us. I’m just trying to Keep the Show on the Road!
  23. Ypsi-slim knows his Lincoln Highway! Consider his statements to be the authority on any section of the road. He is a legend among those of us who enjoy the Lincoln. Ypsi, thanks for the terrific info! We are just trying to Keep the Show on the Road.
  24. OMG! We have awakened a giant! In case anyone who reads these posts doesn’t recognize the handle Ypsi-slim, let me just say the man is a legend regarding the Lincoln Highway. I am flattered just to be in the same thread as he! Honestly, I am now a little intimidated. On a scale of 10, Ypsi is an 11 in his mastery of things Lincoln, and I am a 3 (on a good day, a 4). I can only touch the surface in these posts, because that is the depth of my knowledge, but if Ypsi weighs in at any time, consider it better than gold. Thanks Ypsi for the info on the Dayton treasure trove! He will definitely help Keep the Show on the Road!
  25. I finally got section one up at about 8:40 PDT. Doing it offline and then copying to the forum worked better, I am learning. It is more than great that you are traveling with your son. I raised my boy 30+ years ago as a bachelor father and our time and trips together are the most precious of my life. He is almost 40 now and we still discuss those adventures fondly. Now that I know who is going on the trip, I’ll try to keep it in mind. How old is he? If he is a youngster, he might enjoy the steam train ride at Ely. He should also enjoy Ft Churchill. Another book I didn't mention because I can't find my copy here deals with Dwight Eisenhower and his 1919 convey along the Lincoln. He and the troops stayed at several places you will see. I’ll try to recall the title. I have stayed in Fallon, Austin, and Ely. I'll give you the list via E-Mail. Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
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