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


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Everything posted by mobilene

  1. Thanks guys! I plan to make a go/no-go decision on Wednesday. jim
  2. I've made hotel reservations in Ohio (in Cambridge and in west Columbus) for my Memorial Day National Road trip across that state. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for rain across much of the state that weekend. I vastly prefer to road-trip in the sunshine, though gray skies and even an occasional shower don't bother me too much. But if any day of it is going to be a washout, I'm going to cancel and hope that the weather works out over Labor Day weekend. So send good vibes for tolerable weather! jim
  3. Denny, thanks for the advice about low ground clearance. And as for that particular old alignment of 36 -- the photo is geotagged if you click through on Flickr. But a tip: this is just a stub, despite Flickr's map saying otherwise. A bridge is missing in there. Dave, it would be fun to have a sports car, even if it is just a little Miata. I'm chewing on the idea. I'm such a daggone cheapskate though! jim
  4. This is a fabulous find! You had to have a real sense of adventure to drive in Oregon in 1910! jim
  5. I'm not surprised to hear that the Miata is best on dry pavement. I take my road trips during the nice-weather months, so that may not be such a big deal. But it did occur to me that sometimes I end up on poorly maintained old alignments, such as this original alignment of US 36 in western Indiana: Old US 36 by mobilene, on Flickr And then there was the time I backed my first Matrix off a service road that was built across the original National Road alignment in Illinois: Abandoned National Road by mobilene, on Flickr It strikes me that a Miata would have been a pretty lousy candidate for either situation. Ground clearance and the ability to have a who-cares attitude about body dings would be very welcome! Maybe I need to look for an old, used Ford Ranger or something like that. As for my Matrix -- I've owned two, having wrecked one on a road trip. The first one set me back $3,500 when the transmission failed! So I've not had the best of luck!
  6. I have not been fortunate enough to own a car just for fun -- seems like my money always needs to go toward other things. The car I own now is probably the most fun one I've ever owned, in that mashing the gas pedal to the floor causes it to scoot pretty good. It's a 2003 Toyota Matrix XRS. I sometimes have passing thoughts about picking up a used Mazda Miata for my road trips. We'll see.
  7. Yes, still targeting the OH NR. Hoping the weather cooperates. Absolutely looking fwd to the brick portions!
  8. I could have stared at those brick road photos all day long!
  9. The Chrysler Harry S Truman drove across country in the 1950s has been found. http://jalopnik.com/#!5791608/the-secret-of-harry-trumans-lost-1953-chrysler
  10. What a great story! I can just imagine the circuitous routes they must have to take to avoid highways. jim
  11. Ok, I'm out -- I now have a Michigan Road-related event that day. jim
  12. These sound like some fine itineraries! Looking forward to the trip reports. jim
  13. That segment of the National Road near Reelsville is one of my favorite old alignments anywhere. That cracked concrete dates to the 1920s. Triangulating from my road guides, I'm guessing 1924-1926. That bridge is from the same time. There's actually a second old alignment of the NR in Reelsville -- so old, that it's gravel. It runs a bit north of the concrete alignment. These two blog posts explain both alignments. http://jimgrey.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/the-old-road-at-reelsville-part-1/ http://jimgrey.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/the-old-road-at-reelsville-part-2/ I am not sure when US 40 was rerouted west of Brazil, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was when US 40 was four-laned across the state in the 1930s. jim
  14. I'm already starting to dream about the coming road trip season, but this year I will be doing less than in years past as some personal responsibilities have backed up on me and will need my attention over the spring and summer. I plan to finally drive the National Road across Ohio, and Lord willing and the creek don't rise I'll do it over Memorial Day weekend. Gonna take the dog and stay in dog-friendly hotels along the way. Denny's already given me a tip on one. I'm also thinking about exploring the Dixie Highway in Indiana. I've already done some of it -- my US 31 and Michigan Road trips covered the Northern Connector, and my SR 37 Indy-Bloomington trip covered some of it in southern Indiana. But there's still the US 136 alignment that enters from Illinois, and 37 south of Blgtn / US 150 portion still bears discovery. I'll do as much of that as I have time for. So what about you? What trips are you dreaming up for this season? jim
  15. I'm open to that, schedule and weather permitting -- what's the date?
  16. At long last, I've written up my summer US 50 trips with my usual thoroughness. Some would claim it's a sickness, but I am inclined to disagree. http://jimgrey.net/Roads/US50Indiana/index.htm
  17. The Horse Cave KOA's phones both ring to fax lines. KOA's customer service says their phones are working, but no matter what I do I can't get through. So they must not want my business! Chris, thanks for the tip on the Oakes; I'll check it out. If I end up staying down there, I really am going to kind of do some thinking. I will probably do some hiking at Mammoth Cave Park. I'm not sure if I'll do any roadsleuthing.
