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

mga707

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Everything posted by mga707

  1. mga707

    Waaam! Old Airplanes On Columbia River Highway

    The WAAAM is the featured museum in the "Museum Pass" section of the latest issue of "Collectible Automobile" magazine (December 2011). Very complimentary article and lots of pictures.
  2. The virtual tour is great. Incredibly detailed! Thank you for taking the time and effort to put it together.
  3. mga707

    Yachats And Newport On Us 101, Oregon Coast

    I love the Pig'N'Pancake! They have at least four locations between (I think) Newport and Astoria. Unfortunately, on this summer's Oregon trip we did not get to eat there, as the day we hit the coast was also (unknown to us) the day of the annual Mt. Hood to Seaside relay race. The coastal towns--and the P'N'Ps in both Astoria and Seaside--were absolutely mobbed with runners who had just finished the race. We did finally find another local restaurant in Seaside that was not as crowded, and our breakfast/lunch WAS tssty, but I was SO jonesin' for a Pig'N'Pancake experience!
  4. Just a thought that popped into my head: Did anyone shine a lantern or spotlight into either culvert, just to see what, if anything (other than an unhappily disturbed skunk or raccoon) might be in there?
  5. mga707

    Waaam! Old Airplanes On Columbia River Highway

    Each is quite different, and enjoyable in their own way. The Evergreen museum is new, state-of-the-art, and huge. Where else can you find a museum/water park combo? Not to mention a 747 water slide! On the museum side there are two large hangars, an IMAX theater between them, and scattered aircraft displayed outdoors. It even dwarfs my local Pima Air and Space Museum, which is one of the larger ones in the country. One note, though: To go up onto the flight deck of the Goose is an extra charge. And they don't have the mannequin of Howard at the controls, like they did in Long Beach, which is where I first saw the plane back in '85. The Tillamook museum has a totally different charm. Much more of a rustic, 'let's make a museum' kind of charm. Even though they have a large collection of aircraft, the immense size of that WWII blimp hangar makes it look small! It reminds me of the Airline History Museum at the old TWA hangars at the old downtown Kansas City airport in a way, with the 'do it yourself' type of feel. Both are well worth a visit. An unexpected gem of this trip was the small, open by appointment, Classic Aviation Museum at the Hillsboro airport. This one is really kind of a 'rich man's hobby' type of place, as most of the planes in it are owned by one person who allows them to be visited. He has some rare metal, like a 19850's French jet trainer called the Fouga Magister, and several MiGs and F-104 Starfighters. This is really a 'hands-on' museum, as one can touch and poke around the aircraft, all of which are either flyable or in the process of being restored to flying condition. My hands smelled like Skydrol (hydraulic fluid) when I left. The fifth area museum was the Pearson Air Museum, on the grounds of Pearson Field at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver WA. A friend flew his Beech Sundowner out to Pearson from Indiana for this event we attended in Portland (Airliners International), and the only flying Boeing 40, a 1928 mail/four passenger aircraft, was there for the event as well, and offering rides. Pearson is one of the oldest operatiog airfields in the US, dating back to WWI era, and was Portland's first airport. The old Army Air Corps hangar is now the museum, and it too has interesting displays and aircraft. Proibably more detail than you asked for, but hope this is interesting to you. And the WAAAM was terrific, to get this back to roads and cars as well as airplanes!
  6. mga707

    Waaam! Old Airplanes On Columbia River Highway

    Just got back from the Portland area. Drove out the Columbia River Highway to the WAAAM. What a great ride! Simply beautiful. The WAAAM was an excellent museum as well. Did four other aviation museums in the area--Evergreen (McMinville), Tillamook, Hillsboro, and Pearson (at Fort Vancouver), but I think I liked the WAAAM best of all, even though it is far smaller than either Evergreen or the Tillamook blimp hangar museum. As others have opined, the juxtaposition of period cars, planes, and other motorized vehicles is something one does not see often. Kudos to Oregon for keeping as much of the old highway drivable as they have. The 1918 'view tower' is awesome!
  7. mga707

    Goodyear Cut Off

    ....plus, they have to conceal the UFOs while you're there!
  8. Thanks for a great ride! I've enjoyed the armchair journey immensely! (I took the liberty of changing "alone" to what I assume was your intended "along".)
  9. mga707

