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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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Everything posted by Keep the Show on the Road!

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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!!
  7. 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
  8. Rick, Brings to mind a couple of lines from a favorite song: But there's nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear Than to stand in a bar, of a pub with no beer Great image and story. I believe many women don't fully appreciate sagebrush, old buildings, and remote roads.....but then I may be wrong. John and Alice Ridge of Yellowstone Trail fame seem to share a common love of the old road. And while I have not actually asked Becky, she might be another. My wife is not a member of the club, but she is willing to let me rave on. Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  9. Rick, I have been inattentive to my disadvantage! Your photos and description are superb! A place I didn’t know existed! Of course 1975 is practically yesterday when viewed from my chronologically advanced years, but the photos and story are pure gold. The days when I reasonably expected to visit these places are past, so I depend on younger eyes and pens keyboards to tell the stories for me and others to enjoy!! Thanks! Great job! Now when is the book? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  10. This is like a feast of recollection and reflection, with a big dose of fine writing. I recall that motel….it was probably 10- 15 years ago and Sheila and I were following the Pony Express route. We didn’t stop. The post below gives a bit of the history of the motel. It still had cars in front based on the 1999 Google Earth image. You could have owned a piece of Nevada history, a motel, and RV park for just $225,000. Guess no one wanted to!! http://www.exploreforums.com/topic/3150-schellbourne-station-motel-rv-park/ Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  11. Hutch, Sometimes we buy vehicles to comfort ourselves, or our egos. But the best buys are those that expand our horizons, and enable us to do things we would not, or could not, do before. Your Big Red is a good example of the latter. Congratulations! Eastern Oregon where I believe you live has terrific places to go, and a little early snowfall can really add to the beauty. You don’t need this advice, but I learned the hard way that a capable 4 wheel rig can also get you into big trouble if you are inclined to off road solo in the winter. So have a great time, and keep us up to date on your adventures. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  12. Becky, Great to see you chime in! We all appreciate your enormous contribution to the joys of traveling the American Road! Dave
  13. Hutch, OH THE JOY!! I recall my days with my Toyota Land Cruiser. Of course it more often than not got me into places I had no business going with a wife and 2 year old. But truthfully, your photos practically brought tears to an old man's eyes. I wish you many more happy trails ahead!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  14. MGA707, I looked through the archives and found these photos from 2007, 11 years ago. I put them into a panoramas where that helps. I remember reading about the woman who danced there, Marta Becket. I think there was one of her performances the day we passed by. A lost opportunity!!! She was a spry 82 in 2007, and passed away at 92 last year. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  15. MGA707, Love it!!! And great photos, I recall stopping (not staying) there maybe 10-15 years ago. Maybe I have some images in the “archives.” I think the woman was still putting on her one woman shows. What a shame we didn’t stay, but maybe it was not even open. But the place is unmistakable. Are the peacocks still around? Dave
  16. Rick, I regret not reading your post sooner. Even we old guys can get busy!! What an absolute joy to hear from her. That is a very rare treasure we roadies get, perhaps just a few times in our lives. But it is the golden prize. I hope Becky picks up on this. It is truly brings history alive. Dave Hutchman, Terrific!! It is so good to see your great materiel. And I do remember the motel. Family limitations are keeping me home a lot more than I like so seeing the photos from you and Rick keep the juices flowing. Dave
  17. Rick, A sad story indeed! I feel your pain. But not in my wallet!!! Great photo! Dave
  18. Rick, I recall the station well! And I appreciate your modern photograph! Is the adjacent house still standing? Circumstances (primarily my wife's health) are curtailing my long distance road trips these days, but your posts are a valued substitute!! And my advice to anyone reading this is to visit these places as Rick says, while they are still there, and you have the opportunity. I am really glad I did!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  19. Hutch, A sweet new ride!! No other vehicle has retained it’s characteristic design for so many years. Sorry about the back…..that can be an awful barrier to just about every activity….but the new Jeep is an incentive to mend as quickly as possible! Dave
