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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. I don't know about you all, but I keep my road trips to the warmer months. I don't get much of a kick out of a slick or slushy highway in the cold. I'm already starting to dream about where I want to go in 2008. I don't think I'll be going anywhere exotic -- there's a lot I want to see right here in Indiana. And close-to-home trips fit my budget right now anyway. The more time I spend on the old Michigan Road, the more I want to drive it end to end. The Michigan Road is Indiana's first state-funded road, and it was built in the 1830s. It stretches from the Ohio River at Madison to Lake Michigan. If I understand correctly, the road came to the lake first and they built Michigan City where the road ended. I live about 1 mile from the Road in northwest Indianapolis. It used to be US 421 through town, but today is maintained by the city. Out of town it's US 421 along much of its alignment, but is also State Road 29, State Road 29, US 20, and a decommissioned stretch of US 31, at least up north; I don't know the road down south at all. I'm eager to get to know it. I'd also like to drive the LH in Indiana, the original alignment that runs through Goshen and South Bend. The pages at roadfan.com show some old alignments, including one in brick, that I'd like to see. That would be a weekend trip. What about you? Where are you dreaming of going next year? jim
  2. I'm imagining a deluge of reviews from the Northwest....
  3. Hey! How are we getting so central-Indiana heavy here?! Chris, I, too, went to an all-male school, Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute. And I work in software test automation. Except for 18 months in publishing, I've been in software development for 18 years.
  4. My little red 03 Matrix just rolled over 70k. I'm hearing the noise of a throwout bearing that is nearing the end of its life, which usually means it's time for a new clutch, too. Whee. Oh, and I have lost six wheel covers now. Toyota charges $80 apiece for them. I've finally decided I should just put $80 rims on the car and be done with it! But the car has been great for my road trips because it's easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and believe me on some old alignments the spaces get mighty tight. It also holds whatever gear I need to take, including a small step ladder for those times when I want to get some elevation to take a photo.
  5. Great catch, Chris! And welcome to the AR forum! I've driven through that area any number of times but not with my eyes open, if you kwim. I sure will next time. jim
  6. The number surprised me. But that part of greater metropolitan Indianapolis is all growth, baby, and the joint is on the major artery out there.
  7. What a wonderful trip report! I'm glad you didn't try to revisit your 1969 adventure in your rental car. jim
  8. Ditto to the max. Keep, what you found is nearly a holy grail of abandoned alignments. To go home and find that you stood where George Stewart did -- wow!! jim
  9. Fascinating stuff. I could only watch the 34-sec vid because the others appear to be "protected," but that was cool enough. How did you pull in? Did you just stop on the shoulder of the freeway?
  10. I looked up that spot, Keep. You seem to find all these abandoned alignments just sitting there in the open. Maybe it's just your part of the country. Anyway, instant jealousy! jim
  11. Thanks! What a big blue sky you had yesterday out there. Is that Patti Page?
  12. Alex, that sounds like a daylight nightmare. I'll bet 24 bypasses Hammond today, though. Keep, I guess you could say my car led the parade!
  13. Worst hotel stay in my life was outside Memphis in 1987. It doesn't live up to the story in the link, but it's the best one I have. My buddy, his girlfriend, and I had driven in to broadcast a football game -- I forget the name of the school there now. The Baptists had descended upon the town for a convention. Not knowing about the Baptists, we hadn't made reservations anywhere. We drove from motel to motel, farther and farther away from town. We ended up staying 20 miles north of town in some old motel. The room was dark, dirty, and smelly. The room sort of "moved" when we turned on the one dim bulb. The lock on the room's door seemed mighty flimsy and the proprietor seemed mighty creepy. We didn't shower, and we slept with one eye open in our clothes on top of the beds. Even though the game ended in late afternoon, we drove back to Indiana that night rather than face another room like that! jim
  14. Look forward to living vicariously in your trip via the films... but take the advice you gave me and run them through an editor! :-)
  15. I drove home from Thanksgiving in my hometown Friday evening. I decided to try a new-to-me variation on my usual Dixie Highway route, which was to stay on US 31 to US 24, and then take US 24 to Logansport and rejoin the Dixie. US 24 through Indiana is a big four-lane slab. But since it was dark and drizzly, I got a little confused and ended up on what turned out to be Old US 24, a winding two-lane. The sixteen miles zipped by in no time, and soon I entered Logansport, but in a part of town I'd never seen before. After I passed through the retail district on the edge of town and entered a residential area, traffic became thick. I made a turn onto what I thought was the Dixie but was very wrong as that road ended two blocks later. I wandered briefly through heavy traffic (in little Logansport? What gives?) until I found downtown. And then no matter which way I turned, I found the streets closed! I felt like the man in the old Electric Company skit, "No left turn, no right turn, tow away zone, no way home!" (Anybody here of the right age to get that?) I kept backing up, turning around, driving a block, finding a barrier, backing up, turning around, ... Finally I spotted a police officer by one of the barricades. I got out of my car and explained my plight. "I'm just passing through and with all these barricades I'm pretty lost! I'm just trying to get to State Road 29." I hoped he knew what I meant, because 29 hasn't actually run through Logansport in years. But it was the most modern name for the Dixie that I thought he might recognize. He thought my story was funny, so he opened the barrier and let me drive down the closed street. "Turn at 3rd St. That's 29." I could almost see it in his face that he knew it wasn't really 29, but that it became 29 when its modern path flowed back into the old Dixie Highway path. I was on my way. As I drove south on the Dixie, I searched for a radio station. I happened upon Logansport's lone FM outlet, which was broadcasting live from downtown Logansport for the annual Light Up Logansport parade! That sure explained the traffic and the barricades. If I wasn't now thirty minutes behind schedule to pick up my sons, I might have turned around to see! This happened only because I accidentally found myself on the two lane.
