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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. You really have to be a good risk to get one of those new Diner's Club cards!
  2. I found one abandoned bridge and a couple-three bypassed bridges on US 40 last year when I explored between Indy and the IN/IL line. http://www.jimgrey.net/Roads/US40/index.htm and see esp. the White Lick Creek, Deer Creek, Big Walnut Creek, and Interurban pages.
  3. That corroborates with what the historical signage at the Greenup bridge said: the route was paved in brick and concrete in the early 1920s. I'm pretty sure you did post the 1916 TIB strip maps; didn't I put a snapshot of one of them in the writeup? jim
  4. If it's that contentious elsewhere, can we make sure we don't tell any of those guys about this place? I've been doing online forums, BBSes, and e-mail groups for almost 20 years now, and 75% of those I've joined either turned into immature pissing matches or became overrun with spam and/or off-topic posts. It is unusual to find a discussion as civil, friendly, and fun as this one on the Net, and so I am especially grateful for this place. Peace, jim
  5. Alex, Your photo of the NB lanes of 51 north of Covington is fabulous. The way you captured the rise of the road is compelling. And it does give the feel of a (more modern) country 2-lane. I also really liked the photo of the Chevrolet staff car. Reminds me of the "blackout" cars, with trim painted instead of chromed, that were produced after the war started but before auto production was halted. I love Tennessee to death. You keep posting these trips and it's going to make me want to come down for a road trip. jim
  6. I guess my later-day equivalent was working at a Dairy Queen for $3.35/hr in 1985. I really liked that job. I got really good at making the little curly-Q on the ice cream. I got to eat anything I wanted at a 50% discount. I was very into blueberry shakes that summer, with about 3x the blueberry syrup. 1985 was the year the Blizzard was introduced. They didn't have all the kinks ironed out of it yet -- I went home every night with Blizzard spatters on my uniform, and they never washed out. Next time you order a Blizzard, notice the stainless-steel collar they stick into the cup -- a late-summer addition to the production of those things that prevented future uniforms from being stained. I'm waiting to see how the next few months unfold for me before I commit to another road trip. I put an offer on a house today, and the place will need a little work. So moving and doing the necessary fixups will consume some weekends. I'm still hopeful my friend and I can reschedule US 31 for before the leaves fall. I hope to visit my friend in Hoboken and drive US 40 back and take a couple days to do it, hitting the highlights (I could probably spend a week doing it to my usual level) -- if I have the vacation time. The friend who told me about the brick National Road in IL in the first place wants to make the trip with me after the leaves fall this year -- a pretty smart man, for so many things become visible, such as any leftover bridge abutments, when the greenery doesn't block the view. It's all probably more than I can do this year, but I'll watch for opportunities. Next year I'd like to drive the Lincoln across IN, and maybe take a slow trip across part of Ohio on US 40 and the National Road. I'm thinking Wheeling to Columbus because I want to find the spot where they buried US 40 under I-70 -- I found it by mistake about 15 years ago, and it scared the bejabbers out of me because I didn't know it was coming. jim
  7. What a fabulous writeup! I like the photo with the mystery wheel the best; the oranges are so vivid, and the bridge is such a surprise to find there. I've never been to Oregon (closest is a sheep ranch near Redding CA) and so have never seen the desert up there. It seems despairing. I can't imagine trying to scratch out a living out there. It reminds me a bit of the desert I saw when I was in Coahuila, Mexico last fall, with its rock-hard ground that still somehow managed to grow a sparse brushy ground cover. I felt the same kind of despair looking out over the miles and miles of that hard ground. Now, that abandoned cabin sure had a square roof. And is that a No Trespassing sign on it? This makes me hungry to drive north to my hometown, get on US 20, turn left, and then keep going for about a week. Unfortunately, my kids like eating, and I have to go in to work tomorrow in order for that to happen. jim
  8. My friend, if I ever come across a 402 control panel that needs wiring, why, now I know who to call! When I was a kid in the 70s and early 80s, a five-and-dime store was still operating within a reasonable bike ride of my house, and it had a stainless steel soda fountain on it. It was a Bastian Blessing, I'll never forget. They could make you a Coke by squirting syrup into the glass and shooting carbonated water into it. My brother used to order double-strength root beers there. My favorite was their chocolate malt, and they did not skimp on the malt. The owner was ancient when he finally wanted to retire, but he couldn't find a buyer to continue the business. He closed the store and auctioned the whole thing off. This was probably in the early 90s. Many thanks for the compliments on my trip writeup. It is gratifying when others read and enjoy them. Makes me want to do more of them. Peace, jim
  9. I'd love to have seen you debugging programs written on punched parchment! I'll bet you had to be mighty skilled to get the holes uniform so the reader could deal with them. jim
  10. I started on a Commodore PET and then taught myself BASIC on a...gulp... Sinclair ZX-81. I used my first serious computer, an original Mac, in 1984 and later used Macintosh IIs with 21 inch greyscale monitors in my first professional job 18 years ago. I was also the system administrator for our AppleTalk network of Macs and PCs. I've written assembly code on the 8-bit DEC PDP 11/70, got my first ever e-mail account on a DEC VAX, grudgingly used CICS on IBM mainframes running Z/OS, spent a summer working on a dedicated Wang word processing system, slogged UNIX commands, learned a little C, and used emacs as my editor, e-mail client, and newsreader (and through it got my first Internet access in 1990 or 1991), and have used a slew of Windows PCs starting with Windows 3.1. And I'm sure I've overlooked an old system or two in there. I was wired before anybody ever heard the term! jim The bridge west of Greenup is really something else, isn't it? It's built like a tank, and sure adds some character to the area. The concrete bridge that used to be there was just ugly. I'd enjoy an Illinois US 40 jaunt, esp. if we kept to the old alignments. If Terre Haute is an endpoint, it's fun to drive the original alignment of US 41, too, and see downtown at the old crossroads as well as 12 Points, where three roads intersect creating 12 corners. It was kind of a downtown of its own in days gone by, and it has slowly been undergoing restoration over the past 10-15 years. jim
  11. I've been hooked on the Web since I saw my first Web site in 1994. This is when there were hundreds of Web sites. Hundreds! It's about as reliable now as it was then!