  20. Rick, I have followed the Oregon Trail in that general area….years ago. The Trail forded the John Day River at McDonalds (25 miles northeast of Grass Valley) and as I recall the pioneer auto road went from Wasco to Klondike, then across the John Day there also. Klondike had an abandoned general store when I visited, but it is one of those roadside artifacts that are gone. But there may still be a brick schoolhouse at Klondike. Google Earth will get you oriented to these sites. South of Grass Valley is an abandoned service station worth visiting at Kent. In fact Kent is definitely worth a stop for old buildings. Dave
  21. Rick, Thanks for your feedback! I recall that you were headed to that area soon. I do hesitate to advertise the locations of fragile roadside architecture, but at the same time, why tell about them, and not share how to find them. The area south of The Dalles within a ten mile circle around Dufur, Oregon is unusually rich in structures from early last century. I meant to write and share more about the area after my visit there in June, but have not until I read your post. I will do that, but probably not before you leave. So I will provide you and others a very quick guide to a very interesting and under appreciated area. Any good map will guide you to these places. Dufur, is a classic 1900 town. I have photos from 1912 that practically match perfectly with shots taken today. The general store is a live gem, and the Balch Hotel (stay there if you can) is a pure joy from 1907, and not only authentic, it is finely appointed and comfortable. You can read my review on Trip Advisor. The road from Boyd down to Tygh Ridge is an old stage road and the former (1912-15) main auto road,. There is a 1916 wooden grain elevator, great old barn, 1920’s concrete arch bridge, Nansene, the wooden bridge in my post, a great abandoned (haunted? house, and beautiful vistas with Mt Hood in the background along the way Friend is on the old road that replaced to road via Boyd and getting there will take you along parts of the old Barlow Trail of Oregon Trail days.. Friend itself was the terminus of the Great Southern Railroad, and has an abandoned pioneer general store and one room schoolhouse, against a backdrop of Mt Hood. Tygh Valley is a small farm community on the Barlow Trail with a general store and small cafe and on the outskirts, a storage yard for old amusement rides. East from Tygh Valley is the very early White River power plant in a spectacular canyon, at the base of a fantastic waterfall. There is a trail down to the abandoned powerhouse, and I believe it still has much of its huge equipment…..but I need you younger guys to do the photography as I would probably need a medivac on the climb back out of the canyon!! Further east you drop into the Deschutes River canyon to a pioneer bridge crossing. You can see the stage road clearly on the canyons east side, watch Native Americans fish from shaky platforms over a waterfall as they did 150 years ago, and if you wish, drive on to Bakeoven and Shaniko with the Columbia Southern Hotel from the turn of the last century. That is a very quick summary to help you with trip planning! Forgive the lack of photos, maps and details….for now, but I wanted this to get to you in time. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  22. Rick, I will take up your offer to add to your excellent post. Click below. Nansene Dave Keep the show on the Road
  23. Hutch, Any road trip is a good trip! I wondered where you were picking the Lincoln up. It sounds a bit like you are going to do what I often do, which is to do sections of one route and another, without feeling the need to travel just one all the way. I don’t think I answered your question from your earlier post because I didn’t know your starting point on the Lincoln. I’m still not sure where that will be….but if I had just one section, it wpuld be the long one between Fallan Nevada and western Utah, via Sand Springs, Eatsgate, Austin, Eureka, Ely, Tippets and Ipaba. You get a double package because you are following the Pony Express and the old overland stage route as well. I don’t think there is another long section of road in the country that so well preserves travel 100 years ago. US66 is a nice route, but it is really 1930s-50’s based for the most part, which is to say what is there mostly dates from that era. The Lincoln in Nevada will take you back to 1915 and before, and give the Jeep something it will enjoy. Safe Journey! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  24. I guess in part the answer to what is a must see on the Lincoln depends on where you plan to pick it up, coming as you will from eastern Oregon. For me the must see would be the section from roughly Ely Nevada to the Salt Lake area. Much is on the original roadbed and graveled but unpaved. It can be nasty just after a rain, and I have not traveled it for many years. Take a look here:
  25. Hutch, I second those recommendations. Franzwa was the master, especially in providing wonderful maps of the Trail. Dave
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