    Goodyear Cut Off

    If you've seen "UFO Hunters" on History you'll know that even going up to and lingering a bit at the Dugway boundary fence will get you plenty of unwanted attention from the "cammo dude" security folks!
  10. I'm impressed and pleased by the BLM signage. The original LH is old enough now (98yrs) to be sign-worthy!
  11. Again, great pictures! This is a route I plan to undertake someday. One minor correction: The settlement name is Callao rather than Callab. Looking forward to the next installment.
  12. We (or at least I) do! Keep 'em coming!
  13. mga707

    Cape Horn In Nevada

    There's got to be a story behind the name--Cape Horn?? Loved the pictures--my kind of place!
  14. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    I've visited the South Rim three times (four if you count the first time, when I was two!), and the North Rim twice. And then there was my previously-mentioned 2003 trek to the remote and wild "Northwest Rim" at the Toroweap Overlook. That was definitely impressive! I do enjoy the less-visited (and higher) North Rim more, but I still like the sometimes-overcrowded South Rim as well. I love the old lodges like the El Tovar and Bright Angel, much as I've loved the historic lodges at other 'signature' parks like Yellowstone and Glacier. I do think that the circumstances of your visit have probably put a damper on your enjoyment of it. And then there's my older brother: On our family's first Canyon visit in 1960 (the one when I was two), my then 8-year-old brother, according to family lore, took one look over the railing and stated "OK, we've seen it, let's go home now!"
  15. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    Totally agree! Discussing this is making me want to get up to the Grand Staircase area above the Grand Canyon again.
  16. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    Glen Canyon City. Like nearby Page, AZ, Big Water/Glen Canyon City owes it's existence to the late 1950's construction of Glen Canyon Dam, which formed Lake Powell. Prior to the dam's construction, US89 did not even exist it this location. The current 89A (alternate) was the original 89, which crosses the Colorado River at Navajo Bridge by Lee's Ferry and continues westward to Fredonia AZ and Kanab UT along the lower edge of the Vermillion Cliffs. Big Water is also the closest community to the old Mormon settlement, now ghost town, of Paria. It's some miles down a bumpy dirt road off of 89 west of Big Water, but is a neat place if you like ghost towns. What makes it even more interesting, or confusing, is that the actual Paria townsite is on the opposite side of the Paria River from a 'fake' ghost town that was constructed in the 1970s for a western movie--I think "The Outlaw Josey Wales". Hope I'm not boring you, but I just happen to know some of this stuff! Thanks for the further info on the Big Water residents--I did not know that!
  17. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    On US 89 just west of Lake Powell--the first place one hits in Utah after crossing the AZ/UT line--is a tiny community called Big Water. I noticed the large houses and women/girls in the old-fashioned dresses there as well, so I guess it is another place where polygamy is common. But the interesting thing about Big Water is that there is a visitor center there that has the most amazing locally dug dinosaur and other prehistoric animal fossils in it. Is actually the second time I've found big museum quality fossils in tiny little town museums. The other is in the equally tiny town of Ekalaka, Montana, way down in the southeast corner of the state. They have a duck-billed dinosaur skeleton that could be at home in the American Museum of Natural History! I guess it helps that both places are located in areas where fossils can be easily found just sticking out of the ground, especially in places like cliff faces and stream beds where the rock has eroded away.
  18. mga707

    Old Washington

    Another artifact that should not have survived so long is parked right next to the wooden building: An '80s Chevette, looking like new! One of the few still running. Definitely something about Washington!
  19. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    I dug out my NPS California Trail (California National Historic Trail, to be precise) map to answer your question. While visiting Scotts Bluff National Monument (NE) a few years back, I grabbed all of the National Historic Trail maps that they had there: California, Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express. All four passed by the bluff. Anyway, from what I remember of my Donner Party history, I don't think that they passed through the section of trail that you followed, or were even in what is now Idaho at all. After the California Gold Rush started in earnest in 1850, the California Trail became rather braided-looking, as various scouts and guides blazed new 'cut-off' routes, some of dubious safety or value, in order to get the travelers across the mountains and Great Basin via shorter and supposedly faster routes. While the main California Trail branched off from the Oregon Trail by the Snake River in southern Idaho, near where I-86 branches off from I-84, the Donners, IIRC, took the so-called "Hastings Cutoff" which left the main trail much farther east, near South Pass in SW Wyoming, and continued through the Wasatch Range, around the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, and then crossed the vast, waterless Great Salt Lake Desert before rejoining the main trail near Elko NV. It roughly paralleled the present I-80 route. The dangers of this cutoff route are obvious just from looking at the map, and I believe the hard-luck Donner Party lost people, livestock, and wagons crossing the desert. But, they realized that they had to cross the Sierra Nevada before the first snows and they were in a hurry. Needless to say, their bad luck continued. If you want to really feel like an outsider, turn off of the main highway (AZ389/UT59) and go into the town(s). You will be watched! On my last trip through there, going from St. George to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a gas station/convenience store for a snack, with a bit of trepidation. But once we saw the young female clerk's clothing and demeanor (not to mention her tattoos) we knew she was definitely not one of the locals!
  20. mga707