  12. I'll take Old Alignments for $500, Alex.
  13. My host appears to have been having intermittent problems over the past couple weeks. If you find the site not responding, just try again later. If this keeps up, I suppose I'll need to find a new host. jim
  14. My ex-brother-in-law is in the Secret Service and was assigned to Vice President Quayle back in the day. My ex-BIL doesn't talk much; he only rolled his eyes when asked about the days he was always ready to take a bullet for the man. As for removing those wayward Es, I'm a recovering book editor. Alex, I'm sure that the folks in Pemaquid were Mainers in 1820, even if they were voting in Massachusetts elections. KWIM?
  15. From http://curbstone.com/_macadam.htm -- Key Dates of Interest in United States Road Building 1625 - Earliest known paved American road - Colonial city street - Pemaquid, Maine 1795 - First engineered American road - Philadelphia to Lancaster toll turnpike 1823 - First macadam road constructed in America - State of Maryland 1877 - First asphalt paving in N. America - Pennsylvania Avenue - Washington, DC 1893 - First rural brick road - Ohio 1906 - First Bituminous macadam road constructed - Rhode Island Well! Guess them Mainers have something to crow about.
  16. I was researching just now. I learned that US 20 didn't extend into Oregon until 1940, so the red road was an old alignment of OR 54. And that Horse Ridge Frontage Rd. is still a state highway, #7AA, of all things. I'd better back away from the computer now, before I hurt myself. jim
  17. I was so busy looking at the aerial image that I didn't notice that that alignment is not actually marked on the map. Am I correct in noting that at its north end it used to actually cross over where the road is now, and run parallel to it, and then cross back to the other side of it where it is now called Horse Ridge Frontage Rd.? With Windows Live Local at its best magnification, I think I can see red on the road. Oh! One of the reasons this fascinates me, but certainly not the only one, is that I grew up in a town that's on US 20. When I was a kid, it was on the old Lincoln Highway as it came in from the west. It fascinates me that old US 20 could go through such interesting terrain! I identify it so strongly with the streets of a few cities.
  18. Does the red alignment of US 20 go through, end to end, where it appears to merge with current US 20 on both ends? Is it truly abandoned, or does the county maintain it? I ask because the yellow stripes look pretty bright. Your map images are good. The Google map is terrible. The 2D Windows Live Local map is poor until you zoom in to the 500 yard view. It shows Horse Ridge and the old US 20 alignment, but you have to squint to see it. Back to cutting the grass.
  19. Wow!! My favorite photo is of the red 1930 US 20 alignment WB from east of Horse Ridge. I could hear it calling me through the electrons, saying to come out for a drive! And my car is so small that even I probably would not have an MM out there. I've backed my car up for a good mile before on dead-end abandoned roadways. Well, if I ever come out to Oregon, I'll probably fly and rent a car -- and I'll be sure to decline the Town Car if a compact economy car is not available.
  20. Looking forward to the photos, Roadhound. This isn't the first time I've heard that Nevada does a nice job of marking the old roads. You all are making me want to bust out of Indiana and see more of this country. My US 31 trip was scuttled, by the way. We'll be rescheduling it. And I'm toying, just toying, with making a trip to Hoboken this fall to visit an old friend, and then going to Atlantic City and driving US 40 all the way home. jim
  21. That is fascinating! I can understand how a town would disappear if it were last heard of 200 years ago, but not if it existed during a time when it was so well recorded, at least by the auto trail guides! And there's a chance that there are people still alive who remember it. Are your sources good enough to help you triangulate Brookings' location? jim PS: My US 31 trip was scuttled for the weekend when my friend got called away to Portland on business. We'll reschedule it.
  22. Kip, I am sitting here in awe of the photo you got on Day 7 of the ridge and the road winding around by it. If I ever make it out there, I am SO renting a Jeep! jim
  23. Another thought about this. How many places across the country proved unsuitable for crops that people tried to live on? A large portion of Indiana was cleared and settled in the early 1800s, only to find that the rocky soil produced insufficient crops. The homesteaders left, trees were replanted, and it's all now the Hoosier National Forest. A college chum who's into orienteering says you can still find the foundations of many of the homes out there in the woods. jim
  24. Yes, that's certainly a different kind of experience from what I get here in Indiana. I tried following old US 20 on Windows Live Local, and found it difficult as the roads aren't as well labeled as I'm used to. It sure looks like there's miles and miles of miles and miles out there. Sure would like to see red road. Looking forward to the photos. jim
  25. Oooooh, Falcony goodness. If that were on the Ohio/WV end of PA, I'd be tempted to go. I really like the rule in the Car Corral that cars must enter on their own power. I love old cars, but I sort of hate to see owners never drive them, instead transporting them on flatbeds. Denny, from Google Maps it looks like there are plenty of possible former alignments of US 50 near Clarksburg, WV. Thanks for the pic of the brick road. jim
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