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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. Good stuff so far, Denny! Loved seeing the curbed old 36 in MO.
  2. Dave, I haven't formed my theories about roadbuilding practices across the ages and rely on research to tell me what I know, but I'm sure in time I'll start to notice commonalities and become better at dating things. I do have one theory now that I think about it -- when I see concrete or brick on an old road, I assume 1910s-1920s. Seems like the asphalt age took off in the 1930s and we have, with some exception, not looked back. But that's just from observation and what little research I've done on the roads I've encountered. I lost an eBay auction for a 1923 copy of Concrete Highways Magazine showing Ohio State Route 1 -- i.e., the National Road -- concreted. I did get a screen shot of the cover from the auction page. I've attached it. jim
  3. Yeah, on this one you couldn't even really drive off the road on the right. You'd hit the hill on the side. That's 97-year-old concrete, by the way.
  4. Did someone say blind hills? IMG_2140 by mobilene, on Flickr
  5. Denny, there are always reasons to return! I didn't notice the milestone, which is why I didn't photograph it. I did notice several other milestones along the way, though. jim
  6. It looks to me like some of it involved the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Other than that I can't detect!
  7. What a hoot! I love stories like this, of modern-day pioneers who persisted. I'd love to see one of this fellow's signs.
  8. Okay, one shot of the bridge. That's my college buddy Jeff there in the orange. I picked him up in Wheeling. I hadn't seen him in 20 years. The S Bridge at Blaine by mobilene, on Flickr I was just as interested in the road itself. Brick National Road by mobilene, on Flickr Here it leads away from the S bridge westbound. Brick National Road by mobilene, on Flickr Soon there's a gate and the park portion of the road ends. But the road itself keeps going. Brick National Road by mobilene, on Flickr It's considerably overgrown. Brick road leading to the Blaine S Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr And soon it ends. It looks like it's buried under the fill for modern US 40. There are two driveways to houses along this section of the road -- apparently, this road was in use through the mid 90s. These two houses now have access via modern US 40. End of the line by mobilene, on Flickr
  9. Check out this video of a bus trip in 1945. Lots of concrete highways!
  10. Apparently the old bridge had some structural issues while it was still in use -- needed new trussing to support the deck. It's remarkable how overgrown the site is after 10 or 12 years. Large tree branches are growing through the railing.
  11. My understanding is that the bridge's unique architectural features will be saved and given to local historical societies for display. Perhaps customizing was just of a particular era, and the same teens who did it then are still doing it now. One thing I do notice, however, is that Mexican men tend to do some customization of their cars, at least here in Indy. One guy who lives about a mile from here has a first-generation Maxima that he's custom painted in this funky black and grey scheme. It's in questionable taste, but one thing's for sure, there's no doubt who it is when he drives by.
  12. I'll share about the Blaine bridge soon! But yes, the old brick road is forlorn and forgotten. Didn't you notice how often two-toning was separated by a chrome trim line on a car? There so often needed to be some way to cover up the "seam" between the two colors. But what car today has any sort of trim line that can be used for that? Moreover, so many cars today are in shades of silver, white, and beige ("champagne"). It seems to be what the car-buying public wants, for whatever reason. Color is out. I don't know why customizing died away. When I was in high school (early 80s), the most popular cars were Cutlasses and Camaros, bone stock. A few kids did things like jack up the back and add fat tires. Otherwise, nothing. Kids who drove hand-me-down cars -- like one friend who inherited her grandfather's '76 Impala, and another who got her dad's old Corolla -- usually expressed a certain disdain about it but bottom line were just grateful to have a car. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'm hanging onto my blue Matrix until my older boy turns 16 (Jan. 2013), and then I'm handing it over to him and buying myself a new car. My guess is that he will be at once excited about having his own ride, and unsatisfied that it has to be dad's old fuddy-duddy car.