    Old Central Pacific Rr Trail In Utah

    Great, as always! Yes, the California Trail branched off of the main Oregon Trail and headed W/SW to the gold strike area of Northern California. The infamous Donner party was on said trail when they were snowed in in the Sierra Nevada (due to leaving too late in the spring and a disastrous 'short cut' in Nevada). I visited Golden Spike NHS back in '99 and also recall the abandoned rail bed/primitive road headed westward from the site. Decided that a rented Grand Prix was not the proper vehicle for such a road trip and did not explore it! The mud puddle story reminds me of exploring the remote but beautiful Tuweep/Toroweap portion of Grand Canyon National Park in the summer of '03. Access is from either Fredonia or Colorado City AZ (yes, that infamous polygamist settlement) and requires at least an hour of pure wilderness dirt road driving from either starting point. The end result is worth it: No crowds (ever), no guard fences at the edge of the canyon, and a totally different aspect of the canyon than at either of the more visited rim areas. Many, many mud puddles were either splashed through or driven around on the trip in and out, but I had foreseen such road conditions and had rented an AWD Mitsu Outlander for the trip at the LAS airport, so no problems going through the mud. Alamo in Vegas got the car back with plenty of dried mud on it, though! The picture with the ATV zooming by you on the long, straight dirt track looks so much like many of the "Area 51" pictures that one sees that are shot from the edge of the restricted area. Any strange sights in the sky?
  21. mga707

    Is This Concrete Highway Real?

    Welcome back! I always enjoy your postings and photos from your travels. Can't answer your question, though (no HBO)...it certainly does look real!
  22. mga707

    National Road Remnants

    Nice shots! The first one could be subtitled: "Imperials' final resting place". Two '64-'65 models with a circa-1970 example in between.
  23. mga707

    Black Hills & South Dakota Suggestions?

    I would like to visit Minuteman Missile NHS to compare the technology to what is on display out here (near Tucson) at Pima Air and Space Museum's Titan Missile Museum, which I have visited numerous times, including just last evening! I always find it fascinating, and I grew up here in here 60s/70s, when we were without doubt a first-strike Soviet target site (as were Wichita and Little Rock) due to the Titan sites that ringed Tucson and the other two cities from 1963 until 1984/86. As far as scenic Black Hills roads, I loved the road with the 'pigtail bridges' (corkscrew-type bridges that pass over/under themselves), but I think that they are on the Needles Highway that the original poster mentioned.
  24. mga707

    Sampson Trails...follow That Piano!

    Duh! Now I get it--all of the boxed letters are Sampson Trails, not just the "A" that is used as an example. The old AZ map and the early 66/Santa Fe Trail map and guide are great--thanks! The style of the latter map reminds me so much of early airline schedules of similar or slightly later vintage, of which I have a small collection (I have hundreds of schedules, but only a small percentage are prewar--the oldest from 1930). They're so much fun to read and examine, just as this map and travel guide is.
  25. mga707

    Sampson Trails...follow That Piano!

    Wow--that is quite a map. Don't think I've seen one of that vintage before, just a year after the establishment of the first US highways. Exactly two years ago today I was driving from Boise to Craters of the Moon, and then onwards to Idaho Falls and eventually to Grand Teton, arriving well after darkness fell. What an easy day's drive today, and what a difficult, multi-day journey it was in 1927! Just curious: Are the other boxed letter symbols other marked trails? I would assume that many of those were still around even after the advent of numbered state and federal routes.
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