  16. I met with Nancy Carlson, director of the Telecommunications Dept. and producer of this film, today for coffee. She happened to be in town. She is still in the figuring-out-what-stories-to-tell phase. She told me that she wants to tell the stories of people on the Road in Indiana, past and present, especially past. She admitted that she is trying to avoid an eastern-Indiana bias because that's where she's located, and is interested in leads from western Indiana. I told her about the house in Harmony and suggested the Clabber Girl museum in Terre Haute. She said she'd like to find a farm along the Road that has been in the same family for many generations, and find the story of a pioneer woman who could be a real-life Madonna of the Trail. I brought my 1916 and 1922 ABBs, my 1924 Auto Trails Map, and several 1930s-1940s gas station maps to tell the story of the road itself in more modern times. I told her about the resurgence of the road in the early 20th century, and showed her in successive maps how it was widened over time to its current 4-lane state, reflecting the need for a major artery across the middle of the country. I suggested that she could probably find any number of stories across the Road from the day that I-70 was opened, and how traffic and business immediately went from a gush to a trickle. I'm not sure she was that enthusiastic about this idea, but she did take plenty of notes. She really liked the 1916 ABB and it's description of the road from Indy to Terre Haute, and asked for permission to shoot photos of my copy someday if she decides to work it in. She is also seeking Indiana artists (music, painting, etc.) with links somehow to the Road to contribute. She's talking to a Bloomington-area bluegrass band today, for example; they recorded a song called National Road. Since she is still in idea-gathering mode, I'll bet she'd welcome further leads from this group. I can pass them on or put you in touch with her. I enjoyed the chat with her. She is clearly excited about the project. Peace, jim
  17. Heh! Always looking for the promotional angle, eh Roadmaven? I assume they want to talk to me to see if I have a story worth filming, but we'll see what happens. Keep: I'd be just as happy with fortune minus the fame!! jim
  18. My recent blog entry about the Reelsville segment of the Road got the attention of the folks putting this documentary together. They've asked if I'm interesed in participating. I'll certainly reply in the affirmative, and I'll let you all know what unfolds. jim
  19. To get to the spot where I was, dive off of 40 west of West Terre Haute where the Historic National Road sign points you. (This is old 40.) After you cross into Illinois, start looking on your left for the old brick road.
  20. A friend of mine shot a little video of me driving my car down an abandoned, but accessible, segment of the brick National Road in eastern Illinois, just a few miles west of the Indiana state line. This gives a really nice idea of how close the old Road is to current US 40 (in most places), shows how narrow the old Road is (really -- it was the original US 40, folks), and shows me basking in the rumbly glory of its excellent brickness. Jim on the National Road I'd like to embed the video here, but the forum doesn't seem t handle HTML.
  21. I'm going to let my blog carry the Reelsville burden, but any further discussion about the subject is certainly welcome here!
  22. I had posted here about the National Road's alignment through Reelsville, Indiana. The post appears to have been eaten by the board gremlins overnight. But fortunately, for those of you currently donning sackcloth at the loss of such wit and poetry ( ), I happened to make a blog posting out of it yesterday. It's here: http://jimgrey.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/a-kink-in-the-road/.
  23. Could it be your SetSize line? In one of the squeezed ones, it is: SetSize(1260, 2800, 80); In two of the "good" ones, it is: SetSize(1516, 3243, 80); SetSize(1539, 1775, 80); I've not worked with Zoomify before, but this SetSize line is the only thing with any major differences (other than text to display on the page) among the three pages I looked at. jim
  24. Anybody seen this? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...hlink:middle:us I'm considering bidding. Keep, do you have one of these? If so, is it worthwhile? jim
  25. Sweet trip, y'all! Denny, thanks for letting me live vicariously through your photos. jim
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