  13. So there's this bridge between Wheeling Island and Bridgeport, OH. It's abandoned, with a new bridge alongside. The last time I drove over the new bridge, I wrecked my car at the end of it. So this time I avoided driving it and just came up OH 7 to US 40. But that abandoned old bridge was still there. Bridgeport Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr I stopped to consider its western end. Bridgeport Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr I was curious about what that sign (up there, see it?) said, so I kind of trespassed a little. Bridgeport Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr From there, I could see that this bridge has fallen into serious disrepair. A TV station in Steubenville reports that this bridge will be demolished next month. It's sad, but I think this old girl is beyond saving. Bridgeport Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr
  14. Yep, it's a railroad bridge, on the very line you identified! Full details: http://bridgehunter.com/in/marion/13840/
  15. Ta da, Highway Hi-Fi, spied in a 1957 Chrysler 300C a couple weeks ago: 1957 Chrysler 300C convertible f by mobilene, on Flickr
  16. A reader of my blog sent me this photo of two of her ancestors. The year was 1917, and this was on the National Road in far western Marion County, Indiana, just east of what was the town of Bridgeport. This bridge was built that year, and (the reader says) the concrete road had just been poured and was curing underneath some straw. I can't tell for sure that the road is actually concrete from this photo, but I'll take her word for it! jim
  17. Ah, I think you're onto something there. Let's get the history of this set of roads straight. jim
  18. My parents own a dog they "rescued." It had been called Abby for its first year of life, but my mom decided to change it to Abigail for whatever reason. Who's to say that she needs to still be called Abby because that's what her name was originally? I think it is worthwhile to keep pointing out that the road has three major sections, all with their own individual names. But what's the harm in calling them, collectively, the National Road? jim
  19. I didn't know that federal bucks petered out at Springfield -- that really explains a lot. The road past there is at least a pleasant enough drive, but there was so very little to stop and see. I had the most fun from Wheeling to Zanesville. You know I love old pavement, so driving over the old brick and concrete was a real thrill for me. I also loved all the stone bridges on the old alignments. Photos will come. I was way behind on uploading photos to Flickr -- just finished uploading nearly 800 photos I took at a muscle car auction two weeks ago. Gotta blog about that and then I start uploading NR Ohio photos and blogging about that. jim
  20. I understand the nature of the three sections of what is commonly called the National Road, and the perfectionist/OCD in me wants to use the accurate terms. But I have found that I get much more recognition when I call it the National Road whether I'm in Ellicott City, MD; Washington, PA; Cambridge, OH; or Marshall, IL. jim
  21. I'm back from my trip across Ohio! Photos and writeups to follow. Highlights: - The bridges at Blaine. The 1830 stone bridge next to the 1930s (?) concrete arch bridge -- very cool, and hard to get a bad photo of them together. - Various segments of brick road east of Zanesville. Peacock Road is celebrated, but I actually liked the brick section west of Norwich best. Good rumbly brick. - Left-behind scraps of the 1914 concrete highway between Zanesville and Hebron. - Cambridge, Zanesville, Columbus, and Springfield. The road west of Springfield gets less and less interesting the closer you get to Indiana. It's just a straight shot, except for the flood-control reroutings north of Dayton. Past those two reroutings, it's a stick-straight two-lane with one (1) tiny old alignment right at the Indiana line. But i was pretty tired by the time I got to these, on day 3, so it was all for the best. jim
  22. That's right, Denny. I've printed out your trip reports for my itinerary and we'll see how it goes that day (I'm covering all of western OH on Monday, a lot more miles than I normally do). I'm all packed; I'm leaving Indy at 4 pm.
  23. Stories about this year's snow removal even made the news out here! Looks like a wonderful drive. jim
  24. Your good vibes sent my way seem to have worked, as the rain chances have all disappeared for the holiday weekend! The trip's a go. I'll be heading out Friday after work and zipping down the superslab (I-70) to Cambridge, OH, where I've reserved a room for two nights. Saturday morning I'll drive to Bridgeport (just across from Wheeling) and then start my westward trek. Kind of nervous about returning to the scene of my accident! I plan to spend Saturday and Sunday getting to the west side of Columbus (where I've reserved another room), and Monday getting back to the Indiana line. There's a lot more to see in eastern OH than western, and so I'm weighting my trip that way. Besides, western OH is easily day-trippable later if I want to revisit it. I may have to go back to one of Denny's old trip reports to see if I can dig up info on the bits of the old road left behind in the reroutings north of Dayton. (Am I remembering that right?) Maybe I'll have time to go see that. So I washed the dog the other day, because a smelly dog is not fun on a three-day car trip. And I charged up my camera batteries. And I've made my usual route document showing every place I plan to stop. All I need now is to gas up the car and hit the highway! jim
  25. I dream of good-looking women pointing at me. But somehow being a modern-day automobilist doesn't seem to be attracting them! This book is a fabulous look at how automobilism was at the time. But if I were in that time and trying to use this book, I would be cursing its rambling prose. It would be much better in table form by mileage, as the ABBs are! It's much easier to refer to it while on the road in that format. jim
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