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

mga707

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mga707 last won the day on February 14 2016

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About mga707

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  1. Roadhound, the above video is certainly disturbing and downright creepy. Wonder if there is anything new on this since this news video from 2014? Got to say I was a little taken aback by the, shall we say, 'lackadaisical' response by the police officer interviewed.
  2. I'd wager that the abandoned house in the above photo at one time was the home of Mr. and probably Mrs. Wilkerson.
  3. mga707

    Trains, Stamps, & Road Trips

    Congratulations on having your photo honored with a stamp!
  4. mga707

    Travel Troubles

    Not to minimize your rather harrowing experience with 'La Migra', but the road you were following through Dome Valley was not actually the old Bankhead Highway/Broadway Of America/Old Spanish Trail/US 80. There is doubt whether the road through the valley ever actually was signed as '80', as the 'new' route through Telegraph Pass, which is still the route of eastbound I-8, was completed and opened for traffic in 1927. Anyway, from your description I gather that you were traveling on the paved, 'stairstep' road through the valley that runs north and east of the Gila River bed, following section lines. This road is newer than the actual old highway, which has never been paved and runs very close to the railroad tracks that are south and west of the normally dry Gila bed. In his exhaustively-researched 2009 book, "Drive the Broadway Of America--the U.S. 80 and Bankhead Highways Across the American Southwest", author Jeff Jensen gives a mile-by-mile account of this early alignment, and strongly recommends attempting to drive it only with a 4WD vehicle, as parts are extremely sandy and rough. This original alignment comes out to what is now US 95 about a mile south of the historic McPhail bridge that you mention above. Ironically, had you taken this old but rough original alignment, you probably would not have encountered any BP vehicles at all--but you may very well have gotten stuck in a sandy, dry washbed! For what it's worth, I was traveling the opposite direction on I-8 the following day, heading to Encinitas CA from Tucson, and wishing I had the extra time to explore some of the old sections of US 80!
  5. Thank you for that--great pictures, story, and linked NPS article. Definitely want to stop next time I'm on that stretch of 40.
  6. Thank you for posting those 'Exit 0' photos. I've driven by them about a half-dozen times over the past 30 years. Never have checked out what is left of Glenrio.
  7. mga707

    Route 66 trips

    For me, Chicago to OKC is a bit too long for one day--I'd stop in Tulsa. And as much as I enjoy Flagstaff, I'd stop in Winslow instead and spend the night at the classic La Posada Fred Harvey railroad hotel there.
  8. David Lynch's "Lost Highway", 1997.
  9. Thank you, Dave! Did not see any peacocks. Just one resident dog and two resident cats. No ghost cats, although there is supposedly one 'haunting' the hotel, along with an adult male ghost and a juvenile female ghost. I slept like a log, but my travel companion did not! After I got home i learned that the Amargosa is supposedly one of the 'most haunted' hotels in the Us, for what that's worth. I'm not sure how long it has been since the Hotel re-opened, but I hope the owners can make a success of it. They were nearly full the two nights we were there, with many foreign tourists. About half of the building has not been renovated, as the 18 rooms open all have private baths and the closed-off rooms do not. Our tour of the Opera House ($5 donation) was well worth it. It is amazing inside, and we were treated to a two-song piano concert by a concert pianist who happened to be visiting that day. He used to play for Marta there when she did her shows, which ended in 2012. I would love to revisit in the future.
  10. It definitely is! And from an old roads perspective, the drive south from DV Jct. to the 'big town' of Shoshone (pop. 31 per the town sign) is also interesting, as one has the abandoned railroad track bed on the left (east) side of CA 127 and and recurring bits of the old, narrower road alignment to the right. If lucky one might see wild mustangs!
  11. Just returned from a week-long trip through four of California's iconic National Parks (Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Death Valley) and the Mojave National Preserve. One of the highlights of the week was spending two nights at the wonderful Amargosa Hotel and Opera House in the near-ghost town of Death Valley Junction, resident population 3 in winter, 1 in summer. Others commute from Amargosa Valley or Pahrump NV. The history of this town, which was originally a rail junction and is still a road junction (CA state routes 190 and 127), is too long to go into here but is fascinating, if one wishes to look it up. The name of dancer/actress/artist Marta Becket figures prominently in the town's history and why there is still a functioning opera house in a town that for all intents and purposes has ceased to exist. Highly recommend the hotel to anyone planning to visit the Death Valley area. Enjoy some photos of the hotel and surrounding structures: Former garage and gas station across the highway from the hotel. The hotel and opera house at sunrise.
  12. mga707

    Antique fair find

    It's 1934. And the western terminus of 66 is in Los Angeles, hard to tell exactly where. The Los Angeles city map in the back is stingy with US highway shields. The farthest west 66 shield shown is in Monrovia. Also interesting is that California is one of the few states that did not by that time have a numbered state highway system. Only US routes are shown on the combined California/Nevada map, and now California state shield is shown for reference, unlike nearly all other states. The variety of state highway shields is amazing! Arizona's had a 'backwards' swastika on theirs, which was a Navajo symbol before that idiot in Germany ruined it forever. You can see ti above, inside of the arrowhead, which in turn is inside of the detailed state outline. Current AZ shield is a very simplified and 'stylized' rendering of our state's shape.
  13. mga707

    Antique fair find

    1934 Rand McNally road atlas, good shape, all pages, only five bucks! Hours and hours of old road enlightenment here. Below are the front and back covers, my state, and my local area:
  14. Minor correction: The correct name of the national park is Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert itself occupies the northern third or so of the park, and extends outside the park boundaries to east, north, and west. The entire park is a wonderful place.
  15. mga707

    US 56: Kansas-Oklahoma-New Mexico

    The Great Plains--US 56 heading pretty much straight-arrow to the southwest through southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma 'panhandle', and northeastern New Mexico. Came within a few miles of the southeast corner of Colorado and right after crossing from Oklahoma into New Mexico (the shortest state-to-state land border in the US, BTW) we were close enough to the northwest corner of Texas to spit into it!
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