  18. Knightfan, I wouldn't know where to begin to look for one. But thanks for the tip for the future. jim
  19. Roadmaven, that looks almost perfect. I will check into it today! Thank you! jim
  20. Hi all. I'm planning to take a long weekend the first weekend of December, Sat-Mon. Kind of a personal retreat to regroup and clear my head. Ideally, I'd like to rent a cabin, and bring my dog. I'd like to be within a couple three hours of Indianapolis. I'm not looking for luxury -- just a simple cabin, though I'd like it to be heated. I'd like to have the rental come in under $200 for the weekend. This is proving to be much harder than I imagined. Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks! jim
  21. I understand that roads are here to serve the modern need, but it always makes me sad to see an example of old road engineering get ripped out. jim
  22. Really, really good point about there not being a definitive NR in 1910, Denny. Well, I suppose there was a "The" NR, as it did exist at one time; but maps, signage on the ground, and local understanding at the time may not have accurately reflected it. At any rate, I'm willing to go along with the preponderance of evidence in this case. I've now got two sources that claim that wiggly route between OH and IN as the NR and so be it, unless and until I find something more authoritative that contradicts it. But of course much of that wiggly route doesn't exist anymore anyway, so it's not like it's explorable. jim
  23. I have here a 1909 Mendenhall's Road Map of Indiana, and it confirms the NR route as it passes from Ohio into Indiana as being the same (or, at least, having the same shape) as the route transcribed from the 1910 topos.
  24. Okay, you know I downloaded that sucker straightaway. Some interesting things in Indiana and Illinois: First of all, I am fascinated to see how true the old road was, overall, to the current routing. Across most of the state, when the route was made an expressway two lanes were simply added alongside the old road. I had imagined that the four-laning had done more un-kinking of the road than it appears it actually did. The 1910 road made a jagged entrance from Ohio into Indiana, and according to this kdm file did actually enter Richmond along "Old National Road," which I labeled as only part of the Dayton Cutoff in this blog post. I'm puzzled over what this kdm shows as the route as it passed from Marion County into Hendricks County, to the point of doubting it! I blogged about this segment here. The kdm says the westbound road turned left at Raceway Road (the county line) and then right at CR 251 S before merging into the current route. But the historic aerial imagery I have seen doesn't show that CR 251 existed in the 1930s/1940s. So I'm a little puzzled. Iron's Cemetery (blogged here), west of Plainfield, used to front the road. It is hidden today only because the road's been moved away from it twice since 1910. If the kdm is correct, it seems that the short brick segment I found (blogged here) was new terrain road when the bricks were laid. There is no sign of the 1910 alignment on the ground today. I have long wondered about the route of the road behind the Walker Motel before the 192x bridge was built -- I'm told you can see evidence of that alignment and an old bridge abutment. Well, the kdm appears to lay it right out. It appears that an entrance to a trailer park just west of Putnamville may have been the old road, and that a segment of the road that runs through the Putnamville prison (and thus is not driveable by the public) was itself a post-1910 alignment. The alignment in the kdm around Reelsville doesn't even remotely resemble what I saw on a 1913 BF Goodrich strip map. The kdm shows the road leaving what's now US 40 in Terre Haute and following Chestnut St. westbound to 3rd St. -- I can't even remotely imagine that this was really the case. But it does give a plausible explanation of US 40's original path through West Terre Haute, which has always puzzled me. At the Indiana-Illinois line, as I've long suspected, it looks as though the westbound lanes of I-70 are built on the National Road's path. It also confirms my suspicions about the route around Livingston, IL, and that a farm driveway east of Martinsville was once the road. It also explains why the abandoned brick/concrete road disappears from Martinsville west to Casey -- because current US 40 was built over it, not next to it, between these towns. It also confirms that what is currently signed as the NR in Effingham, a route through a neighborhood, is utter nonsense. The road hugged the railroad track all the way through. I do puzzle, however, over the route it shows where the road crosses that track west of Effingham; what I see on the ground makes me almost positive that this routing came much later than 1910. It also follows the path of the current US 40 / US 51 junction east of Vandalia -- I've seen old photographs of the bridge that was once there on the abandoned alignment that is still visible from the air. SO... In short, I like where it confirms my beliefs and where it fills in some gaps, but not where it contradicts my beliefs! But isn't life like that? jim
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